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Los Alamos National LaboratoryCenter for Integrated Nanotechnologies
Helping you understand, create, and characterize nanomaterials
DOE

I. CINT Experimental Capabilities: Synthesis & Fabrication

Synthesis - bottom-up methods to create/ modify discrete nanoscale structures or components;
Fabrication - top-down techniques and tools to create nanoscale to microscale features; and
Manipulate/Assemble - methods to arrange/order/integrate discrete entities and make hierarchical structures.
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Synthesis

Epitaxial and Nano-Composite Metal-Oxide Films

Wide use of metal-oxide materials in future device applications is expected due to the tremendous variety of phenomena that they exhibit such as superconductivity, ferroelectricity, piezoelectricity, ferromagnetism, and semiconductive properties. Our pulsed laser deposition (PLD) and polymer-assisted deposition (PAD) capabilities allow one to deposit epitaxial and nano-composite metal-oxide films with desired properties. The PLD and PAD also allow one to grow multilayer films for monolithic integration of dissimilar materials with complementary functionalities on a single platform to fabricate novel devices. Collaborations are welcome to explore new functional metal-oxide films, investigate the effects of strain imposed by coherent epitaxy on the properties of the films, and study nano-composite and multilayer metal-oxide films.

Capabilities available include:

  • Pulsed laser deposition
  • Polymer-assisted deposition

Contact:
Dr. Aiping Chen, apchen@lanl.gov

Physical Synthesis of Nanostructured Materials

Our physical vapor deposition (PVD) capabilities are used to synthesize metal, alloy, ceramic, or composite materials where the internal nanostructuring dimension such as layer thickness, grain size, or particle size may be well controlled down to the nanometer level. Some examples include, but are not limited to, nanolayered composites, metals or alloys with nanometer-scale grain size, crystalline or amorphous matrixes embedded with nano-dots with well-controlled sizes and spacing, nano-twinned materials, etc. The total thickness of the sample may vary from sub-micrometer to a few tens of micrometers. Through appropriate masking techniques, the films can be patterned in shapes, e.g., as self-supported tensile samples. Energetic ion or neutral atom bombardment during growth are used to tailor the nanostructuring dimension, residual stress, texture, epitaxy, etc. Post-deposition vacuum annealing or ion-bombardment facilities are also available for modification of the PVD-synthesized materials. Collaborative work on stresses and mechanical behavior, physical properties such as magnetic, electronic and optical, thermal properties, fatigue, thermal stability, fracture, and creep of these PVD-synthesized nano-materials as a function of the nanostructuring dimensions is envisioned.

Capabilities available include:

  • Magnetron sputtering
  • Electron beam evaporation

Contact:
Dr. Nate Mara, namara@lanl.gov

Atomic Layer Deposition System

This state-of-the-art atomic layer deposition (ALD) system, housed in our Integration Lab, utilizes precursor gases with single atomic layer control to enable conformal coating for nanoscale structure integration. ALD offers a unique means for the conformal deposition of dielectric and metallic films on 3-dimensional nanostructures with single atomic layer control.

Contact:
Dr. John Nogan, jnogan@sandia.gov

Low-Pressure Chemical Vapor Deposition

A low pressure chemical vapor deposition (LPCVD) / diffusion furnace has been installed in our Integration Lab for deposition of high-quality low-stress films including LPCVD SiN, thermal SiO2, LPCVD SIO2, and LPCVD Poly- Si layers for electrical isolation and for mechanical support. Mechanical support allows for high-density films (e.g. low imperfections) without significant stresses. For micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS) and nano-electromechanical systems (NEMS) the ability to tailor the stress is key as stress and stress gradients are dominant mechanisms that induce device failure.       


Contact:
Dr. John Nogan, jnogan@sandia.gov

III-V Semiconductor Molecular Beam Epitaxy

The molecular beam epitaxy (MBE) capabilities allow the growth of As-based III-V compound semiconductors. The system specializes in high-purity, high-mobility materials grown with monolayer precision. Due to the high-mobility nature of the system, cleanliness is of great importance so the materials available are limited.  Also doping is done with great care. N-type doping is performed using Si and limited p-type doping using a solid C source. 

Typical areas of interest for growth available to CINT Users include:

  • Low dimenstion semiconductor systems
  • Quantum transport
  • Electronic devices based on intrasubband transitions

Contact:
Dr. John Reno, jlreno@sandia.gov

IV Semiconductor Chemical Vapor Deposition

A chemical vapor deposition (CVD) reactor, dedicated to growth of high-quality and electrically doped Si/Ge nanowire heterostructures with controlled interfaces.

