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Minnesota Nano Center at the University of Minnesota
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For New Users

The Minnesota Nano Center is an R&D/prototyping facility for the design, fabrication, and testing of small scale devices, such as microsensors, integrated circuits, MEMS devices, microfluidic systems, thin film coating structures, and micro-optical systems. The Minnesota Nano Center is open to users outside the University, and welcomes potential projects from industry and external academic researchers.

Why use the MNC?

The Minnesota Nano Center is a resource for companies and researchers that want to pursue work in nanoscience and microtechnology, but do not have the required fabrication tools or expertise. Some of our clients are small or startup technology firms that are working to develop prototypes for new designs. Lacking capital to invest in expensive tools, they use the MNC’s specialized tool set to achieve critical early development goals. Other clients are large companies that have their own installed fabrication tools but may have restrictions on the use of the company's clean room, for example because of capacity problems or issues with incompatible materials or processes. In these cases, the MNC can offer an outsourced development lab with a diverse equipment set, expertise in nanostructure fabrication, and experience in device prototyping for many clients. For all our clients, the MNC offers easy fee-for-service usage, removing the obstacles of capital equipment acquisition, maintenance costs, and long-term commitments.

Becoming a User at the Minnesota Nano Center

The following steps will get you on your way to becoming a new user at the Minnesota Nano Center. New User Orientation sessions are offered on the first Wednesday (1-2pm) and third Thursday (10-11am) of each month in 140 Physics and Nanotechnology Building. If you have questions, please contact us at or 1-612-624-8005.

  1. Review the lab rules & policies and lab safety plan.
  2. Watch the safety training video (22 minutes) online.
  3. Take the safety test online.
  4. Sign up for an account on Badger, the MNC's lab use software.
  5. Print and fill out the NNCI facility user profile. Make sure to bring this form to your new user orientation.
  6. UMN users: read, print, and sign the Release of Liability form. Bring the signed form with you to New User Orientation.
  7. Non-UMN users: a purchase order, UMN Lab Use Agreement, and Certificate of Liability Insurance (as detailed in paragraph 11.9 of the Lab Use Agreement) are required. Instructions on how to fill out the agreement may be obtained here. You may obtain equipment rates here: academic or industrial. If you have questions about these, please contact us at or 1-612-624-8005.
  8. Attend a New User Orientation session. Sessions are offered on the first Wednesday (1-2pm) and third Thursday (10-11am) of each month in 140 Physics and Nanotechnology Building. Before attending, please email to register for your session. Include with your email: first name, last name, UMN department or company, and UM advisor or company. You will have your photo taken for your ID badge, get a tour of the MNC gowning area, and learn more about how to use the lab software Badger.

Protection of Intellectual Property

At the Minnesota Nano Center, we take seriously the security of your IP. Our service agreement includes provisions to ensure that confidential information is treated appropriately, and explicitly states that clients' IP stays with the client and is not granted to the University.

How to work with us

There are a number of ways to build your project at the MNC. The most common is the assisted project, in which our staff does the work in consultation with you. After your device is designed, MNC staff will fabricate the prototype devices for testing in our "nanomachine shop." If you'd prefer to do the product development yourself, the MNC offers a do-it-yourself option, where your staff can receive equipment training and carry out your R&D activities independently and on your own schedule. If your project involves more basic research and could benefit by the involvement of UofM faculty, that too is an option at the MNC under the sponsored research approach.

What does it cost?

Download our access & equipment rates - academic - industrial

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News & Announcements

Aerosol and Particle Measurement Short Course
August 21-23, 2017

Are you interested in attending? Please see the flier for more information.

International Corporation

New Probe Station
MNC has installed a new probe station generously donated by EverBeing International Corporation headquartered in Taiwan. This new probe station will greatly enhance our capabilities in DC and low frequency electrical characterization, and will be located in Area 3 (1-132) in Keller Hall.

Inside the University of Minnesota's Minnesota Nano Center: Take a look inside the University of Minnesota's Minnesota Nano Center, a state of the art facility dedicated to the design, fabrication and testing of small-scale devices. Video produced by the Office of Business Relations, with assistance from the College of Science & Engineering.

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