The Molecular Foundry is a Department of Energy-funded nanoscience research facility that provides users from around the world with access to cutting-edge expertise and instrumentation in a collaborative, multidisciplinary environment.
Read about the Molecular Foundry's research themes in its recently developed Strategic Plan Find out more information about becoming a Molecular Foundry facilities User. Call for Proposals: The next deadline for standard proposals is April 1, 2015

Molecular Structure of Water at Gold Electrodes Revealed

A team utilizing three Berkeley Lab user facilities have developed a method to look at the molecules next to an electrode's surface, as well as determine how their arrangement changes depending on the voltage. 

Outsmarting Thermodynamics in Self-assembly of Nanostructures

Foundry user - and Materials Sciences Division Director - reports method for symmetry-breaking in feedback-driven self-assembly of optical metamaterials.

Nanotubes that Insert Themselves into Cell Membranes

Through a Foundry user project, a team led by scientists from LLNL have integrated artificial channels that could be used for more robust DNA sequencing, drug delivery, and novel biosensors.

Tuning light to kill deep cancer tumors

Foundry staff assisted scientistis at UMass Medical School in the characterization of upconverting nanoparticles developed for potential clinical applications in photodynamic therapy, an approach that could kill deep-set cancer cells in vivo with minimal damage to surrounding tissue and fewer side effects than chemotherapy.

Researchers Speak to High School Students about Materials Sciences

Three Foundry researchers presented at talk on “Materials Research at the Molecular Foundry: Working in Invisible Realms” to a local engineering high school class, touching on prominent recent discoveries at the lab and sharing career advice.

Scientists Design Protein-esque Molecules to Lock Up Carbon Dioxide

Inspired by marine organisms that take in carbon dioxide dissolved in water and turn it into protective calcium carbonate layers, a team from PNNL was able to speed and slow calcium carbonate formation by using Foundry-produced molecules that mimic proteins.

Study Reveals Molecular Structure of Water at Gold Electrodes

A combined experimental and theoretical approach at the Molecular Foundry has resulted in the ability to not only look at the molecules next to an electrode's surface, but to determine how their arrangement changes depending on the voltage.

Tarantula Venom Illuminates Electrical Activity in Live Cells

Users of the Molecular Foundry have created a probe that combines tarantula toxin with a fluorescent compound to observe electrical activity in neurons and other cells, and could help map neural activity in the human brain.

Felix Fischer, UC Berkeley

Teaching Polymers the Meaning of Life and Confining Electrons in Graphene Nanoriobbons

New Insights on Carbonic Acid in Water

LBL scientists using the Foundry, ALS and NERSC, have uncovered properties of aqueous carbonic acid that should benefit the development of carbon sequestration and mitigation technologies, and improve our understanding of how carbonic acid regulates the pH of blood.

Carbon Nanotube Porins Mimic Biological Channels

Users of the Molecular Foundry have demonstrated that short carbon nanotubes (CNTs) insert into cell membranes and transport molecules like biological membrane channels

Molecular Foundry and NCEM Merge Complete

At the request of DOE, the National Center for Electron Microscopy (NCEM) has become the seventh facility of the Molecular Foundry.

Dispelling a Misconception About Mg-Ion Batteries

David Prendergast and Liwen Wan at the Molecular Foundry used supercomputer simulations to dispel a popular misconception about magnesium-ion batteries that should help advance the technology in the future.

Xiang Zhang, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

Molecular Foundry/ALS Joint Seminar: Metamaterials with Properties that Do Not Exist in Nature

Axel Brunger, Stanford University

Molecular Mechanisms of Neurotransmitter Release

White House Nanotechnology Report Highlights Foundry Research

In their report to the President and Congress, the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) featured the Foundry's Smart Windows research as one of two representative success stories made possible by the nation's investment in nanotechnology.

Foundry Scientists Partner with Campus and UCSF in BRAINseed

Bruce Cohen and Jim Schuck will lead two of the six new projects designed to accelerate “innovative but risky” brain research through nanoscience and optogenetic technologies.

On the Road to Artificial Photosynthesis

Foundry user project reveals key catalytic factors in carbon dioxide reduction.

Michael Roukes, Caltech

Integrated Neurophotonics: A Vision for Massively-Parallel Interrogation of Brain Activity

Naomi S. Ginsberg, UC Berkeley

Navigating Space-Time to Correlate Local Structure to Function in Molecular Materials

Molecular Foundry Helps Capture Birth of Mineral in Real Time

Working with scientists from PNNL, Foundry researchers discover new insights into the formation of calcium carbonate that could lead to processes that trap atmospheric carbon dioxide and store it in rock.

Foundry Fall Seminar Series Begins September 16

Building off of the success and popularity of the previous seminar series, the series' next installment will feature innovators from across the field of nanoscience speaking every Tuesday at 11am for the next eight weeks.

Susanne Stemmer, UC Santa Barbara

Structure and Properties of Oxide Heterostructures

Preschooler Science Enthusiast Visits the Molecular Foundry and NCEM

4 year old whiz kid shows off his understanding of the periodic table during a visit to LBNL that includes a time with Ron Zuckermann and Peter Ercius

Bryan Jackson, IBM

IBM's Brain-Inspired Computing Systems and Ecosystem

Peptoid Nanosheets at the Oil-Water Interface

Users of the Molecular Foundry have developed peptoid nanosheets – two-dimensional biomimetic materials with customizable properties – that self-assemble at an oil-water interface.

Molecular Foundry/NCEM Users' Meeting Draws a Crowd

Nearly 300 users and prospective users attended the two-day event, which featured a number of prominent speakers including former Berkeley Lab director and Secretary of Energy Steve Chu. The meeting included plenary talks, workshops, and vendor booths from a variety of participating industrial sponsors.