The 3”-inch-wafer-loadable cold wall reactor for Si-Ge nanowire heterostructures has capabilities of reproducible control of growth temperature, in-situ optical growth monitoring using reflectance measurement, precise controlled precursor flow regulation, fast switching of process gases, adjustable process chamber pressure in a wide range from UHV to LPCVD. All the features of the CVD system for Si/Ge nanowire heterostructures guarantee precise control of electrical doping concentration and interfacial widths of heterostructure, uniformity in a substrate, reproducible growth of sophisticated nanowire heterostructures. The growth method is based on the vapor-liquid-solid (VLS) technique, which uses metallic nanodot seeds to control the location and size of the nanowires. The Si-Ge CVD reactor is not limited to for nanowire growth only. The cold wall reactor and replacable substrate holders enable us to utilize the CVD reactor for high-quality Si-Ge thin film growth. The Si-Ge CVD reactor can be used to prepare nanomaterials−thin film hybrid structures of which physical properties are emerging. Another capability of the CVD reactor is flowing metalorganic precursors to control elemental composition of metal catalyst seeds for nanowire growth. In-situ making alloyed catalyst enables users to achieve abrupt interfaces (interfacial width is much smaller than size of catalyst seed) at the junctions in a single nanowire.

Contact:
Dr. Jinkyoung Yoo, jyoo@lanl.gov

Furnace-Type Solid-Source CVD System for Nanowire Growth

A new furnace-type solid-source CVD system for nanowire growth has been operational since the middle of February 2012. This new CVD system is used for the synthesis of new materials including group III-V nanowires and their heterostructures, functional nanowires for thermoelectric applications, and topological insulators. The growth of InAs nanowires has been demonstrated. Moreover, the new CVD system allows the growth of 2D-1D hybrid structures such as semiconductor nanowires on 2D structures like single-layered materials. This expanded materials synthesis capability will be integrated into other major areas of study at CINT.

Contact:
Dr. Jinkyoung Yoo, jyoo@lanl.gov

Metamaterials and Plasmonic Nanofabrication

CINT has extensive capabilities for nanofabrication of plasmonic and metamaterial samples, both on passive dielectric substrates (glass or undoped semiconductors) or on active semiconductor heterostructure substrates. The metamaterial/plasmonic resonators can be fabricated using electron-beam lithography and lift-off or focus-ion beam milling. Different metals are available, such as Au, Ag, Pt, etc.

Contact:
Dr. Igal Brener, ibrener@sandia.gov

Carbon Nanotube Chemistry, Processing and Synthesis

Extensive capability exists for carbon nanotube chemistry, processing and synthesis. Sonication and ultracentrifugation capability enables routine generation of nanotube samples in a wide range of matrices, including surfactant suspensions and as sol- and aerogels. Other non-covalent functionalization chemistries are available. Ultracentrifuges and non-covalent chemistries also support expertise and capability in density-based and aqueous two-phase separations, with single-chirality and electronic-type samples being generated. Expertise is available for studying the fundamentals of non-covalent functionalization aimed at understanding nanotube surface structures and dynamic towards applying that understanding to enhance separations, control photophysical response, enable new self-assembly processes, template 1-D structures, and to enable new optical composite materials. Capability for CVD growth of ultralong, parallel single-walled nanotubes also exists.

Contact:
Dr. Steve Doorn, skdoorn@lanl.gov

Automated Nanomaterials Synthesizer: Computer-Controlled Synthesis and Real-Time Diagnostics

Custom, computer-controlled reactor system comprises eight parallel reactors that are individually addressable with a combined capability for (1) fully automated, software controlled ‘round-the-clock’ chemical-precursor additions, (2) automated sampling, and (3) programmed in-situ optical characterization (absorption, fluorescence, turbidity). Reactor maximum volume and temperature are 250 mL and 300 °C, respectively. This unique system will prove a versatile and powerful tool for controlled, quasi-combinatorial solution-phase synthesis of simple and complex nanostructures, especially heterostructured nanoparticles like thick-shell ("giant") core/shell quantum dots and multicomponent/multifunctional nanoparticles, as well as an option for scaling-up optimized reactions.          

