CNST research is agile and highly interactive by design, with significant contributions from a rotating cadre of postdoctoral researchers, and extensive collaborative projects both with NIST scientists and with others from across the US and abroad.
The Electron Physics Group conducts wide ranging, interdisciplinary research focusing on innovative measurement science in nanotechnology with an emphasis on applications for future electronics. Current programs are focused on the development of new paradigms in nanoelectronics, examining such areas as transport in novel electronic materials (e.g. graphene), spintronic and other nanomagnetic data storage and processing devices, and focused ion beam imaging and fabrication. The Group has broad expertise in scanning probe microscopy and spectroscopy, nanoscale magnetic imaging and dynamics, the theory of magnetism and electronic structure, and laser-based atom manipulation. This expertise is built on a rich history of research and instrumentation development in spin-polarized electron microscopy, electron-surface interactions, electron-atom scattering, electron optics, and scanning tunneling microscopy and spectroscopy.
The Nanofabrication Research Group develops novel nanofabrication and nanomanufacturing techniques and the enabling measurement methods. The Group uses a combination of theory, simulation, and experiment to measure the fundamental processes underlying both top-down and bottom-up nanofabrication, and to thereby work towards feasible approaches for high-volume nanomanufacturing. Experts in plasmonics, photonics, and metamaterials are creating new ways of controlling light far below the diffraction limit for observing and manipulating nanostructures. Micro- and nano-electromechanical systems are being developed as multi-probe platforms for rapid nanofabrication and multi-mode characterization of materials and devices. Stochastic processes — ubiquitous at the nanoscale — are being harnessed for precise and accurate control of nanostructure position and orientation during bottom-up assembly processes.
The newest Group in the CNST develops instruments designed to reveal the nanoscale physical and chemical processes and properties critical to advances in energy conversion, transport, and storage. The Group's research includes nanoscale characterization of light-matter interaction, charge and energy transfer processes, catalytic activity, and interfacial structure in energy-related materials and devices. The current focus is on the creation of instrumentation for nanoscale characterization of photovoltaic and thermoelectric materials and devices, and computational models of energy and charge transfer dynamics.