New Nanotechnology Building Under Construction at Minnesota
The University of Minnesota is constructing a new 155,000 square foot building. This is a response to the rapid growth in the user base of its NNIN node (internal usage has doubled over the last six years, while the number of external users has increased by a factor of five under NNIN) and the need for new facilities for experimental physics. The new building increases the cleanroom space at the University by 160%. The University plans to move nano-related equipment such as the Vistec direct write e-beam system and the Nanonex nanoimprint tool to the new facility, as well as several general purpose process tools. These will be bolstered by a selection of new tools to support researchers in nano science and technology. The existing cleanroom, which is across the street, will continue to support users in MEMS and other areas.
One of the major growth areas anticipated for the new facility is in the area of bio nano. The University’s Academic Health Center which includes both the Medical School and a wide range of biomedical research departments is one block from the new building. The new building will house two multi-user core labs close to the cleanroom. The first will support work in bio nano. Facilities include new equipment in dip pen lithography, cell culturing, incubators, specialized microscopy such as TIRF, confocal, and fluorescence, Protein/RNA analysis, PCR, and other systems. The second will support work in nano materials, especially nanoparticle suspensions. New facilities will include DLS/Electrophoresis, BET gas adsorption, laser diffraction, nano tracking analysis, and related equipment.
Substantial construction completion, including cleanroom certification, is expected by 11/1/13. The University expects to begin admitting users on a bay by bay basis in spring 2014. The two cleanrooms and the other core labs will be run by a new organization: the Minnesota Nano Center (www.nano.umn.edu).