Facilities & Capabilities

The RTNN brings together comprehensive shared user facilities and over 100 complementary faculty research programs at the three major research universities within the network. RTNN technical capabilities span nanofabrication and nano-characterization of traditional hard, dry materials (e.g., 2D and 3D nanomaterials, metamaterials, photonics, and heterogeneous integration) and emerging soft, wet materials (e.g., tissue, textile, plant, and animal nanomaterials). The RTNN connects you with expert technical staff and faculty to provide:
  • Training for users to independently operate equipment.
  • Fabrication and analytical services.
  • Consultation, collaboration, and support for process and instrumentation development.
  • In-person and web-based workshops and interactive demonstrations on state-of-the-art techniques within the network.
Contact the our staff at rtnanonetwork@ncsu.edu to discuss how RTNN can help you. RTNN technical facilities offer a diverse set of capabilities to its users, including:

Nanofabrication & Cleanroom Capabilities

Class 100 & 1000 Cleanroom Facilities

Lithography Tools

Photolithography: mask aligners, spin coating & developing systems, plasma asher, high-volume patterning system
E-beam Lithography Systems (with integrated SEM capability)
Thermoplastic Nano-Imprinter & Hot Embosser
Molecular Printer
Laser Ablation System
Ion Beam Lithography

Deposition Tools

Atomic Layer Deposition Chambers (including plasma-enhanced & ozone-enhanced)
Chemical Vapor Deposition Chambers (low-pressure & plasma-enhanced for a-Si, SiO2, Si3N4, TEOS oxide)
Physical Vapor Deposition Chambers (RF dielectric & DC sputtering systems, e-beam & thermal evaporators, pulsed laser systems)
Ion Beam-Assisted Deposition
Electroplater (Cu, Ni, Au)

Etching Tools

Reactive Ion Etching Systems (with Ar, O2, H2, SF6, CHF3, Cl, HBr, BCl3, CF4 gases & RF plasma etch tools)
Deep Reactive Ion Etching Systems (with O2, SF6, CF4, C4F8 gases)
Chemical Etch Stations

Thermal Processing Tools

High Temperature Annealing Furnaces (n-type & p-type doping, dry & wet oxidation, high temperature & rapid thermal annealing)
Baking ovens

Bio-Processing Bay (for integration of biomaterials with devices)

Wet Processing Bays

Nano-Fiber Production

Electrospinning (Needle/Syringe, High-throughput Edge/Bowl)
Centrifugal Spinning
Multicomponent Extrusion (Bi-co, Tri-co)

Metrology Tools

Atomic Force Microscope
Optical and Confocal Microscopes

Materials Characterization Techniques


Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM)

Field Emission SEM (FE-SEM)
Environmental SEM (ESEM) (including environmental FE-SEM)
Cryogenic SEM (with cold knife fracture, magnetron sputter coater, anti-contaminator, and RGB cathodoluminescence imaging)
Extreme Resolution SEM (XR-SEM) (with transmission detector, concentric backscatter detector, and stage biasing for insulating samples)
Focused Ion Beam (FIB) Milling (with gas injection system for insulator (TEOS), Pt, and W deposition and insulator enhanced etching)
Energy-Dispersive X-ray Spectroscopy (EDS) (on FE-SEM, ESEM, XR-SEM, and FIB microscopes)
Electron Backscatter Diffraction (EBSD) (on FIB/FE-SEM microscope)
in situ Analysis (heating, cooling, electrical biasing, mechanical loading)

Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM)

Conventional & High Resolution TEM with EDS
Aberration-Corrected Scanning TEM (STEM) with Atomic-Resolution Chemical Mapping (both EDS and Electron Energy Loss Spectroscopy (EELS))
Cryogenic TEM
3D Electron Tomography
in situ Analysis (heating, electrical biasing, liquid cell)
High Resolution X-Ray Computed Tomography (microCT & nanoCT)

High Resolution X-Ray Fluorescence Microscopy (HR-micro-XRF)

In partnership with European Centre of Research and Teaching of Geosciences of the Environment (CEREGE) at Aix-Marseille University

Neutron Imaging

Neutron Radiography
3D Neutron Tomography

Optical Microscopy

High Magnification Optical Microscopy
Micro-spectrophotometry (UV-Vis-NIR & Raman)
Confocal Microscopy (including fluorescence imaging)

Structural & Defect Analysis

X-Ray Diffraction (XRD)

Bragg-Brentano & Parallel Beam Geometries (with Eulerian cradle attachments)
Grazing Incidence XRD (GIXRD)
General Area Detector Diffraction System (GADDS)
in situ Analysis (heating & cooling, vacuum, inert & reactive gases, electrical biasing)
X-Ray Reflectometry (XRR)
Small Angle X-Ray Scattering (SAXS)
Neutron Diffraction
High Resolution Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) Spectroscopy
Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) Spectroscopy
Raman Spectroscopy

Positron Annihilation Lifetime Spectroscopy

Na-22 Bulk Analysis
Intense Positron Beam Surface-Sensitive Analysis
Doppler Broadening Spectroscopy