Contact:
Dr. Jennifer Hollingsworth, jenn@lanl.gov

DC Sputtering/Thermal Evaporation System for Metal Film Growth: Sequential Depositions and Uniform, Thick Films

The AJA International, Inc. ATC Orion Series Combination DC Sputtering/Thermal Evaporation System provides ease-of-use and operating flexibility. The magnetron sputtering sources feature a modular magnet array that allows operation in a variety of modes depending on our particular application for a specific film deposition run. The system also allows for “confocal sputtering,” which provides rapid sputtering of high quality and uniformly thick metal films (+/- 2.5% thickness uniformity over 4” diameter substrates). The unique isolation chimney prevents cross-contamination of target materials and allows deposition profiles to be fine-tuned, affording sequential deposition of a series of metals (2-4) in single runs (without breaking vacuum). The substrate holder has recently been updated with heating capabilities: radiant heating to 850 °C, over-temp protection, and +/- 1 °C temperature stability (oxygen-environment compatible).

Contact:
Dr. Jennifer Hollingsworth, jenn@lanl.gov

Flow-Solution-Liquid-Solid (Flow-SLS) Nanowire: Synthesis New Technique for Dynamic Growth Control
We have created the solution-phase equivalent to vapor-liquid-solid (VLS) growth in a chemical vapor deposition (CVD) chamber by adapting flask-based solution-liquid-solid (SLS) growth to synthesis in a microfluidic reactor. Specifically, using a cusom microfluidics chip, we hold metal-nanoparticle growth catalysts in a flow of solution-phase reactants and growth-controlling ligands. The resulting nanowires, like their VLS counterparts, grow from a solid substrate. The dynamic nature of the synthesis (in contrast with conventional flask-based synthesis) affords greater control over growth, new opportunities to study growth mechanisms, and, significantly, the ability to fabricate complex axial heterostructures. We look forward to working with Users to further exploit this new technique.

Contact:
Dr. Jennifer Hollingsworth, jenn@lanl.gov

Nano-Mesoscale Materials Integration: Nanoink Dip-Pen Nanolithography (DPN) 5000 System

The Nanoink DPN 5000 is a state-of-the-art commercial direct-write, AFM tip-based lithography technique capable of multi-component deposition of a wide range of materials with nanoscale registry. DPN has been used to fabricate multiplexed, customized patterns with feature sizes as small as 50 nm or as large as 10 µm on a variety of substrates that are written with molecular or liquid “inks.” Operating under ambient conditions, the system is compatible with a variety of organic, inorganic, and biological “ink” materials (including polymers, alkanethiols, silanes, hydrogels, nanoparticles, proteins, nucleic acids, and lipids). The CINT DPN system is equipped with the Nanoink 2D array accessory, which allows features to be printed rapidly over large areas. This direct-write capability is a user-friendly, benchtop technology that enables patterning without the need for a cleanroom, master stamp or photomask.  DPN can print directly onto pre-existing nano- or microscale features, and though essentially a “bottom-up” fabrication technique, it can be used in conjunction with etching methods for rapid prototyping of, e.g., photomasks and plasmonic structures. The CINT DPN 5000 is further equipped with the Nanoink AFM Modes Kit for conductive AFM (C-AFM), electrostatic force microscopy (EFM), and magnetic force microscopy (MFM).

Contact:
Dr. Jennifer Hollingsworth, jenn@lanl.gov

Non-Blinking Quantum Dots: Synthesis and Applications
By exploring effects of shell thickness, core size, core/shell electronic structure, and internal nanoscale interface properties, we have developed non-blinking nanocrystal quantum dots (NQDs) that emit in the visible and the near-infrared. These NQDs are also characterized by strongly suppressed Auger recombination and are essentially non-photobleaching. Their characteristic large effective Stokes shift affords minimized self-reabsorption. Their improved performance compared to conventional NQDs has been demonstrated in solid-state light-emitting devices as well as in biological applications as single-molecule optical probes. Although known as "giant" NQD (g-NQDs), these unique optical nanomaterials are still typically <15 nm in size. We continue to advance new g-NQD compositions and applications and aim to engage with Users in fundamental studies and further demonstrations of enhanced applications.

