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The Molecular Foundry
The Molecular Foundry is a nanoscience user facility located at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in Berkeley, California, and is one of five nanoscale science research centers sponsored by the United States Department of Energy. The Molecular Foundry provides support to nanoscience researchers in university, industrial and government laboratories around the world.
The Foundry allows free access to instruments, techniques and collaborators for nanoscience research that is in the public domain and intended for open publication. Proposals for user projects are solicited to promote interdisciplinary collaboration among scientists studying nanoscale phenomena in materials science, physics, electrical engineering, environmental engineering, biology and chemistry in six interdependent facilities:
- State-of-the-art characterization and manipulation of nanostructures—from “hard” to very “soft” matter—combining electron microscopy, optical microscopy and scanning probe microscopy.
- Advanced lithography and thin-film processing emphasizing integration with chemical and biological nanosystems and the development of nanoscale electronic, magnetic and photonic devices.
- The science of semiconductor, carbon and hybrid nanostructures—including design and synthesis of nanocrystals, nanowires and nanotubes—and study of their electronic applications.
- Studies of “soft" materials—including synthesis of organic molecules, macromolecules, polymers and their assemblies, with access to functional systems, photoactive, organic-inorganic hybrid and porous materials.
- New materials based on the self-assembly of biopolymers and bio-inspired polymers, new probes for bio-imaging and synthetic biology techniques to re-engineer organisms and create hybrid biomolecules to interface with devices.
- Theoretical support to guide understanding of new principles, behavior and experiments—including electrical transport in nanoscale molecular junctions, self-assembly of biological nanostructures and computation of spectroscopy at hybrid nanoscale interfaces.
The Foundry was dedicated on March 24, 2006 and received Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Gold recognition from the US Green Building Council in 2007 for its optimization of energy usage.