Surface Analysis

X-Ray Photoemission Spectroscopy (XPS)

Spot Analysis & Mapping
Ultraviolet Photoemission Spectroscopy (UPS)
Time-of-Flight Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry (TOF-SIMS)

Scanning Probe Microscopy (SPM)

Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM)
Magnetic Force Microscopy (MFM)
Electrostatic Force Microscopy (EFM)
Conductive AFM / Current-Voltage Spectroscopy
Force-Distance Spectroscopy
Nanolithography & Nano-manipulation
Simultaneous Optical Microscopy

Chemical Analysis


Ion Chromatography (IC)
High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC)
Gas Chromatography Time-of-Flight Mass Spectrometry (GC-TOFMS)
Pyrolysis GC-TOFMS


Ultraviolet-Visible (UV-Vis) Spectrophotometry
Near Infrared (NIR) Spectroscopy
Raman Spectroscopy

Thermal Analysis

Thermogravimetric analysis (TGA)
Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC)
BET Surface Area / Physisorption Analysis

Specimen Preparation

Incubator shakers
Soxhlet extraction units
Biosafety hood

Property Characterization

Ultraviolet-Visible-Near Infrared (UV-Vis-NIR) Spectrophotometry
Micro-Strain Analysis
Dynamic Mechanical Analysis
Four Probe Electrical Testing
Seebeck/Thermal Conductivity Testing
Shielded RF Anechoic Chamber Antenna & Electrical Testing

Solar Cell Device Testing

Solar Simulator
Quantum Efficiency Measurement System
Fabric, Fiber & Yarn Physical Testing

Sample Preparation

Ion Milling
Critical Point Drying
Grinding, Polishing & Dicing
Sputter Coaters

Facilities for Environmental Impact Analysis & Biofuel Plants

Contained Environmental Impact Facilities

Heavily-Instrumented, Tightly-Controlled Mesocosm Facilities (continuous monitoring of air and water temperature, redox potential, water level, air pressure and humidity with evaluation of impact on plants, fish, and bacteria)
Aquatic Research Facility (static and flow-through systems for both holding and exposing fish, approved for hazardous chemicals and radiolabeled compounds)
Treatment Wetland Macroscosms (real-time data for water quality, stream flow, lake and ground water levels, and climate information with over five years of background data)
Heavily-Instrumented Microcosm Tanks (temperature-, pH-, and redox-controlled)
Chemical Analysis & Microbial Labs
Ultra Cleanroom
Radioisotope Facility

Laboratory-Scale Simulation of Atmospheric Flow and Pollutant Dispersion

In partnership with Environmental Flow Research Centre (EnFlo) at the University of Surrey

Biofuel Pilot Plants

Pilot Biorefinery (biomass to ethanol and other bioproducts)
Biodiesel Pilot Plant
Torrefaction Pilot Plant

Our Facilities & Centers

The RTNN leverages the resources of the following facilities and programs at NC State, Duke, and UNC-CH:

Shared Materials Instrumentation Facility

Director: Mark Walters Contact Email: mark.walters@duke.edu

NCSU Nanofabrication Facility

Director: Phil Barletta Contact Email: pbarlet@ncsu.edu

Analytical Instrumentation Facility

Director: Jacob Jones Contact Email: jacobjones@ncsu.edu

Chapel Hill Analytical and Nanofabrication Laboratory

Director: Bob Geil Contact Email: bob.geil@unc.edu

Duke Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy Center

Director: Len Spicer Contact Email: spicer@biochem.duke.edu

Zeis Textiles Extension for Economic Development

Director: Jon Rust Contact Email: jrust@ncsu.edu

Nuclear Reactor Program, PULSTAR Reactor

Director: Ayman Hawari Contact Email: ayman.hawari@ncsu.edu

Center for the Environmental Implications of Nanotechnology

Director: Mark Wiesner Contact Email: wiesner@duke.edu

Public Communication of Science & Technology Project

Director: David Berube Contact Email: dmberube@ncsu.edu

Chemical Analysis and Spectroscopy Laboratory

Director: David Tilotta Contact Email:  dave_tilotta@ncsu.edu

Local Resources

Molecular Microscopy Consortium (MMC) This consortium is a partnership between NIEHS, Duke University, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The mission of the MMC is to enable the use of single particle cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) and other tools in molecular microscopy to researchers across North Carolina. Cryo-EM is increasingly being used to determine the structure of macromolecules at atomic resolution. Research, Engagement, and Capabilities Hub of North Carolina ( REACH NC ) REACH NC is a web portal that enables users to search, browse, and find thousands of experts and assets within North Carolina higher education and research institutions. North Carolina Small Business and Technology Development Center ( SBTDC ) The SBTDC is the business and technology extension service of The University of North Carolina and is committed to providing knowledge, education, and other supportive resources that enable existing small and mid-sized businesses, emerging entrepreneurs, and local / state leaders to innovate and succeed.