University of Houston Cullen College of Engineering


UH's Newest Tier One Research Facility Now in Full Swing


Toby Weber

The UH Division of Research dedicates the UH Nanofabrication Facility

The University of Houston has long been home to groundbreaking research in the sciences and engineering. Now it has a new research facility to match.

On Friday, Feb. 25, the university hosted a dedication and open house for its state-of-the-art Nanofabrication Facility. Housed in UH’s Science and Engineering Research Center, the facility boasts a clean room with strict control of temperature and humidity and extremely low dust particle count. The room is equipped with tools for nano- and micro-scale device prototyping and characterization.

The Nanofabrication Facility, which is led by Electrical and Computer Engineering Professor Dmitri Litvinov, is a “core facility” under the university’s division of research, meaning it is open for use by all faculty and students at UH. As a result, unnecessary duplication of expensive equipment in labs across campus will be reduced. At the same time, the facility gives more researchers access to its high-tech capabilities.

“The philosophy behind core facilities like the nanofabrication clean room is to leverage start-up dollars to have the biggest impact on faculty research,” said Elizabeth Anderson-Fletcher, UH’s associate vice president for research operations.

In addition to being available to the University of Houston community, the clean room is also being offered as a resource to businesses and institutions outside of UH, which should help elevate nanoscience research in the area to a globally competitive level.

According to Litvinov, in addition to making nanotechnology capabilities more widely available, sharing equipment helps increase researchers’ understanding of how these tools work and sets the stage for collaboration.

“The machines in this facility are very complex. Having multiple users can quickly build up the knowledgebase about what this equipment can do and how to do it,” said Litvinov. “If you’re attempting to do something new, you can just call up the other people who work in the same facility and ask if they have any insight. Those conversations can accelerate your research and can also lead to research partnerships.”