General Lab Information

photo of CFN building

About the Center for Functional Nanomaterials

The Center for Functional Nanomaterials (CFN) is a Nanoscale Science Research Center operated for the U.S. Department of Energy at Brookhaven National Laboratory. As a national scientific user facility, the CFN provides users a research experience supported by top-caliber scientists and with access to state-of-the-art instrumentation. The CFN mission is advancing nanoscience, by being an essential resource for the worldwide scientific community and by carrying out transformative nanoscience research to support the energy, economic, and national security of the United States. Strategic partnerships are crucial to CFN mission success, including the strong synergy with the National Synchrotron Light Source II (NSLS-II), also located at Brookhaven.

Efforts are focused on developing nanomaterial synthesis-by-assembly methods and realizing functional material designs from polymer, nanoparticle, biomolecule-based, and 2D material components. Automation of the synthesis-by-assembly process will provide parallelism and reproducibility, facilitate assembly of increasingly complex architectures, provide control of assembly pathways, and allow incorporation of real-time feedback during processing. Advanced characterization and new methods to probe structure include nanoscale coherent X-ray beams at NSLS-II and 3D imaging of nanostructures by cryo- and in-liquid electron microscopy. Theory and simulation complement the experimental effort, including developing effective self-assembly strategies, assessing the inherent stability of resulting morphologies, and mapping the advantages and limitations imposed by kinetics.

Research Facilities


Nanofabrication Facility

A class 100/1000 clean room with equipment to fabricate devices for nanoelectronics, nanophotonics, biomedical engineering, photovoltaics, x-ray optics, nanomagnetics and more.

Materials Synthesis and Characterization Facility

Includes laboratories for producing nanostructured materials and characterizing their basic structural, chemical, and optical properties.


Electron Microscopy

Five transmission electron microscopes, two of which are capable of extreme levels of resolution.

Advanced UV and X-ray Probes

Endstations at the National Synchrotron Light Source II for surface spectro-microscopy and probing of complex materials at the molecular and nanoscale.

Advanced Optical Spectroscopy and Microscopy

Spectroscopy, microscopy, ultrafast optical spectroscopy, and ultrafast and nonlinear optical microscopy

Materials Synthesis and Characterization

Laboratories for producing nanostructured materials and characterizing their basic structural, chemical, and optical properties.

Proximal Probes

Laboratories for microscopy, spectroscopy, and probing of nanostructured materials including a suite of instruments for in situ microscopy and spectroscopy of surfaces and nanostructures under operating conditions.


Theory and Computation

Flexible computational infrastructure, software tools and theoretical consultation are provided to support modeling and understanding of the structure and properties of nanostructured materials.

A culture of diversity, equity and inclusion

We believe that true innovation can only happen when diverse voices can all be part of the conversation. Our staff are part of an international community filled with unique voices and perspectives from all backgrounds, all contributing their ideas and experiences to pushing the boundaries of technology. Our Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DE&I) goal is to create an environment within CFN where everyone comes to work every day feeling that they are an empowered and respected member of a team that can do or support great science.


  • Grace Webster

    CFN User Administration Program & Outreach Coordinato

    631-344-NANO (6266),

User Administration Office
Brookhaven National Laboratory
P.O. Box 5000, Bldg. 735
Upton, NY 11973-5000

Nanoscale Science Research Centers

The Nanoscale Science Research Center (NSRC) Program operates a system of five coordinated Centers located in U.S. Dept. of Energy national laboratories across the United States. Prospective users are encouraged to explore the capabilities offered by the NSRC program. Learn more about NSRCs