The University of Pennsylvania hosts several major nanotechnology user facilities served by a total of five full-time staff members. These include:
- The Wolf Nanofabrication Facility, a cleanroom facility that houses a suite of tools for micro- and nano-fabrication, including optical and electron beam lithography, vapor deposition, etching, packaging, and electrical testing.
- The Penn Regional Nanotechnology Facility (PRNF) specializes in nanoscale characterization and fabrication. Staff provide expertise in the analysis of nanotubes, nanowires, polymers, ceramics, composites, metals, electronics, and thin films for a diverse group of academic and regional corporate users.
- The NBIC Probe Facility, a unique instrumentation center serving as an incubator for new probes of nano-structure and behavior. It is equipped with a suite of nine advanced scanning probe systems, electronic transport tools, and optical probes operating in fluid, ambient, or vacuum environments.
The Wolf Nanofabrication Facility
Helen Anderson, Administrative Director
The Penn Regional Nanotechnology Facility
Dr. Douglas Yates, Technical Director
The NBIC Probe Facility
Dr. Matthew Brukman
Why Is Small So Big?
Nanotechnology deals with products and processes that are measured in almost unbelievably small increments called “nanometers”—one billionth of a meter.
At the nanoscale, materials differ from larger objects in their physical, chemical and biological properties; therefore, they lend themselves to new and improved materials, systems and devices. Nanotechnology is behind the development of such diverse advancements as:
- Drug Delivery
- Biofiltration and Separation sciences
- Improved coatings for medical devices
Thanks to rapid advances in this exciting new field, we now have the tools and talents to manipulate materials on the molecular scale—a technology literally changing the world as we know it.