NIFTI was created to drive interdisciplinary research bridging the gap between hard nanostructures, soft materials, biological sciences, quantitative mechanical and electrical analysis and nanopatterning. NIFTI provides a wide range of imaging instrumentation and support facilities for atomic to molecular imaging. It supports a broad range of nanoscale science and technology characterization needs at nanoscale by providing state-of-the-art resources coupled with expert staff. Research at NIFTI encompasses physical and chemical sciences, engineering and life sciences, and has a strong inter-disciplinary emphasis. Every week, several new users coming from NU campuses, academia, industry, and government laboratories learn to use tools available in the center to carry out their research projects.
NIFTI is located at 2170 Campus Drive, Evanston, IL 60208, in Silverman Hall’s East Tower, Suite 1560 and 1539. Silverman’s East Tower connects to the Pancoe building; Silverman’s West Tower connects to the Ryan building. The East and West Towers are connected by a bridge joining the 3rd and 4th floors. The facility is secured, so if you do not have facility access, please make an appointment with a staff member.
NIFTI mission is “to provide and continually update state-of-the-art and core advanced Scanning Probe Microscopes and Nanopatterning tools instrumentation resource, available with 24/7 open access, for all of Northwestern and beyond”. The word “resource” includes not only mere “instrumentation and access,” but also hands-on training, education, research collaboration and outreach. NIFTI aspires to be a pro-active and integral part of all scholarly activities related to characterization at and beyond, NU. NIFTI is now intimately integrated to and deeply interwoven into the scholarly endeavors of NU and region. NIFTI has continued to develop interdisciplinary partnerships with NU Research Centers, and Institutes, such as: CCSS (Center for Catalysis and Surface Science), IIN (International Institute for Nanotechnology), MRSEC, NSEC (Nanoscale Science and Technology Center), CCNE (Center for Cancer Nanotechnology Excellence), PS-OC (Physical Sciences Oncology Center), CLP (Chemistry of Life Processes Institute), IBNAM, and many others. It engaged in important outreach initiatives ranging from recruiting of prospective students and faculty to regional consortia and public institutions (i.e., most of the major museums in Chicago area). Global exchange initiatives across NU include Indo-US joint exchange programs, Institute for Microbial Technology-India (IMTECH) and JNCASR (India), and Nanyang Technological University-Singapore (NTU), among others.
Research and Societal Outreach:
The primary focus of NIFTI is to provide both quantitative and qualitative scanning probe microscopy and biomaterials nanopatterning based highly advanced instrumentations to enable materials, nanopatterning and biomedical research by a diverse group of scientists, industries and clinicians representing numerous disciplines. NIFTI works in partnership with several industrial partners and specifically Bruker Metrology Surface Division to develop advanced instrumentation for quantitative analysis. NIFTI serves as a hub for numerous global partnerships both in terms of facility development and research.