The Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences (CNMS) at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) is one of five nanoscience research centers (NSRCs) funded by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Scientific User Facilities Division. It provides a diverse user community – predominantly in the US but also internationally - with access to state-of-the-art nanoscience research capabilities, expertise, and equipment. The scientists at the CNMS also drive a world class science program with emphasis in theory and simulation, nanofab¬rication, macromolecular synthesis and characterization, and understanding of structure, dynamics and functionality in nanostructured materials using scanning probe microscopy, neutron scattering, optical spectroscopy, and soft-matter electron and helium ion microscopy. The CNMS annually hosts more than 400 unique users who respond to its biannual proposal calls. The vibrant and growing CNMS user community conducts research addressing a vast array of science and technology questions, drawing on support from an equally broad array of funding agencies. Members of the community represent academia, national laboratories, international institutions and industry.

The CNMS carries out its mission of delivering both user support and an outstanding science program with a focus on three research themes:

  • Electronic and Ionic Functionality on the Nanoscale seeks to understand behaviors of electronic and ionic materials at the scales of defects, nanostructures, and microstructures.
  • Functional Polymer and Hybrid Architectures seeks to understand and control the multiscale organization of designed macromolecular and hybrid nanomaterials, to achieve functionality capable of capturing, transporting, and transforming energy.
  • Collective Phenomena in Nanophases seeks to understand collective phenomena that arise from correlations, fluctuations, nanoscale confinement and integration across length and time scales, as well as how to control these phenomena to produce complex functionality.
  • The CNMS takes advantage of the distinctive capabilities of other DOE user facilities at ORNL, including the Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility (OLCF), the Spallation Neutron Source (SNS), the High Flux Isotope Reactor (HFIR), and the Shared Research Equipment Collaborative Research Center (ShaRE). The CNMS is a critical center for advancing nanoscience throughout the scientific community in partnership with users from national laboratories, universities, and industry.