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The LCN cleanroom

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London Centre for Nanotechnology

Acting director: Prof Des McMorrow

Uniquely among departments in the Faculty of Mathematical and Physical Sciences, the London Centre for Nanotechnology is a joint venture with another university: Imperial College London. The LCN’s headquarters and main laboratories are located on UCL’s Bloomsbury campus, with a second centre located at Imperial’s site in South Kensington.

LCN specialises in science and technology on the nano-scale. On these tiny scales, familiar substances take on surprising properties, with numerous applications in industry and commerce. 

Combining this scientific specialism with engineering prowess in the technology of miniaturisation makes the LCN a major participant in the faculty’s mission to develop practical solutions to world problems. 

Research spans a dizzying spectrum from medicine to energy to information processing. Because of this multidisciplinarity, many staff who carry out research at LCN share their affiliations with other UCL departments, both within and outside the Faculty of Mathematical and Physical Sciences.

The facilities at LCN’s headquarters on the UCL campus are truly world-class. The centre has 255 square metres of Class 1000 (ISO 6) cleanroom plus an ISO 7 facility. It is the only city centre facility of its kind in the UK.

Equipment includes focused ion beam lithography machines, chemical vapour deposition machines and scanning electron microscopes, among many others. As well as being available to the academic community, the equipment can be hired by commercial clients.

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Members of LCN staff have founded a number of spin-off companies including  Cella Energy, Endomagnetics Inc and Bio Nano Consulting.