April 3, 2006 – Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory has officially dedicated its $85 million, 94,000 sq. ft facility known as the “Molecular Foundry,” a six-story R&D facility for studying the synthesis, characterization, and theory of nanoscale materials. Construction at site, one of five such facilities proposed by the US Department of Energy, began in early 2004; equipment was moved in earlier this year.
Research at the Molecular Foundry will encompass “hard” (inorganic) materials such as nanocrystals, nanotubes, and lithographically patterned structures, and “soft” (organic and biologic) materials including polymers, DNA, proteins, and components of living cells.
The facility also will serve as a “portal” into three other national user facilities at Berkeley Lab: the Advanced Light Source, a synchrotron storage ring that generates some of the brightest and most intense x-rays available for scientific research; the National Center for Electron Microscopy (NCEM), where researchers can “see” atoms in a crystal and have achieved sub-angstrom resolutions of structural details; and the National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC), one of the most powerful computing resources for non-classified research in the world.