Contact:
Dr. Jennifer Hollingsworth,  jenn@lanl.gov

Semiconductor Nanocrystal Synthesis: Optical Nanomaterials by Design

We emphasize the preparation of high-quality semiconductor nanocrystals, such as quantum dots and quantum rods.  We exploit or develop new methods that afford control over particle size-dispersity, crystallinity, stability and optical/electronic properties.  Typically, our nanocrystals are prepared with a target functionality in mind.  We work closely with physicists, spectroscopists and theorists who inform our synthetic work.  We strive to understand, for example, the effects of particle size, shape, internal heterostructuring, ectornic structure and surface structure/functionalization on nanocrystal properties and, subsequently, to optimize these properties. We focus on the preparation of new compositions (core and core/shell materials; UV to visible to infrared absorbers/emitters, etc.), new shapes (isotropic to highly anisotropic), new heterostructured, hybrid, and multifunctional nanocrystals, composite materials (e.g., high-density nanocrystal/sol-gel processible blends), and biocompatible nanocrystals (water-soluble and functionalized for binding to various biomolecules), as well as self- and directed-assembly of films and composite structures. Nanocrystal chemical-precursor development and ligand/surfactant development are pursued when necessary.

Capabilities available include:

  • Facilities for synthesizing and assembling colloidal nanocrystals, and tools for thin-film preparation
  • Expertise in inorganic, organic, and materials chemistry
  • In-lab (and partner-lab) facilities for microstructural and optical/electronic-properties characterization of nanoscale systems
  • Suite of air-free synthesis tools from standard Schlenk techniques to specialized reactors: CEM Discover microwave reactor and Syrris FRX microfluidic flow reactor (3 pump with back-pressure regulator). Microfluidic reactor can be utilized with one of three chip options: (1) Standard serpentine chip for continuous-flow synthesis and collection of nanoparticles (ideal for generation of large quantities of uniform particles), (2) Custom (Dolomite) chip for free-flow electrophoretic separation of nanoparticles at high voltages, and (3) Custom (Dolomite) chip and chip holder for the synthesis of nanowires from substrates held in reactant flow at elevated temperature (up to ~310 C) (see ""Flow SLS"")"  

Contact:
Dr. Jennifer Hollingsworth, jenn@lanl.gov

Semiconductor Nanowires: Solution-Phase Synthesis, Processing and Device Fabrication

Using colloidal synthesis methods, in particular solution-phase catalyzed growth processes, we synthesize high-quality, single-crystalline semiconductor nanowires for a range of compositions. These include II-VI, III-V, IV-VI, III2VI3 and I-III-VI2 systems. We tune diameters from ~5-50 nm and lengths from ~200 nm to 10 micron. As-prepared nanowires are soluble in non-polar solvents, but can be transferred to aqueous environments using standard ligand-exchange techniques. We process solution-phase nanowires into the solid-state, creating nanowire thin films and composites for incorporation into various device structures. Beyond conventional approaches, we employ single-source precursors to access complex ternary compositions (e.g., CuInSe2), and we develop novel methods for growth, e.g.,  "flow" solution-liquid-solid (FSLS) microfuidics-based nanowire synthesis (see "Flow-SLS synthesis"). 

Areas of interest for CINT Users:

  • SLS growth of quantum-confined semiconductor nanowire "building blocks": II-VI, III-V, IV-VI, III2VI3 and I-III-VI2 systems
  • Solution-phase processing of nanowires into films and composites (e.g., nanowire-nanoparticle composites)
  • Nanowire-based photovoltaics: device fabrication and basic testing  
  • Controlled Flow-SLS nanowire growth for advanced nanowire heterostructuring and growth kinetics studies.

Contact:
Dr. Jennifer Hollingsworth, jenn@lanl.gov

Magnetic Nanoparticle Synthesis

We emphasize the preparation of high-quality magnetic nanocrystals.  We exploit or develop new methods that afford control over particle size-dispersity, crystallinity, stability and magnetic properties.  Typically, our nanocrystals are prepared with a target functionality in mind.  We work closely with physicists and theorists who inform our synthetic work.  We strive to understand, for example, the effects of particle size, shape, internal heterostructuring, and surface structure/functionalization on nanocrystal properties and, subsequently, to optimize these properties.  Nanocrystal chemical-precursor development and ligand/surfactant development are pursued when necessary.

Capabilities available include:

  • Facilities for synthesizing and assembling colloidal nanocrystals, and facilities for thin-film preparation
  • Expertise in inorganic, organic, and materials chemistry
  • In-lab (and partner-lab) facilities for microstructural and magnetic-properties characterization of nanoscale systems.

