Skip navigation

SNSF Overview

On this page:

About SNSF

Nanoscale Science & Engineering (NSE) instrumentation enables multidisciplinary research, but it is not economically feasible to support these capabilities in every PI’s lab. The Stanford Nano Shared Facilities (SNSF) is a group of service centers (Nanofabrication, Electron & Ion Microscopy, X-ray & Surface Analysis and Soft & Hybrid Materials) that includes the Stanford Nanocharacterization Laboratory, the Nanopatterning Lab, the Ginzton Microfab, and the Soft and Hybrid Materials Facility. SNSF’s purpose is to provide shared scientific instrumentation, laboratory facilities, and expert staff support to enable multidisciplinary research and educate tomorrow’s scientists and engineers

Each year, SNSF serves about 850 internal and external researchers. About 750 were Stanford affiliates, mostly students from the research groups of about 145 Stanford faculty, representing over 25 different departments. Besides Stanford users, we welcome users from industry and and other academic institutions to perform part of their research at SNSF.

All SNSF equipment and services are operated as a service center. The basic principle is auditable cost recovery.

  • Rates are officially proposed to and reviewed by the compliance group.
  • Rates are set by {estimated expenses} / {estimated usage}
  • Rates are adjusted as needed at least 2 times per year to ensure fiscal break-even of +/- 15%.
  • Rates are transparent to the users.
  • Rates avoid subsidizing some tools through rates on other tools.

Each service center realizes yearly operating expenses, including staff salaries, equipment service contracts, lab supplies or costs for repairs and equipment replacements.  The expenses are recovered by charging researchers for hourly usage of the tools and services.  We strive to keep hourly rates low to encourage usage of the instruments, maximizing the research our community can perform..

Besides making nanofabrication and characterization tools and capabilities accessible to a broad community of researchers across campus to further their research programs, an additional focus for Stanford’s Shared Nano Facilities is put on excellence in education. Our research staff is dedicated to educate the next generation of scientists. Many nanofabrication and nanocharacterization techniques are scientific disciplines in their own right, so utilization of the facilities significantly broadens students’ scientific experience.

Facilities: SNSF has facilities in the McCullough, Moore, Spilker and Shriram buildings. The newest facilities are are located in the Spilker and Shriram buildings, at the heart of the new Science and Engineering Quad. Most of the SNSF laboratory space is located in an extensive underground level, 18 feet deep, accessible from the basement levels of both the Spilker, Shriram and the Huang Engineering Center, but seismically isolated from both.  This space provides a home with cutting-edge specifications on the control of vibration, acoustics, electromagnetic interference, light, and cleanliness that are essential for the manipulation of matter down to the molecular and atomic scale.