MSSE maintains over 45,000 ft2 of research laboratories, including 5,658 ft2
of clean room facilities. These labs contain semiconductor production systems, measurement and characterization tools, environmental test equipment, robotics systems, and optical and scanning electron microscopes for both S&T development and materials and device testing.
Nanoscience, Engineering, and Technology (NET) Laboratory
This laboratory has a 1,100 ft2 clean room that includes plasma etching and deposition equipment and an e-beam evaporator and thin film measurement system for thin film processing. Its unique optical stepper enables lithography at 400-nm precision. These clean room capabilities are supplemented by a scanning electron microscope and an e-beam lithography laboratory. Complementing ORNL’s Center for Nanophase Materials Science (CNMS), the MSSE clean room is a facility where ORNL researchers can conduct applied research, including work for non-DOE sponsors because such activities will not be the target of CNMS research. Users from southeastern universities are already growing in numbers.
MEMS and NEMS Sensor Development Laboratory
This laboratory is located in Building 5800 and is dedicated to the design, fabrication, development, and measurement of MEMS and NEMS sensors. Fabrication capabilities include a focused ion beam–milling machine and thermal and broad ion beam deposition systems. An atomic force microscope is used for both measuring surface morphology and surface modification. State-of-the-art measuring capabilities include the measurement of extremely small mechanical displacements of MEMS and NEMS structures approaching 10-13m/Hz1/2.
Robotics Development Laboratory
This high-bay laboratory hosts research on high-payload (multiple tonnage), high-precision (sub-millimeter) robotics for a variety of applications, including mobile vehicles and large-scale manipulation systems. Adjacent laboratories dedicated to hydraulic controls research, autonomous manipulation, and human-machine interfaces allow development and tests of major components prior to integration into proof-of-principle or prototype systems. The size of the facility, including a basement accessible through removable floor plugs, offers a unique environment for development of large mock-up systems or to supports testing of large prototypic systems in realistically sized conditions.
Technical Testing and Analysis Center
The Technical Testing and Analysis Center (TTAC) has evolved from the Environmental Effects Laboratory (EEL) into a comprehensive verification and validation center in support of national and international missions. As a result of sustained performance and continued requests for expanded scope, the TTAC has engaged DOE, DOD, and the IAEA in in a comprehensive campaign to test, analyze, and re-engineer critical field detection and monitoring systems for radiological and nuclear (rad/nuke) material stewardship. As a result of recent successes, the TTAC is now engaged in an effort to further expand its influence into the R&D areas of specialize rad/nuke systems for challenging field applications. The TTAC expansion continues to leverage skill sets within companion organizations with the Laboratory’s NSTD and Neutron Sciences Directorate (NSD). The TTAC provides a comprehensive set of testing and analysis tools including thermally controlled chambers; humidity, atmospheric pressure, dust/particulate, and salt fog emersion environments; electromagnetic interference and acoustic susceptibility test beds; radiological and nuclear exposure characterization; and mechanical vibration/shock evaluation capabilities.
The Technical Testing and Analysis Center contains a wide variety of
environmental and radiological test equipment.
Extreme Measurement Communications Center (EMC2)
Created in 2004, this center provides modeling, simulation, and characterization support for industrial and other harsh environment wireless networks. This facility is equipped with parallel computing resources as well as state-of-the-art measurement equipment for high-performance wireless and wired network characterization from the physical to the application layer. Broadband radio frequency recording and playback instruments can simulate and generate characteristic waveforms to assist in the assessment of the behavior of wireless devices in harsh industrial environments. Bench-level tools are available to characterize high-frequency devices and circuits, conduct temperature-controlled measurements, and perform functional performance tests.
Biometric and Surveillance Laboratory
This ~600 ft2 laboratory is used for biometrics research such as venous, face, and iris recognition. It contains computer equipment, multi-spectral illumination systems, multi-spectral cameras, laser profilometry systems, and large optical air-mount tables that can be used for multiple biometric development activities. In addition this laboratory contains equipment used for surveillance methods such as video cameras, stereo camera calibration targets, and computer equipment to support video analysis for identifying and tracking targets in video sequences. These types of technologies are being used in applications such as wide-area gamma imaging, video forensics, and personnel surveillance applications.
The Biometrics and Surveillance Laboratory hosts a variety of R&D activities
related to detection, tracking, and identification of objects and people.
Holographic Microscopy Laboratory
This ~600 ft2 laboratory is home to four different digital holographic microscopy instruments that are used for a variety of biomedical and industrial imaging and metrology applications. It contains equipment such as optical microscopes, multi-wavelength lasers, vibration-isolated optical tables, and a large selection of optical components. This facility is a clean room facility so that samples can be brought in and inspected without contamination issues.
A variety of optical microscopy methods are developed and tested in the Holographic Microscopy Laboratory for industrial, biological, and medical applications.