Making Metamaterials a Household Name

Metamaterials are artificially structured materials used to control and manipulate light, sound, and many other physical phenomena. They became famous for their use in the creation of an “invisibility cloak”. A recent article in Duke Stories describes the history of metamaterials development and how researchers at Duke are striving to make them a household name. Read more here.

New NNCI Video Introduces the Network

The RTNN is one of sixteen sites that make up the National Nanotechnology Coordinated Infrastructure (NNCI). The National Science Foundation (NSF) supports these sites, their affiliated partners, and a coordinating office. Want to learn more about the NNCI and its programs? The NNCI recently published a video to introduce the network and describe its mission.

Many new tools online or coming soon!

The RTNN has several new tools that have come online recently, and there are also several instruments scheduled to come into the facilities in the next few months. For technical questions about these tools or reservation information, please contact



Online and ready for use:

  • The NNF recently acquired a Heidelberg Instruments µPG 101 direct write lithography system. This system is equipped with a 375 nm ultraviolet diode laser capable of exposing feature sizes down to 0.8 µm on either positive or negative photoresists on sample sizes of 10 x 10 mm up to 5 x 5”. In addition to full exposure, it has the ability to create surface topographies for gray scale applications.
  • The Analytical Instrumentation Facility’s Horiba H-CLUE Spectroscopy & Imaging Catholuminescence (CL) system is now available for users on the JEOL 7600 scanning electron microscope (SEM). CL is a non-destructive spectroscopy technique that provides electronic-structure information via optical emissions induced by the electron-beam excitation. Similar to photoluminescence spectroscopy, but performed in an SEM, CL spectra can be collected at nanometer spatial resolution to probe electronic-structure inhomogeneities in materials. The technique can be used to induce and image surface plasmon resonances in nanostructured materials. The H-Clue offers wide spectral range from UV to IR, 200-2200 nm (6.2 – 0.56 eV). The technique is particularly suitable for analysis of wide-band semiconductors, photonic and polaritonic nanostructures, dielectric oxides and minerals.
  • A new detector named “Symmetry” is now available on the FEI Verios SEM at the AIF, providing superior orientation microscopy capabilities. The image at the right is a representative Electron Backscatter Diffraction (EBSD) map of a deformed Ni alloy specimen collected at ~1500 pixels per second, which is more than an order of magnitude faster than possible with the other detector. Speeds up to 3200 pixels/second are achievable, even at reduced operating voltages and beam currents, allowing data collection on poorly conducting specimens

Coming Soon:

  • An Asylum Research Cypher AFM has just been installed in SMIF. It will be available to users in mid-April 2018.
  • The FEI Krios Cryo-TEM in SMIF will offer atomic scale resolution of samples held at cryogenic temperatures. Its cryo-based technology and stability allow for single particle analysis and dual-axis cellular tomography of frozen hydrated cell organelles and cells. The TEM is equipped with a robotic loader, capable of handling up to 12 frozen hydrated samples for increased throughput.It will be available to users in late April 2018.
  • Installation and start-up of an FEI Apreo SEM at SMIF is expected to begin this month. The new SEM should be available to users in early May 2018.
  • CHANL will be bringing a new Rigaku SmartLab XRD system online in May/June of 2018.  This system will be capable of looking at powders and thin film samples.  In addition to traditional XRD experiments, it is also capable of in-plane diffraction and SAXS, and there are options for working with samples in inert environments and at various temperatures.
  • The NNF has acquired an Annealsys AS-One 150. This rapid thermal processing tool is capable of running samples from small pieces to 6” wafers, up to 1300˚C with pressure ranges from atmospheric conditions to high vacuum. It will become available to users in May 2018.
  • The AIF will install an FEI Talos TEM that will become available to users in late summer 2018. This instrument comes as the result of an MRI award granted to Professor Jim LeBeau.
  • CHANL is adding a Bruker Hyperion FTIR microscope capable of transmission and attenuated total reflectance (ATR) measurements from 600 to 7500 cm-1 with 1 cm-1 spectral resolution. It will map spectra with a lateral resolution ranging from 20 to 250 µm. The system is projected to be online in summer or fall 2018.

RTNN Accepting Proposals for Kickstarter Program

The RTNN is now accepting applications for its Kickstarter Program. This program provides free access to RTNN facilities to new and non-traditional users with limited experience, resources, and/or financial means. This program has supported over forty projects by providing more than 800 hours of instrument and staff time. For more information please visit the Kickstarter Website. Please direct any questions about this program to Hurry the spring priority deadline is April 13, 2018!

New Grad Student Opportunity: Science Outside the Lab

Science Outside the Lab” brings a small cohort of graduate student scientists and engineers to Washington, D.C. to explore the relationships among science, innovation, policy, and societal outcomes. This customized free one week version (June 3 – 9, 2018), sponsored by the Nanotechnology Collaborative Infrastructure Southwest (NCI-SW), will investigate the context of nanotechnology decision-making in government and business at the local, state, federal, and international levels. During the week-long workshop participants meet and interact with groups of people who fund, regulate, shape, critique, publicize, and study nanotechnology and other emerging technologies. This includes people like congressional staffers, lobbyists, funding agency officers, regulators, journalists, academics, museum curators, and others.

To apply to the program, complete this application and email as an attachment to Andra Williams at or fax to (480-727-8791). Application deadline: March 2, 2018. 

For more information, please see the program flier. Contact Andra Williams with any questions.

NC State Nanofabrication Facility Celebrates Re-opening

Drs. Dan Stancil, Phil Barletta, John Muth, and John Gilligan celebrate NNF’s grand re-opening.

In early January, the NCSU Nanofabrication Facility (NNF) hosted a grand reopening. Dr. John Muth, Assistant Vice Chancellor Jon Horowitz (ORIED), and Dean John Gilligan (COE) opened the event, emphasizing the unique role of NNF on the NC State campus. NNF Director of Operations Phil Barletta then discussed some of the changes and improvements that are being initiated at the NNF including new equipment, a staff increase, and major building renovations. Nicole Hedges also highlighted NNF’s new website, which provides up to the minute lab conditions. Dr. Patrick Wellenius, an engineer at Protochips, and Mr. Wei-Yi Chang, a graduate student in Dr. Xiaoning Jiang’s group, spoke about the work they conduct in NNF and the support they receive from facility staff. Afterwards, attendees enjoyed pizza, refreshments, and each others’ company.

NCSU Nanofabrication Facility Grand Re-Opening

Over the past several months, the NCSU Nanofabrication Facility (NNF) has been the recipient of a significant amount of internal investment including new equipment, a staff increase, and major building renovations.  In order to bring awareness to this investment — and usher in a “new era” — NNF will hold a grand re-opening on January 8, 2018 at 3 pmNNF Director of Operations Phil Barletta introduce some of the changes and improvements that are being initiated in NNF. He will be joined by Assistant Vice Chancellor Jon Horowitz (ORIED) and Dean John Gilligan (COE) who will say a few words from a University and College perspective.

Details and information on registering can be found on the event website.