Competencies

NINT has identified three competencies with an overarching “Enabling Facilities and Policies” competency that supports and informs R&D programs at NINT.

  • Materials, Fabrication and Characterization of Nanostructures (MFC)
  • Surface and Interface Science (SIS)
  • Electron Microscopy (EM)
  • Enabling Facilities and Policies (EFP)

Materials, Fabrication and Characterization of Nanostructures (MFC)

NINT possesses expertise in top-down and bottom-up fabrication of nanostructures in organic and inorganic materials.  The expertise includes the design and synthesis of novel materials, the development of nano-scale device fabrication processes and the development and use of techniques to characterize materials and device properties, supported by a highly interactive theory and modeling group.  The research activities of the MFC competency support NINT’s hybrid nano-scale electronics, energy generation and storage, metabolomic sensor systems and nano-related biomaterials programs.

Surfaces and Interface Science (SIS)

In order to support all of NINT’s programs, a deep understanding of the chemical and physical processes at surfaces and at interfaces of nanostructures is essential whether it is the modeling of solid surfaces, particle-surface interactions or solid-liquid interfaces.  This competency enables the fabrication of devices that capitalize on the surface or interface properties to provide competitive technologies in terms of selectivity and sensitivity.

Electron Microscopy (EM)

The core expertise in electron microscopy at NINT is quantitative characterization of radiation sensitive organic and inorganic materials.  Through partnerships with instrument providers like Hitachi, novel microscopy techniques are co-developed for testing in prototype instruments.  The suite of instruments includes analytical SEM, Focused Ion Beam, environmental TEM and electron holography.  The EM competency supports NINT’s hybrid nano-scale electronics, energy generation and storage, metabolomic sensor systems and nano-related biomaterials programs.

Enabling Facilities and Policies (EFP)

NINT has a core set of unique instruments with a wide range of tools and techniques essential to nanotechnology research, along with the expertise to serve and train its users in the framework of collaborative relationships.  In addition to its state-of-the-art research facilities, NINT houses ultra-quiet laboratory space providing optimal conditions for nano-scale research.  The NINT Cleanroom Facility has capabilities that complement the current toolset at the University of Alberta’s Nanofab. Facilities are maintained and managed centrally to better serve clients.

NINT research programs are developed intentionally to inspire the responsible and ethical translation of nanotechnology to society.  The development of appropriate controls, public policy tools and commercialization strategies is meant to be pro-active and collaborative with government, industry and academia.