About

Harvard University CNS is an ā€œOpenā€ Core Research Laboratory devoted to the Support of Transformative Nanoscience. With our primary focus on Nanofabrication, Imaging and Nanoscale analysis, we at a ā€œone stop shopā€ for all things nano.

01

WHAT IS CNS?

CNS is the Center for Nanoscale Systems, which is a part of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS) at Harvard University. Until April of 2005, the Center existed under a different name, the Center for Imaging and Mesoscale Structures (CIMS).

CNS was created by FAS in 1999 to assist and support the research community of Harvard University researchers and collaborators. The inclusion of CNS in the Nanotechnology Coordinated Infrastructure (NNCI) in 2004 has expanded that function to include any and all other members of the larger research community both local and national, academic and non-academic who conduct research in any aspect of the large and growing field of nanoscale science.

CNS accomplishes this mission by purchasing, operating and maintaining large, centralized scientific facilities for use by users. CNS also provides training, and assistance to users to ensure that the next generation of scientists has the knowledge to answer the questions being raised by the research of today. Development of new advanced facilities for the imaging and fabrication of nanoscale structures is also a high priority for CNS.

While operating user facilities is a large component of CNSā€™ operation, it is not the only contribution of the Center to the scientific community of Harvard and beyond. For example, CNS hosts seminars and provides seminar support to Harvard faculty members; hosts NSF Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) students; and has CNS technical staff members who teach and guest lecture in Harvard classes.

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WHERE IS CNS?

The Center for Nanoscale Systems is located at 11 Oxford Street just north of Harvard Yard in the Laboratory for Integrate Science and Engineering (LISE) building. CNS started moving into newly completed LISE building in July of 2007. LISE is the home to all CNS facilities.

Administrative Office of CNS

We are a very busy office but never too busy to assist users, staff or Faculty. If you ever have any questions or concerns regarding CNS policy, procedure, or any other aspect of the Center, please feel free to stop in and speak to one of us. Also, feel free to call or email us with your questions or concerns. Although CNS is not a retail business, we utilize some fundamental business principles in the way we interact with the CNS/NNCI user community. We view CNS/NNCI Users as our ā€œclientsā€ and we are committed to providing a very high level of prompt, courteous customer service to those who work for or with CNS.

A sampling of the work that goes on in our office

  • Managing the CNS/NNIN User Program
  • Processing monthly billings for facilities usage
  • Monitoring CNS sponsored program accounts
  • Acting as a liaison with NSF and NNIN home office at Cornell
  • Coordinating all CNS procurement activity
  • Monitoring CNS Seed Money and Visiting Scientist Projects
  • Providing meeting support for CNS management and staff
  • Resolving issues and answering CNS Staff questions
  • Preparing reports on CNS activities for Harvard and other visiting committees
  • Coordinating land and cell phone lines for the Center

  • Maintaining the CNS Scheduling Tool
  • Maintaining CNS Website
  • Tracking and reporting user statistical data
  • Creating budgets and tracking/reporting on expenditures
  • Financial tracking of all CNS accounts
  • Arranging for talks, seminars and CNS visitors
  • Answering questions from current and potential users
  • Assisting with CNS marketing and publications
  • Acting as the human resources liaison with FAS HR
  • Maintaining an inventory of office supplies for all CNS staff

CNS Core Mission

The Center for Nanoscale Systems (CNS) was created to support a very clear vision:Ā The developmentĀ of a collaborative multi-disciplinary research environment to support of the creation and evolution of world-class nanoscience with the support of advanced shared facilities and technical expertise.Ā  This center servesĀ both the Harvard research community, as well as external researchers from academia and industry.

Our Core Values:

  • Facilitating leading-edge, multi-disciplinary, research and education in the areas of fabrication, imaging, and characterization of nanoscale structures, across the disciplines of applied physics, biology, chemistry,Ā  engineering, geology, materials science, medicine and physics.
  • Creating aĀ leading collaborative nanotechnology research community by providing shared instrumentation facilities and infrastructure, expert staff, synergistic meeting places, and educational opportunities conducive to productive scientific engagement.

CNS strives to provideĀ world-class tools for world-classĀ research, fostering a strong competitive edge for our nationā€™s investigators.Ā Ā We serve a broad, diverse, national set of users who are preparing the nation to meet the needs of next generation technologies.

Safety

The Center for Nanoscale Systems is committed to safety and has created the Safety section of the CNS web site to consolidate all of the safety information relating to use of CNS facilities in one place.

Please take a look at the pages contained in this section as they have important information for all CNS/NNIN Users.

Training requirements for access to laboratories and equipment can be found in ourĀ safety documentsĀ page.

Contained within this section is theĀ Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) databaseĀ of chemicals at CNS.Ā  Please consult this database to determine if a chemical you wish to bring into a CNS lab space is listed.Ā  If it is not, you will need to see the pageĀ Chemical Use in CNS Facilities.

This section also contains many safety training materials, videos, and forms.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding safety at CNS, please feel free to contact us at info@cns.fas.harvard.edu or you can contact Harvard Environmental Health & Safety officer,Ā John SweeneyĀ atĀ john_sweeney@harvard.eduĀ or 617-495-1290.

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