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Message from the Director

Prof. Vinayak P. Dravid

Dear friends and colleagues,

Welcome to the NUANCE Center!

The NUANCE Center is an open-access research, education, and collaborative center integrating four distinct yet coordinated, imaging, characterization and analysis facilities:

Managed by expert technical staff, NUANCE instrument users have access to state-of-the-art electron, ion, photon/optical, x-ray, and atomic force microscopes, spectrometers and related sample preparation instruments.  The staff provide laboratory instruction, hands-on training and ongoing assistance to over 700 users annually. With experience in instrumentation and diverse techniques, our staff regularly assist users with a wide range of research needs, serving as effective collaborators with the researchers’ specialized needs for characterization and analysis across the NUANCE facilities. Please keep us in mind for your most challenging problems.   

NUANCE is fully interwoven into the scholarly fabric of Northwestern and our collaborating institutions. Our facilities are deeply integrated into many teaching and curricular offerings; ranging from formal courses with hands-on laboratories, to numerous instrumentation and technique demos that we offer during many departmental courses and open houses.

Our outreach efforts encompass not only regional public institutions such as the Chicago museums and Northwestern initiatives but reach out to global partners as well. With increasing global connectivity, we expect continued growth in our global collaborations and partnerships. We value all our partners, from users to administrators to investigators, and think of you as integral members of our extended family.

Since its inception, NUANCE has witnessed phenomenal growth in research capabilities and scholarly output that has occurred as a result of our facilities and instrumentation.  NUANCE staff have developed a close and collaborative relationship with over one hundred PI’s and instrument manufacturers to identify, develop and source the latest innovations nanoscale characterization.

NUANCE is a unit of the NSF-funded SHyNE Resource, a regional center of excellence under the National Nanotechnology Coordinated Infrastructure.  Our mission in the coming decade is to connect our capabilities with regional commercial, governmental, non-profit and academic researchers.

If you would like to learn more about our NUANCE Center, I invite you to contact our dedicated staff and find out how NUANCE can assist you in Exploring Inner Space.


Prof. Vinayak P. Dravid
Director, NUANCE Center