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

Integration Challenges

Understanding the principles of nanomaterials integration has been the central theme of CINT since its inception. The CINT Strategic Plan builds upon this foundation by illustrating three representative, forward-looking integration challenges inspired by the nanoscience community.
An underlying theme of all three integration challenges is a fully integrated feedback loop of synthesis, fabrication, characterization, and modeling.
design principles

CINT leverages its diverse scientific community to fully integrate theory and experiment.

Building blocks comprised of individual nanoscale materials are commonly integrated with other materials into architectures that amplify their properties (up-scaling) or lead to new ensemble behaviors (emergent phenomena). By surveying the integrated environments of greatest potential impact, and by developing a fundamental understanding of the principles that govern the integrated properties and behaviors, we can capitalize on the greatest potential for nanomaterials to have an enduring impact on scientific and technological innovations. Nanoscale integration has the potential to revolutionize the way we live.

Our integration challenges enable us to identify the capabilities that the nanoscience research community will need to realize the smart integration of nanomaterials into innovative and competitive technologies.

Quantum materials

Quantum materials possess tremendous potential to revolutionize many technologies that could impact our daily life. A few representative examples include: novel sensing platforms capable of detecting very small changes in magnetic fields with resolution beyond the classical limit; quantum photonic integrated circuits enabling eavesdrop-proof communication; ultrafast, energy-efficient magnetoelectric sensors; and, ultimately, a neuromorphic quantum computer capable of mimicking the human brain. CINT has been at the forefront of synthesis, fabrication, and integration of quantum materials as well as in probing and controlling their emergent phenomena for nearly a decade. In the coming years CINT will expand our research efforts into the following areas:

  • Deterministic placement and electronic/photonic integration of solitary quantum defects
  • Quantum-sensed Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) Discovery Platform
  • Using light to probe and control novel phenomena in quantum materials

Hybrid material interactions for generation and manipulation of light

Structured hybrid materials can be engineered to have novel photonic properties that emerge only as a result of multi-material interactions and can also include pre-designed properties for novel photon generation and manipulation. CINT is advancing the understanding and application of these revolutionary hybrid systems by addressing the most significant open questions surrounding the control, integration, and enhancement of the photonic response of two classes of materials and their associated assemblies:

  • Materials and structures that control and modify electromagnetic energy (plasmonics, metamaterials)
  • Materials and assemblies that actively generate and harvest electromagnetic energy

Soft nanomaterials science

Soft and hybrid nanomaterials have had revolutionary impacts in fields ranging from energy storage and conversion to biomedicine. A few specific examples include: magnetic nanoparticles capable of detecting and treating cancer, functionalized, plasmonic nanoparticles for detection of Bacillus anthracis, and printable flexible electronics used in solar cells, organic LEDs, and health monitoring devices. CINT has been at the forefront of synthesis, assembly, characterization, and theory of soft nanomaterials and their integration into functional assemblies with desired emergent properties. In the coming years, CINT will expand these efforts with an emphasis on:

  • Enhanced molecular and nanoscale building blocks that direct assembly and integration
  • Innovative approaches to assemble heterogeneous nanocomponents across multiple length scales and dimensions

You can read more about our integration challenges from our strategic plan.