Contact:
Dr. Sergei Ivanov, ivanov@lanl.gov

Metallic Nanoparticle Synthesis

We emphasize the preparation of high-quality metal nanocrystals.  We exploit or develop new methods that afford control over particle size-dispersity, crystallinity, stability and  properties, e.g., plasmonic, catalytic, and low-melting compositions as growth fluxes for nanowire growth.  Nanocrystal chemical-precursor development and ligand/surfactant development are pursued when necessary.

Capabilities available include:

  • Facilities for synthesizing and assembling nanocrystals, for thin-film preparation, and for creating hybrid structures
  • Expertise in inorganic, organic, and materials chemistry
  • In-lab (and partner-lab) facilities for microstructural and properties characterization

Contact:
Dr. Sergei Ivanov, ivanov@lanl.gov

Bio-inspired and bio-compatible materials

The biomaterials synthesis capabilities will enable researchers to isolate, engineer, and integrate biological molecules with nanoscale synthetic materials and systems.  Because native biological molecules are, in general, poorly suited for integration with synthetic systems, we focus upon engineering biomaterials specifically designed to function in synthetic nanosystems.  Additionally, functionalization of biological molecules will be studied with respect to developing strategies for integrating living and non-living components that have a common interface. The capabilities that are available to CINT Users include:

  • Isolation of genomic DNA, RNA, and plasmids from a variety of sources such as bacteria, viruses, and eukaryotic cells
  • Growth and maintenance of a range of organisms (e.g., thermophiles, halophiles, etc.)
  • Recombinant DNA cloning and expression in prokaryotic and eukaryotic systems
  • Genetic engineering using reverse transcription, the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and site-directed mutagenesis (SDM)
  • Expression, purification, characterization, and functionalization of native and recombinant proteins
  • Synthesis and functionalization of bio-compatible nanocrystal optical and magnetic tags (semiconductor and metal nanocrystals)
  • Design of heterfunctional biomolecules for materials assembly
  • Mammalian cell culture (nanoparticle interactions, cell/sub-cellular targeting of nanoparticles, etc.)

Associated CINT Scientists:
Dr. George Bachand, gdbacha@sandia.gov, (505) 844-5164
Dr. Jennifer Hollingsworth,  jenn@lanl.gov, (505) 665-1246
Dr. Gabriel Montaño, gbmon@lanl.gov, (505) 667-6776
Dr. Jennifer S. Martinez, jenm@lanl.gov, (505) 665-0045

Biomolecular Motors Synthesis, Engineering and Applications

The biomolecular motors synthesis and engineering capabilities at CINT will enable researchers to produce, modify, and integrate a range of energy-dissipative proteins with nanoscale synthetic materials and systems. Because native biological molecules are, in general, poorly suited for use in synthetic systems, our capability has a strong focus in developing biomolecular motors with enhanced functionality to increase stability and provide strategies for integrating living and non-living components through a common interface.
       
The capabilities that are available to CINT Users include:

  • Microtubule-based motor protein library
  • Recombinant production (E. coli) and modification of Drosophila kinesin-1 motor proteins including full length, standard and zinc-dependent switchable motors, and truncated standard and switchable motors with biotinylated tails
  • Recombinant production of a thermostable monomeric kinesin (kinesin-3) motor originally isolated from Thermomyces lanuginosus
  • Yeast-based expression of recombinant dynein (minus-end directed) motors with GFP and biotinylated regions
  • Bacteriorhodopsin, light-driven proton pump library including native and recombinant (e.g., His-tag, Cys mutants, etc) versions
  • Genetic engineering of motors via sub-cloning and site-directed mutagenesis (SDM) methods to generate new functional mutants
  • Functionalization chemistries for motor attachment to of bio-compatible nanoparticles including semiconductor, metal, and magnetic nanocrystals
  • Spinning disk microscopy with high-speed CMOS camera for particle tracking of in vitro motor transport
  • Total internal reflectance fluorescence (TIRF) microscopy with three-chip, color CCD camera for characterizing filament and/or particle transport

Contact:
Dr. George Bachand, gdbacha@sandia.gov

Prokaryotic and Eukaryotic Cell Culture Facilities

A wide variety of nanoengineered substrates and nano-probes have been used to study the physiological behaviors of living cells. As such, CINT has capabilities to grow and maintain prokaryotic (i.e., bacterial) and eukaryotic (e.g., fungal) cells, as well a range of mammalian cell lines (e.g., RBL mast cells, RAW macrophages, primary rat neurons, etc). Based on the changing needs of users, inquiries on the availability of specific organisms currently at the Core facility may be obtained by contacting George Bachand. In addition, users wanting to bring organisms to CINT should also contact George Bachand regarding feasibility and ES&H requirements.
       
