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Terms and Dates:

  • Summer 2022
    June 7, 2022 to August 12, 2022

Cornell Affiliations:

Cornell NanoScale Facility


Opportunity Description

The 2022 CNF REU Program

(Please note that this program is not open to Cornell University students. The CNF REU Program is listed here for non-Cornell students and to support the application.)

The Cornell NanoScale Science & Technology Facility (CNF) currently plans to host an in-person Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) Program during the summer of 2022, on Cornell University's Ithaca NY campus.

CNF REU Dates: Tuesday, June 7th thru Friday, August 12th

The five undergraduates taking part in this ten-week program will receive hands-on research experience. The projects are designed and supervised by faculty and technical staff. Interns then work with their assigned faculty and graduate students using the unique resources offered by the CNF. An on-campus convocation and a National Nanotechnology Coordinated Infrastructure (NNCI) REU Convocation are held in August to allow interns the opportunity to present their work to their peers in concise scientific presentations. CNF REU interns also must complete a written report, akin to a research paper, summarizing the findings of their research project. These reports are published and distributed to the interns, the National Science Foundation (NSF), and many others.

Participants receive a $6,000 stipend, plus housing and reasonable travel expenses. Full participation in the ten-week program, convocations, and final reporting are all mandatory.

Please read the Requirements (above left) carefully before starting your application to ensure you are eligible for this program.

We look forward to receiving your application materials!

2022 CNF REU Program Research Descriptions

The Cornell NanoScale Science & Technology Facility (CNF) is a national user facility that supports a broad range of nanoscale science and technology projects by providing state-of-the-art resources coupled with expert staff support. CNF has been serving the science and engineering community since 1977. Research at CNF encompasses physical sciences, engineering, and life sciences, and has a strong inter-disciplinary emphasis. Over 600 users per year (50% of whom come from outside Cornell) use the fabrication, synthesis, computation, characterization, and integration resources of CNF to build structures, devices, and systems from atomic to complex length-scales.

Our CNF Research Experiences for Undergraduates (CNF REU) Program is still in flux because of having to accommodate the Cornell University and New York State COVID-19 regulations, so we cannot yet share specifics on our intended projects, however! Descriptions of our main research topics are below, and past CNF REU intern reports can be found at

CNF Chemistry & Chemical Nanotechnology
The most revolutionary part of nanotechnology comes from the manipulation of individual molecules and the building up of functional nanostructures from the bottom up. Examples include self-assembled monolayers, dendrimers, functionalized nanotube structures, etc. Many of the imagined applications in this realm of nanotechnology are far from realization, but a base of technology is forming. Within more traditional areas of chemistry, nanotechnology enables chemical sensors and chemical mixing systems using microfluidics. Chemistry also drives the development of new materials and processes for nanostructure fabrication and synthesis.

CNF Life Sciences & Biomedical Engineering
Nanoscale structures and devices can be used to simulate biological structures, sort or detect cells or molecules, manipulate fluids, or control cell growth, for example. Also, the power of microelectronics and MEMS can be harnessed to fabricate specialized probes for in vivo studies. Surfaces can be modified by patterning or adsorption to change bioactivity, promoting cell growth, attachment, or specialization. When biological material must be deposited or patterned, methods and materials must be bio-compatible. CNF has special facilities and staff expertise for addressing these compatibility issues.

CNF Nanoscale Electronics
Microfabrication has enabled advances in electronics for almost sixty years. With advanced nanotechnology, even more advanced devices are possible. CNF supports both silicon and compound semiconductor systems with feature sizes as small as 10 nm. In addition, novel structures including nanotube devices, spin-based devices, energy sources, plasmonic devices, and single molecule devices have been explored. Integration of electronics with MEMS, optics, and microfluidic devices can result in powerful new functional nanostructure devices.

CNF Optics & Optoelectronics
Nanotechnology makes possible a variety of new optical and optoelectronic structures, including lasers and waveguides, diffraction gratings, optical switches and modulators, photodetectors, and photonic crystals. CNF has extensive experience and appropriate technologies for fabrication of optical structures in materials including silicon, quartz, compound semiconductors, and plastic.

CNF Physics & Nanostructures
Because of the small dimensions, nanotechnology enables direct observation of many quantum phenomena that would not otherwise be possible. Measurements of conductivity of single molecules, conduction through small junctions with few defects, as well as observations of magnetic scattering of spin-polarized currents are possible. High resolution electron-beam lithography (EBL) and sensitive instrumentation including scanned probe microscopies enable many of these experiments. CNF houses advanced Electron Beam Lithography systems that can be used to pattern features and gaps as small as 10 nm. Combining unique material layers with the nanofabrication processes in CNF, researchers can explore behavior of devices as they are scaled tens of nanometer in size.



This year, the CNF REU Program is working with the new Programmable Plant Systems (NSF REU with CROPPS Science and Technology Center) Program. We will share all completed CNF REU applications with the CROPPS REU Program Coordinators, unless an applicant specifically requests that their application NOT be shared.


Programmable Plant Systems (NSF REU with CROPPS Science and Technology Center)

The Center for Research on Programmable Plant Systems unites plant scientists, engineers, computer scientists, and social scientists to develop technologies that will enable seamless, bidirectional communication between humans and plants. The relevant technologies fuse synthetic biology, nanotechnology, optics, and computing to gain access to the internal biological processes of plants and their associated organisms such as, for example, soil microbes. The Center aims for these technologies to give new access to the biological processes that connect genes to traits, to guide the process of plant selection, engineering, and editing for improved crops, and to enable sophisticated management of crops in the field for improved sustainability and productivity. Interns in this program will be hosted and mentored by interdisciplinary teams that include expertise in both plant science and technology development. Undergraduate applicants with backgrounds in biology, engineering, or computing are encouraged to apply.