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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 users from around the world with access to cutting-edge nanoscience expertise and instrumentation in a collaborative, multidisciplinary environment.
The Molecular Foundry was founded in 2003. The building was completed 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. Jeff Neaton was appointed director of the Molecular Foundry in 2013.
Users of the Molecular Foundry are provided with 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 seven interdependent facilities:
Imaging and Manipulation of Nanostructures
Theory of Nanostructured Materials
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.
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.
Organic and Macromolecular Synthesis
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.
National Center for Electron Microscopy (NCEM)
Led by Facility Director Andy Minor. NCEM was founded in 1983 as an independent DOE user facility and merged with the Molecular Foundry in 2015.
Use and development of an array of state-of-the-art electron microscopes, offering a wide range of capabilities for materials characterization at high resolution. Several of these instruments, most notably the TEAM suite of microscopes, are unique and world class.
"The Molecular Foundry user program gives researchers access to expertise and equipment for cutting-edge nanoscience in a collaborative, multidisciplinary environment. The program is open to scientists from academia, industry, and research institutes worldwide. These users join a vibrant research community that brings together Molecular Foundry staff scientists, technical support staff, students, postdoctoral fellows, and collaborating guest scientists. Access is obtained through a brief, peer-reviewed proposal with no charge for users who intend to publish their results. Access is available on a cost-recovery basis for research that is not intended for publication."
There are also several startups, such as Bikanta, who use the Molecular Foundry for research and development.
- "Molecular Foundry". foundry.lbl.gov. Retrieved 2016-07-25.