Argonne National Laboratory


Argonne’s Center for Nanoscale Materials (CNM) offers a wide range of capabilities designed to enhance the study and creation of nanomaterials. From X-ray microscopy that uses the power of Argonne’s Advanced Photon Source (APS) to clean room-based nanofabrication techniques, the CNM provides its staff and users with a powerful combination of scientific resources found nowhere else.

This page offers a window into the unique CNM instrument and capability portfolio available to the user community. Access to capabilities, tools and facilities at the CNM is provided through a peer-reviewed proposal submission process. Although individual capabilities are managed by one of the specific groups, all of them can be used across the CNM scientific portfolio and requested in a user proposal.

Before submitting a proposal for access, prospective users are encouraged to contact staff members to learn more about the science and capabilities at the CNM.

X-ray Ptychography and Microscopy (Nano-XRM)

X-ray ptychography and microscopy is performed by the Hard X-ray Nanoprobe Beamline operated by the Electron and X-ray Microscopy Group at the Center for Nanoscale Materials (CNM) at Sector 26 of Argonne’s Advanced Photon Source (APS). The Argonne Hard X-ray Nanoprobe provides a platform for nanoscale materials research that uses highly focused coherent X-ray microscopy methods that harness the brilliance of the synchrotron for transformative insight into these materials.

Aberration-Corrected and In Situ Electron Microscopy (ACAT/EM)

The Electron and X-ray Microscopy Group (EXM) at the Center for Nanoscale Materials (CNM) has unique expertise with high-resolution chromatic aberration-corrected transmission electron microscopy (ACAT) and advanced in-situ TEM characterization. By integrating electron microscopy with data science approaches, these techniques provide a platform for smart and corrected imaging to reveal, with atomic resolution, the structural and chemical response in functional materials under operando conditions.

Engineering Defects, 2D Materials and Nanoparticles

Scientists at the Center for Nanoscale Materials are exploring ways to synthesize new forms of functional materials at the nanoscale and understand the correlations between these local structures and desired functioning. We seek to engineer defects with atomic precision in nanoparticles and two-dimensional nanomaterials with a view to understanding their role in charge and energy transfer as well as their prospects for quantum science.

Machine Learning and Data Science

We develop and apply machine learning and, more generally, data science approaches both in the context of large-scale atomistic simulations, and for imaging and characterization of nanoscale systems.

Micro- and Nano-Electromechanical Systems (MEMS/NEMS)

Investigation of nanoscale phenomena often requires experimental approaches that allow precise control and manipulation of the interactions between nanoscale objects. MEMS/NEMS devices enable precise control of these nanoscale interactions, providing an ideal platform for interacting with the nano-world.

Nano-Bio Hybrids and Synthetic Biology

The CNM has extensive synthesis capabilities and expertise for the creation of novel nano-bio hybrid materials and biological assemblies. These efforts center upon nature-inspired materials that potentially can support energy conversion and energy transport, as well as understanding biosensing mechanisms in cell-like environments that are functionalized with engineered nanomaterials.

Out-of-Equilibrium Optical and Quantum Materials Simulations

A variety of theoretical approaches, ranging from computational electrodynamics to advanced electronic structure theory methods are applied to understand the optoelectronic properties of nanoscale materials in- and out-of equilibrium, as well as their interactions with photons, plasmons, electrons and phonons.

Scanning Tunneling Microscopy

Investigation of nanoscale phenomena often requires experimental approaches extending far beyond conventional techniques, such as highly advanced ultrahigh-vacuum scanning-probe microscopies, including scanning tunneling microscopy, tunneling spectroscopy, and atomic and molecular manipulation.

Synchrotron X-ray Scanning Tunneling Microscopy (SX-STM)

Synchrotron X-ray scanning tunneling microscopy uses specialized smart tips and topographic filters to fully achieve high spatial resolution and high chemical sensitivity imaging.

Terahertz-to-Ultraviolet Ultrafast Spectroscopy

Time-resolved spectroscopy over a broad spectral range from terahertz to ultraviolet enables versatile studies of nanoscale light-matter interactions.

Wafer-Scale and Cleanroom-Based Nanofabrication

The Center for Nanoscale Materials operates a 12,000 sq. ft. class 100 cleanroom with comprehensive lithographic, deposition, etching and metrology suites for wafer-scale fabrication.