Ground broken for nanotechnology center at Sandia
and Los Alamos labs
NM – The new Center for Integrated Nanotechnologies
(CINT) at the Department of Energy's Los Alamos (LANL)
and Sandia National Laboratories (SNL) moved closer
to reality with two groundbreaking ceremonies this week.
The $76 million center is one of five new Nanoscale
Science Research Centers to be built by the Department
of Energy's Office of Science to provide researchers
with world-class facilities for the interdisciplinary
study of matter at the atomic scale.
DOE's Office of Science Director Raymond L. Orbach,
U.S. Senator Pete Domenici, U.S. Representative Heather
Wilson, Sandia Labs Director C. Paul Robinson and Los
Alamos Lab Acting Deputy Director Carolyn Mangeng presided
at today's ceremonial turning of soil at the 95,000
square-foot Core Facility in Albuquerque. Orbach and
lab representatives participated yesterday in a groundbreaking
at a 34,000 square-foot Gateway Facility to Los Alamos.
"Nanoscale science and technology is at the frontier
of materials science, chemistry, biology, computational
science and engineering," Secretary of Energy Spencer
Abraham said. "By accelerating the advancement
of nanoscience, this new center will pave the way for
new technologies that benefit our Nation's energy, environment,
and national security and enable the United States to
compete in the high technology world economy."
The center's primary objective will be to develop the
scientific principles that govern the performance and
integration of nanoscale materials, thereby building
the foundations for future nanotechnologies.
"This joint enterprise will leverage science and
engineering facilities at both laboratories, creating
a unique environment where cutting-edge science can
transition into technology that improves our world,"
Dr. Orbach said.
LANL and SNL will operate CINT jointly. Through its
laboratory partnership, the center will make facilities
in areas such as semiconductor, microelectronics and
combustion research available to the user community
of scientists and researchers. The CINT scientific user
community will also have access to dedicated research
capabilities in a new Core Facility in Albuquerque,
the new CINT Gateway to Los Alamos and the existing
CINT Gateway to Sandia.
Together, these three facilities will provide laboratory
and office space for researchers to synthesize and characterize
nanostructured materials, model and simulate their performance,
and integrate nanoscale materials into larger-scale
The Core Facility will include synthesis labs for chemical
and biological work, characterization labs for optical
and laser work, and Class 1000 clean rooms for integration
operations. In order to ensure open access to the user
community, the Core Facility will be constructed on
DOE property outside Kirtland Air Force Base.
The CINT Gateway to Sandia will focus on nanomaterials
and microfabrication from the existing Integrated Materials
Research Laboratory, while the CINT Gateway to Los Alamos
will include synthesis and characterization labs which
primarily focus on biosciences and nanomaterials work.
The new Gateway to Los Alamos facility will be in an
open security environment at the lab.
Nanomaterials -- typically on the scale of billionths
of a meter or 1,000 times smaller than a human hair
-- offer different chemical and physical properties
than bulk materials, and have the potential to form
the basis of new technologies. Understanding these properties
may allow researchers to design materials with properties
tailored to specific needs such as strong, lightweight
materials, new lubricants and more efficient solar energy
cells. By building structures one atom at a time, the
materials may have enhanced mechanical, optical, electrical
or catalytic properties.
DOE's Office of Science has played a major role in developing
facilities and tools to characterize and analyze materials
at the nanoscale, but world-class facilities available
to the scientific community to synthesize, process and
fabricate nanoscale materials and structures do not
exist. To fill that need, the Office of Science is funding
the construction of five new DOE Nanoscale Science Research
Centers which will be the nation's premier user facilities
for interdisciplinary research at the nanoscale.
The centers will provide researchers with state-of-the-art
capabilities to explore, fabricate and study nanoscale
materials. The centers are part of the department's
contribution to the National Nanotechnology Initiative,
and they form an integrated national network. The centers
will be located at DOE's Argonne, Brookhaven, Lawrence
Berkeley, Oak Ridge and Los Alamos/Sandia National Laboratories.
DOE's Office of Science is the single largest supporter
of basic research in the physical sciences in the Nation,
manages 10 world-class national laboratories and builds
and operates some of the Nation's most advanced R&D
user facilities. More information about the office and
about the Nanoscale Science Research Centers is available