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

Becoming a User

CINT offers two modes of user access: General User access and Partner User access. Each has variable scope and the ability to conduct non-proprietary or proprietary research.


  • User Program Manager
  • Heather Brown
  • Email

The CINT user program provides the international scientific community access to a world-class nanoscale science research center. CINT operates two physical facilities as one integrated research center: The CINT Core Facility, located at Sandia National Laboratories (Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA) and the CINT Gateway Facility, located at Los Alamos National Laboratory (Los Alamos, New Mexico, USA). User access can include use of capabilities in either or both of our facilities as well as engagement of the expertise of CINT scientific staff. 

General Users and Partner Users

General Users are individuals or groups who need access to the CINT Facilities to carry out their research using one or more CINT capabilities. Access is requested through a biannual, peer-reviewed proposal process. The proposal is a 2-page statement of work that succinctly describes the scientific problem, research tasks to be conducted, and expected impact. One proposal may include multiple users, from one or more institutions, and may request access to multiple CINT capabilities and staff scientists. The scope of a user proposal can vary from a single interaction to several visits utilizing a range of capabilities.

Upon acceptance of the user proposal, the CINT users make arrangements to conduct their project via on- or off-site interactions. For Foreign National visitors from DOE-identified sensitive countries, the required visit approval process may require several months before your visit is approved by the DOE. Each approved user project is valid for 18 months, after which the results should be submitted for publication in a peer-reviewed technical journal (for non-proprietary projects). Continuation of a productive project is encouraged via submission of a renewal user proposal. CINT does not operate as fee-for-service facility but rather as a nanoscale science research center where users and staff engage in cutting-edge research. CINT cannot provide funding to users.

Partner Users are individuals, groups, or institutions who not only carry out research at CINT but also enhance the capabilities or contribute to the operation of the center through new facility instrumentation or the support of personnel. These contributions must be made available to the General Users and therefore benefit the overall user program as well as the facility. In recognition of their investment, Partner Users are provided negotiated access to one or more capabilities over a period of several years. Those interested in becoming a Partner User should contact the CINT User Program Manager, Heather Brown.

Non-Proprietary and Proprietary Access

Approved CINT users may conduct either non-proprietary (i.e. research to be published) or proprietary research. Prospective users must designate if any or all of their user proposal involves proprietary information and if any of the user project, if accepted, would be proprietary work. User proposals containing proprietary information will be reviewed via a separate process to maintain confidentiality under protection of an executed Non-Disclosure Agreement between CINT (Los Alamos National Laboratory and Sandia National Laboratories) and the prospective user’s institution(s).

Upon acceptance of a user proposal for non-proprietary research, the user’s institution is required to execute a CINT user agreement. In addition to defining the terms and conditions for intellectual property created during the user project, the agreement confirms that the user will publish the results in the open technical literature in return for no-fee access to CINT. The user is responsible for his/her own costs to conduct the approved project at CINT but will not be charged for instrument use, CINT personnel time, or temporary office space while at CINT.

For proprietary work at CINT, federal law requires full-cost recovery from the user’s institution. The CINT Proprietary User Agreement (PUA) (pdf) contains the terms and conditions, including intellectual property rights for proprietary users. For further information about proprietary research at CINT, please contact Jim Werner (LANL), Heather Brown (Sandia), or Erika Vreeland (User Industrial Liaison).

Collaborative Projects and Capability Access

CINT users may conduct their approved research projects in collaboration with one or more CINT scientists or may choose to access CINT capabilities independently. User proposals are evaluated on the merits of the science without preference for either collaborative or independent access.

Users working independently will be properly trained and supervised by technical personnel. Some CINT capabilities cannot be operated independently for safety or technical reasons.