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Center for Nanoscale Materials

CNM Strategic Plan

The Center for Nanoscale Materials (CNM) at Argonne National Laboratory is a premier user facility providing expertise, instrumentation, and infrastructure for interdisciplinary nanoscience and nanotechnology research.

As a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) funded research center, CNM is at the forefront of discovery science. It addresses national grand challenges encompassing the topics of energy, information, materials, and the environment. The center is also a vibrant member of Argonne National Laboratory’s scientific community, collaborating across the laboratory and forming research partnerships with other DOE user facilities at Argonne such as the Advanced Photon Source (APS) and the Argonne Leadership Computing Facility (ALCF).

The scientific strategy of the CNM is consolidated under the following three crosscutting and interdependent scientific themes, noted below.  Collectively, they aim to discover and integrate materials across different length scales, at the extremes of temporal, spatial, and energy resolutions:

Research Area

Theme I – Quantum materials and sensing

The goal of this theme is to combine CNM’s expertise in synthesis, fabrication, characterization and theory on nanometer length scales to discover fundamental mechanisms and materials for quantum information and sensing.
Research Area

Theme III - Nanoscale dynamics

The goal of this theme is to study excitation-driven energy flow and structural transitions in nanoscale materials on femtosecond to millisecond timescales over angstrom to macroscopic length scales.

To its users, CNM provides unique and continually updated capabilities, expertise, and tools at the extremes of spatial and time resolution. These tools include optical spectroscopy from ultraviolet to terahertz, the Hard X-ray Nanoprobe (HXN), the Ultrafast Electron Microscope (UEM), the Quantum Matter and Devices Lab, the Synchrotron X-ray Scanning Tunneling Microscope (SX-STM), a full suite of variable-temperature STM capabilities, comprehensive cleanroom nanofabrication capabilities, and the Carbon supercomputing cluster. Significant investments in remote-access capabilities enable users to remotely access more than 30 tools, and we are developing autonomous approaches to the synthesis and processing of nanomaterials using artificial intelligence and machine learning. CNM actively hosts users from across the country and around the world. Our users, staff, and postdocs are engaged in high-quality science, as evidenced by the publication of well over 300 peer-reviewed journal articles per year.