General Information

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  • CFN
  • CFN
  • CFN
  • CFN

The Center for Functional Nanomaterials

The Center for Functional Nanomaterials (CFN) explores the unique properties of materials and processes at the nanoscale. The CFN is a user-oriented research center whose mission is to be an open facility for the nanoscience research community and advance the science of nanomaterials that address the nation's energy challenges.

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Science for Discovery at the Nanoscale

The CFN has hosted a broad range of research investigations in nanoscience since its inception in diverse research areas, such as efficient catalysts, fuel cell chemistries and architectures, and photovoltaic (solar cell) components. Scientists and engineers can take advantage of the wealth of Facilities, Capabilities, Expertise, and Personnel that CFN has to offer, like:

  • Thin film nanofabrication and processing capabilities within a 5,000 sq. ft. Class 100/1000 cleanroom facility
  • Synthesis of organic and inorganic nanomaterials with specified functionality
  • Time resolved absorption and emission spectroscopy
  • Atomic resolution imaging with scanning transmission (STEM), transmission (TEM), and scanning tunneling (STM) electron microscopy
  • Theory and diverse software packages for quantum chemistry and materials property calculations.

CFN scientists are experts in these advanced techniques, equipment, and approaches. Collaborating with our in-house experts is a resource available to Users for the benefit of their research; however, collaboration is not a requirement for access to the CFN facilities. All of our Facilities, Capabilities, Expertise, and Personnel are well integrated with each other, which can help you achieve your scientific goals, can help you cultivate new avenues of interest, or can assist you in maximizing your bottom line.

materials synthesis photo

Facilities Available to Researchers


The Nanofabrication Facility is housed in a class 100/1000 clean room dedicated to state-of-the art patterning and processing of thin films, nanomaterials, and devices. The instrumentation in the facility has been optimized to provide maximum flexibility for its users, with capabilities to pattern a variety of materials over a wide range of size scales.

Theory & Computation

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

Advanced UV and X-ray Probes

The CFN operates three end-stations at the National Synchrotron Light Source II (NSLS-II) for nanomaterials characterization.

Advanced Optical Spectroscopy & Microscopy

The Advanced Optical Spectroscopy & Microscopy Facility combines a broad range of optical instruments suitable for studies of optical properties of hard, soft or biological materials using ultrafast and nonlinear spectroscopy, and single-molecule optical and confocal methods.

Proximal Probes

The Proximal Probes Facility consists of laboratories for microscopy, spectroscopy, and probing of nanostructured materials and their functional properties. At the core of the facility is a suite of instruments for in-situ microscopy of surfaces and nanostructures under extreme conditions, e.g., in reactive gases, and at high or low temperatures.

Electron Microscopy

This facility consists of four top-of-the line transmission electron microscopes, two of which are highly specialized instruments capable of extreme levels of resolution, achieved through spherical aberration correction. The facility is also equipped with extensive sample-preparation capabilities.

Materials Synthesis and Characterization

This facility includes laboratories devoted to producing nanostructured materials and their basic structural, chemical and optical characterization. Capabilities include inorganic nanomaterials synthesis, polymers, bio-conjugated nanomaterials, and hybrid organic-inorganic materials.

Contact the CFN

CFN User Administration Program & Outreach Coordinator
Grace Webster
P: 631.344.6266
F: 631.344.7072

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

arrow CFN Five-Year Strategic Plan
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. Each Center contains laboratories for synthesis and nanofabrication, one-of-a-kind signature instruments, a suite of supporting instrumentation, and theory, modeling, and simulation expertise. 

Prospective users are encouraged to explore the capabilities offered by the NSRC program.

>> Learn more about NSRCs