Nanoscience at the Center for Functional Nanomaterials, a National Scientific User Facility
Abstract: The Center for Functional Nanomaterials (CFN) is a national scientific user facility operated at Brookhaven National Laboratory for the U.S. Department of Energy. One of five DOE Nanoscale Science Research Centers, the CFN offers external Users a supported research experience with top-caliber scientists and access to state-of-the-art instrumentation at no cost via a peer- reviewed proposal process. The CFN mission is advancing nanoscience to impact society, by being an essential resource for the nanoscience community and producing breakthroughs in nanomaterials research.
After an overview of the scientific facilities, research directions, and the process of becoming a CFN user, I will describe CFN research using block copolymer self-assembly for design of nanostructured materials. Block copolymer thin films provide a robust method for generating regular, uniform patterns at length scales in the range of ten nanometers, over arbitrarily large areas. A significant advantage of block copolymer-based patterning is its ease of integration with other aspects of traditional thin-film processing, including plasma-based etching and metallization.
The CFN has been using block copolymer lithography to design the electronic and optical properties of nanostructured, thin-film materials. For example, I will describe our recent use of this approach to engineer broadband omnidirectional antireflection for solar devices. CFN scientists work with users to design surface textures for water and fog-repellency, and able to resist water droplet impacts even in excess of 10 meters per second. Time permitting, I will show some recent progress creating nanostructured plasmonic substrates for high-sensitivity detection of molecules, which we have been using for identification of trace explosives.
Bio: Dr. Charles (Chuck) Black is a Senior Scientist and Director of the Center for Functional Nanomaterials, a national scientific user facility operated at Brookhaven National Laboratory for the U.S. Department of Energy. Each year, the CFN supports the science of more than 550 researchers from universities, industry, and national laboratories worldwide.
Prior to becoming Director, Dr. Black was Group Leader for CFN Electronic Nanomaterials, leading a research program exploring nanostructured materials for solar energy conversion.
From 1996 to 2006, Dr. Black was a Research Staff Member at the IBM Thomas J. Watson Research Center in Yorktown Heights, New York. His research at IBM investigated polymer self-assembly for fabrication of high-performance semiconductor electronics.
During his career, Dr. Black has also performed experimental research on ferroelectric non-volatile memories, nanocrystal-based electronic devices, superconductivity in metal nanoparticles, single-electron tunneling devices, and low-temperature scanning tunneling microscopy.
Dr. Black earned the Ph.D. degree in Physics from Harvard University in 1996, and B.S. degrees in Physics and Mathematics from Vanderbilt University in 1991. Dr. Black is a Member of the Board of Directors of the Materials Research Society, a Fellow of the American Physical Society, and a Senior Member of the IEEE.
All seminars are held on Wednesdays from 12:00 noon-1:00 p.m. in the Bowen Hall Auditorium Room 222. A light lunch is provided at 11:30 a.m. in the Bowen Hall Atrium immediately prior to the seminar.