The capabilities that are available to CINT Users include:

  • Biosafety cabinet and water-jacketed CO2 incubator for growth and maintenance of a wide range of eukaryotic cell lines (BSL-1 and 2, based on IBC approvals)
  • Transfection capabilities for plasmid introduction into prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells
  • Brightfield, phase contrast, and epifluorescence microscopy for cell characterization
  • Spinning disk confocal microscopy with temperature-controlled stage for time-lapse experiments.

Contact:
Dr. George Bachand, gdbacha@sandia.gov

Polymeric Monolayer Systems

Surface properties are critical in many nanosystems, and the control of surface properties such as wetting, adhesion, and friction are of primary concern.  Monolayer synthesis allows researcher to tailor surface properties utilizing small molecule organic synthesis and polymerization techniques.  Either in situ or ex situ syntheses can be performed where appropriate and multilayers or gels may be produced using similar techniques. 
       
Capabilities that are available include:

  • Monolayer design and formation on planar, particulate, chip-based, or other samples of inorganic oxides, non-oxidized metals, semiconductors, polymers, etc.
  • Synthesis of functional coupling agents, in particular those with functionality.
  • In situ modification of monolayer functionalities where desired functionalities lack compatibility.
  • In situ growth of polymer monolayers and mixed polymer monolayers using free radical, ionic or coordination polymerization reactions.
  • A suite of characterization methods to determine or verify monolayer functionality, structure, wetting properties, etc.

Contact:
Dr. Dale Huber, dlhuber@sandia.gov

Fluorescent Gold and Silver Nanoclusters
Few-atom noble metal nanoclusters are collections of small numbers of gold or silver atoms (typically 2-30 atoms) with physical sizes close to the Fermi wavelength of an electron (~0.5 nm for gold and silver).  These nanoclusters are a missing link between the atomic and nanoparticle behavior of noble metals – exhibiting fluorescence emissions spanning the UV to near IR range. As a compliment to quantum dots and molecular fluorophores, fluorescent metal nanoclusters can be produced using templates of dendrimers and polymers, small molecular ligands, or within biological materials of interest, such as DNA.  We have synthesized and photophysically characterized Ag-nanoclusters (AgNCs), which were templated on DNA, with distinct and narrow excitation and emission profiles tuned to common laser lines. Intrinsically fluorescent recogonition ligands have been created from chimera’s of DNA that template AgNC and aptamers, for the specific and sensitive detection of proteins. More recently, we have developed a DNA detection probe (NanoCluster Beacon, NCB) that “lights up” upon target binding.

Contact:
Dr. Jennifer Martinez, jenm@lanl.gov

In Vivo Polymers

In vivo polymers are genetically engineered polymers that are produced by recombinant DNA techniques. These highly specialized polymers are produced with exceptional yield in bacteria and with defined sequence and typically high biocompatibility. Polymers (elastin-like, silk-like, and resilin) can be created as individual or coblock polymers, and modified for specific functionality (i.e., cell binding or optical reactivity), toward functions in optoelectronics and regenerative medicine.

Contact:
Dr. Jennifer Martinez, jenm@lanl.gov

Fabrication

Electron Beam Lithography

The JEOL JBX-6300FS electron beam lithography system is a state-of-the-art tool capable of field emission operation at 100kV acceleration voltage. With a minimum spot size of less than 3nm, the system is capable of line widths less than 8nm in resist. A 19 bit beam deflection amplifier allows beam steps down to 1.25 Å at 100kV. Overlay and field stitching accuracy is better than 20nm in high resolution writing mode. This instrument, in association with etch and deposition capabilities, provides powerful nanofabrication of a wide variety of materials and applications.

  • Can handle nominally rectangular samples from 10-25mm in side length
  • Can handle wafers of 2, 3, 4, and 6 inches in diameter
  • Positive resists include ZEP-520A, PMMA, and PMGI
  • Negative resists include NEB-31A

At the present time, this capability is available to current CINT users. New CINT users can request the electron beam lithography capability only by special arrangement with the Lead CINT scientist on their proposal. Technical questions may be directed to the specialist listed.

