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Center for Nanoscale Materials

Become a CNM User

The Center for Nanoscale Materials’ (CNM) User Program is designed to give you FREE access to state-of-the-art equipment and expertise. The CNM offers some of the world’s best capabilities in X-ray and electron microscopy, nanofabrication, spectroscopy, synthetic biology and materials theory and computational modeling.

There is no cost to use the CNM if you intend to publish your results. You can also access CNM facilities on a cost-recovery basis for proprietary research that is not intended for the public domain.

How to become a CNM user in 3 easy steps

Step 1: Prepare your user proposal

We issue three calls for user proposals each year due in March, July and October. We award CNM research projects to users in a competitive peer-reviewed proposal process. Approved projects will be granted access to CNM facilities for a maximum of one year.

Step 2: Register to be a CNM user

Gather the info you’ll need to submit your registration. Once you begin the registration process, it must be completed in full. (There is no save option.)

All potential users (U.S. and non-U.S. citizens) should prepare:

A brief statement describing the purpose of your proposed visit, your anticipated date of arrival or remote access of Argonne facilities, and your emergency contact’s information (e.g., name, relationship, address, phone number and email address).

You’ll also need to indicate whether your research is intended for proprietary (privately owned) or non-proprietary means (published in the public domain). Details about proprietary research are available here.

If you’ve worked at Argonne National Laboratory in the past, please have your badge number ready, as well as the date range you worked here.

Additional information non-U.S. citizens should have prepared:

Have your U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) documents ready (e.g., passport, visa, LPR card, AND in-status documents such as DS-2019, I-20, I-797) or proof of passport or visa applications. Numbers and expiration dates for in-status USCIS documents are required. Proof of visa applications are required if in-status documents have expired.

As a followup to the online registration process, please expect an email from the Argonne Advanced Photon Source (APS) registration office, asking you to upload copies of your USCIS documents.

Complete your online registration

All new Argonne facility users must register online. Go to the User Registration Portal and select the New User” option and fill out all required fields. You will be issued an ID/badge number that must be used for the proposal submission process. During peak times, allow one to two business days to acquire this number.

If you are a current CNM user and have an active registration, please continue to the CNM Proposal Submission Portal.  

If you are a former CNM user, contact the CNM User Office to verify your registration status. If it is expired, log in to the User Registration Portal and select the My CNM Portal” option to update your registration.

If you are an APS-only user (current or former APS user), log in to the User Registration Portal. Select the My CNM Portal” option. Check the Center for Nanoscale Materials (CNM) box, and complete/update all registration fields.

NOTE: Please keep your registration information updated if you relocate to a different home institution or have any changes in your contact information or visa status.

Step 3: Submit your user proposal

Log in to the CNM Proposal Submission Portal using your User Facility user name and password, generated through the registration system, and click on the New Proposal” link.

Enter information in all required fields. You can save partial information in this form to complete or modify it later.

You will receive a confirmation email that your user proposal has been submitted.

You will receive notification on whether your user proposal has been accepted within seven to eight weeks after the call for proposals closes.

NOTE: Renewing and revising existing proposals

CNM user proposals expire after one year or after specific allocation(s) of time, whichever comes first. A new proposal submission is required to request additional time on a given project.

If the scope of your work changes during your one-year proposal period, contact your Scientific Contact immediately. That individual will make an assessment whether a revision to the existing User Work Approval (UWA) document is needed.  

What to do once your user proposal has been accepted