Working With the Nano Center

How to work with us

There are a number of ways to build your project at the MNC

  • Do-it-yourself (most popular option)- where you can receive equipment training and carry out your R&D activities independently and on your own schedule. *See instructions below about how to become a new lab member.
  • Assisted project (limited availability)- in which our staff does the work in consultation with you. After your device is designed, MNC staff will fabricate the prototype devices for testing in our "nanomachine shop."  Or, if you would like a mask made by our staff, submit your design here.
  • Sponsored research approach- if your project involves more basic research and could benefit by the involvement of University faculty, we can help assemble a project team that includes University faculty and staff.

To discuss your potential project, contact us at 612-624-8005 or at

Becoming a New Lab User

The MNC is an open facility available to a wide range of users, including external academic and industrial researchers.

Once you have completed a basic lab safety training course and are approved to operate individual tools, you may access the MNC facilities 24 hours a day, seven days a week, subject to any periodic closures of our host buildings.


Follow the steps below to become a new lab user at the Minnesota Nano Center.


Working in the cleanrooms

Working in the Nanomaterials or Bio-Nano Labs


Sign up for Tool Training

After you have registered as a Nano Center user, you may request training on specific lab tools by going here.

Why use the MNC?

The Minnesota Nano Center is a resource for companies and researchers that want to pursue work in nanoscience and microtechnology, but do not have the required fabrication tools or expertise. Some of our clients are small or startup technology firms that are working to develop prototypes for new designs. Lacking capital to invest in expensive tools, they use the MNC’s specialized tool set to achieve critical early development goals. Other clients are large companies that have their own installed fabrication tools but may have restrictions on the use of the company's clean room, for example because of capacity problems or issues with incompatible materials or processes. In these cases, the MNC can offer an outsourced development lab with a diverse equipment set, expertise in nanostructure fabrication, and experience in device prototyping for many clients. For all our clients, the MNC offers easy fee-for-service usage, removing the obstacles of capital equipment acquisition, maintenance costs, and long-term commitments.

Protection of Intellectual Property

At the Nano Center, we take seriously the security of company IP. Our service agreement includes provisions to ensure that confidential information is treated appropriately, and explicitly states that clients’ IP stays with the client and is not granted to the University.

What will it cost?

Please see our lab access and equipment rates for industry and academic customers.