Contact:
Anthony James, arjames@sandia.gov

Micro-Nano Fabrication

The fabrication capabilities provide researchers with distinctive platforms for investigating standard or hybrid materials. Our 100 mm facility has an unrestricted tool set, which accommodates a wide range of substrates, films, and chemicals. We work closely with other centers/laboratories to allow integration of unique materials or processes into prototype micro/nano systems.
       
The capabilities that are available to CINT Users include:

Fabrication Capabilities:

  • Front/backside contact mask photo-lithography (260 nm DUV, 365/400 nm NUV)
  • Contact mask design and fabrication – 0.6 um resolution, 4”, 5” or 7” substrates
  • PVD Metal/Dielectric deposition (E-beam/thermal evaporation, RF/DC Sputter)
  • Dielectric thin film deposition (ICP CVD H-aSi, Si3N4, SiO2, SiON)
  • Reactive ion etching with laser endpoint detection (ICP and RIE fluorine; ICP chlorine; silicon deep RIE)
  • Downstream Microwave Source plasma ash  - Rapid Thermal Annealing (up to 1000°C)
  • Plasma and UV/Ozone cleaning
  • Wet chemistries
  • Wafer dicing and lapping
  • Focused ion beam
  • Electron beam lithography
  • Laser beam direct write
  • In-situ SEM mechanical nanoprobe
  • Critical Point Dryer

Inspection Capabilities:

  • SEM / EDAX
  • Pd/Au PVD for sample preparation
  • Optical Microscope
  • Confocal microscope
  • Profilometer
  • Probe-station
  • Flexus Stress Measurement
  • Ellipsometer
  • Spectroscopic Reflectometer
  • Four Point Resistivity Probe

Contact:
Dr. John Nogan, jnogan@sandia.gov

Ultrafast Laser System for Rapid Prorotyping
We have developed a turnkey, ultrafast laser system for rapid prototyping devices including 2D microfluidics and 3D waveguides in bulk media. The system can also perform multi-photon processing of polymers, surface texturing, and patterning of arbitrary 2D array structures, such as thin film metamaterials, onto a substrate. Feature sizes are user definable and currently range from hundreds of nanometers to <10um.

Contact:
Dr. Quinn McCulloch, qmc@lanl.gov

Graphene Reactor
We have developed a large area graphene growth capability at CINT that allows us to make graphene samples available to CINT users. The graphene is grown on copper foil by a chemical vapor deposition process using either liquid or gas precursors. We have also developed the techniques to transfer the large pieces of graphene to virtually any substrate for further characterization.

Contact:
Dr. Andrew Dattelbaum, amdattel@lanl.gov

Thin-Film Preparation

Preparation and characterization of thin-films using chemical assembly routes is possible for many different types of materials and substrates.  The major focus of activities is on different self-assembly routes to thin-film materials, and on preparative strategies that involve combinations of processing (spin or dip-coating; post-deposition patterning) with self-assembly strategies.

Contact:
Dr. Andrew Dattelbaum, amdattel@lanl.gov

Manipulate/Assemble

Nanomanipulator for Construction of Nanowire Devices
We have a custom two-probe nanomanipulator inside of a JEOL 6701F field-emission source SEM. The two probes are controlled independently via piezo actuators with nanometer resolution and can be coarsely positioned within a 7 x 7 x 7 mm3 volume with stick-slip actuators. Typically, we use the probes to pick-and-place individual nanowires onto a device platform fabricated in the Integration Lab for ex situ measurement of electrical or thermal conductivity or to place individual nanowires into a well-defined position with respect to other nanowires or devices.

Contact:
Dr. Brian Swartzentruber, bsswart@sandia.gov

Biomolecular-Driven Mesoscale Self-Assembly
Energy-dissipative proteins are applied to drive the self-assembly across multiple length scales, and achieve mseoscopic composites that exhibit far-from-equilibrium dynamics.

Contact:
Dr. George Bachand, gdbacha@sandia.gov

Synthesis of Amphiphilic Monomers and Polymerization Thereof
Small organic molecule/ monomer synthesis and characterization, self-assembly and polymerization into structured materials.

Contact:
Dr. Millie Firestone, firestone@lanl.gov

Biomolecular Recognition and Phage Display
Nature utilizes molecular recognition for the control of protein-protein and protein-inorganic interactions that are key for control of cell-cycle processes and for the exquisite assembly of inorganic materials.  We have the ability to create recognition molecules through biological means (phage display).  These ligands can be used for recognition ligands in biosensors or for the hierarchical assembly of materials with emergent properties.

Contact:
Dr. Jennifer Martinez, jenm@lanl.gov

Lipid Membranes and Self-Assembled Films

An assortment of capabilities exists for the synthetic preparation of functionalized amphiphiles and their incorporation in lipid vesicles, supported lipid membranes, self-assembled monolayers on silicon surfaces, and Langmuir films.  The self-assembled films can be interrogated with a variety of spectroscopic techniques, which include dynamic light scattering, fluorescence microscopy and spectroscopy, NMR, and XPS, and at the nanoscale via in situ AFM imaging and TEM.  Interactions of metal ions, small molecules, proteins, and whole cells against functionalized films have been previously explored. 
       
The capabilities that are available to CINT Users include:

  • Wet laboratory facilities for the synthesis and characterization of functionalized amphiphilic molecules
  • Liposome preparation via sonicators and extruders
  • Langmuir troughs for monolayer and multilayer film preparation
  • Inverted fluorescence microscope coupled with intensified CCD camera and CCD spectrometer for simultaneous imaging and spectroscopic characterization of Langmuir monolayers
  • Temperature controlled in situ AFM for nanoscale imaging under varying environmental conditions
  • Microcalorimetry to measure binding energies of protein association at lipid membrane surfaces
  • Fluorescence recovery after photobleaching (FRAP) characterization of lateral mobility in substrate-supported lipid membrane assemblies
  • Brewster angle microscopy for characterization of thin films
  • Generation of patterned hybrid and supported bilayer assemblies on derivatized substrates
  • Synthesis and assembly of lipids incorporating molecular recognition elements (peptides, chelates etc.)

Contact:
Dr. Jennifer Martinez, jenm@lanl.gov

Mesenchymal Stem Cell Fate and Differentiation
We actively culture and differentiate adult-derived mesenchymal stem cells for the study of their interaction and altered cell-fate with polymers, nanostructured substrates (hard and soft materials of varied tensile strength and patterning), and radiation of varied frequencies.  Studies can include detailed static or dynamic mRNA expression levels, protein expression levels, and morphology (flow cytometry and/or confocal microscopy).

Contact:
Dr. Jennifer Martinez, jenm@lanl.gov

Peptide- and DNA- Based Assembly of Optical and Nanomaterials
DNA or custom designed and synthesized peptides can be utilized to create 2- and 3-D architectures, with-or-without integrated optical or nanomaterials.

Contact:
Dr. Jennifer Martinez, jenm@lanl.gov

Lipid and Polymer Dynamic Membrane-Based Assemblies

Preparation of vesicle, micelle and 2-dimensional membrane structures based upon combinations of amphiphilic lipids and block-co-polymers.  Optical cofactor incorporation and environmental control to induce dynamic optical response is a primary focus.  Materials can be interrogated with a variety of spectroscopic techniques, which include dynamic light scattering, fluorescence microscopy and spectroscopy, NMR, and XPS, and at the nanoscale via in situ AFM imaging and TEM. 
       
The capabilities that are available to CINT Users include:

  • Liposome, polymersome micelle and membrane architecture preparation via sonicators and extruders
  • Langmuir troughs for monolayer and multilayer film preparation
  • Inverted fluorescence microscope coupled with intensified CCD camera and CCD spectrometer for simultaneous imaging and spectroscopic characterization of materials
  • In situ AFM for nanoscale imaging under varying environmental conditions
  • Fluorescence recovery after photobleaching (FRAP) characterization of lateral mobility in substrate-supported lipid membrane assemblies
  • Generation of micro-patterned hybrid and supported bilayer assemblies on derivatized substrates

Contact:
Dr. Gabe Montano, gbmon@lanl.gov

Polymer/Sol-Gel Nanocomposites for Biohybrid Assembly
We have developed methods for the preparation of polymer/sol-gel composite materials for biohybrid materials design.  Our primary focus is on the development of materials suitable for long-term storage and transport of biological materials with a particular focus on understanding biological membrane/synthetic material interfaces.  We have designed a number of bio-friendly polymers along with sol-gel preparative methods that minimize conditions harmful to biological specimens.

Contact:
Dr. Gabe Montano, gbmon@lanl.gov