Angel Rubio, European Theoretical Spectroscopy Facility

Non-Equilibrium Dynamical Processes in TDDFT: Optoelectronic and Photovoltaic Applications

Peptoid Nanosheets at the Oil/Water Interface

Peptoid nanosheets are among the largest and thinnest free-floating organic crystals ever made. A new report from the Foundry uncovers a new way to create these novel biomimetic materials.

The Foundry's Promita Chakraborty and Ron Zuckermann Win 2014 Director’s Award for Outreach

The Lab's Exceptional Achievement Award was given in recognition of their ‘Peppytide’ protein models that aided in "promoting the Lab’s education mission and improving community relations."

Cracking the code for single-molecule junctions

Working at the Molecular Foundry, an international group of researchers has demonstrated qualitatively and quantitatively correct solutions for a compound known as “porphyrin” for the first time, thereby enabling predictive modelling of complex molecular junctions.

Shaping the Future of Nanocrystals

NCEM users obtain the first direct observation of facet formation in nanocubes. This work points the way towards more sophisticated and effective nanocrystal design, and changes the current understanding of crystal growth at the nanoscale.

ABC News Highlights Work at the Molecular Foundry

The results of an industry collaboration with the Foundry and ALS may have a big impact on the semiconductor industry and Silicon Valley. ABC News came to the Foundry to learn about this new breakthrough in photoresist.


Sugar Mimic Leads Stem Cells to Develop into Nerve Cells

Users of the Molecular Foundry created a mimic of proteoglycans – surface-bound sugars – that are critical in the differentiation of embryonic stem cells into neural cells.


Industrial Users of the Foundry Produce Low-cost Printable Photonic Integrated Devices

By directly printing devices onto a functional resist with a high refractive index, users from aBeam Technologies and NanoOptic Devices, in partnership with Foundry staff, created optical components without the use of any etching steps.

Mysteries of Space Dust Revealed

A large team of researchers, using the advance characterization capabilities of NCEM and the ALS at Berkeley Lab, help give a first look at suspected extra-solar particles.

In Memoriam: Kenneth Westmacott (1930-2014)

Kenneth Westmacott passed away on July 30 at the age of 84. From 1986-1992, he served as director of NCEM, which he helped establish in the late 70's and early 80’s by leading the project that brought the nation’s highest-voltage microscope to LBNL.

"Imaging Life" Crosses Biological Boundaries, Introduces Integrated Bioimaging

Foundry researchers join LBNL colleagues to create a first-of-its-kind book on biological imaging at the macromolecular and mesoscale


Toyota's Battery Research Extends from ALS to the Molecular Foundry

Toyota is accelerating their development of new magnesium-based battery technologies through a partnership with the Foundry's Theory Facility that will help them better understand and validate the experimental data they obtain at ALS.

Researchers Target Embryonic Stem Cell Sugars

Foundry users recently created a molecular mimic of the sugar-decorated proteins that help mouse embryonic stem cells develop into nerve cells. The goal is to better understand how cell surface sugars influence stem cell differentiation into specific cell types.

Characterizing Hot Carriers Could Hold the Key to Future Solar Cell Efficiencies

Users of the Molecular Foundry have cleared one of the major road blocks to the design and development of new, more efficient solar cells by designing a theoretical model for characterizing electrical charge carriers.

Chemically Amplified Molecular Photoresist for High-Resolution Lithography

Users from Intel collaborated with staff from the Molecular Foundry and the ALS to create a new approach to photoresist that achieves both high-resolution and sensitivity.

A New Chemical Recipe Raises Prospect of Inexpensive Fuel

Foundry users develop a new metal-organic framework (MOF) that turns ethane - a natural gas component - into liquid ethanol, paving the way for easier, safer, and less expensive use of natural gas.

New Chemistry for High-Resolution Patterning at the Nanoscale

A collaboration between users from Intel and Foundry staff - with contributions from ALS - outlines the chemistry of photoresist, enabling smaller features for future generations of microprocessors.

Nanocrystal Simulation Verified by the Discovery of Predicted Hydroxyl Ions

A research team that included Molecular Foundry staff recently reported an atomic level simulation of semiconducting nanocrystals that provide a new understanding of the precise atomic structure at their surfaces.

Eli Yablonovitch, UC Berkeley

Regenerative Thermo-PhotoVoltaics, a New Opportunity in Radiative Science

Peidong Yang, UC Berkeley

Semiconductor Nanowires for Artificial Photosynthesis

Nanoparticles: To Be or Not to Be Crystalline?

Researchers working at NCEM and another NSRC discovered that there is no one size where particles go from non-crystalline to crystalline phases

Bruce Cohen, Molecular Foundry

Zapping Ugly Ducklings into Swans: Weakly Luminescent Nanocrystals that Make Exceptional Single-Molecule Imaging Probes

Method Developed to Stabilize Semiconductors for Use in Artificial Photosynthesis

Researchers at the Joint Center for Artificial Photosynthesis (JCAP), performed work at three user facilities at LBL; the Molecular Foundry provided fabrication resources while NCEM and ALS were used to characterize the device.

Foundry and NCEM Scientists Join LBNL Contingent to Raise User Facility Awareness on Capitol Hill

LBNL user facility staff and collaborators recently traveled to DC to meet with Congressional Representatives and their staff, as well as participate in the 4th Annual National User Facility Organization (NUFO) Science Expo.

Xiang Zhang Appointed Director of Materials Sciences Division

UC Berkeley professor, nanoscience researcher and Molecular Foundry user to lead the LBNL division that oversees the Foundry and NCEM

Unexpected Water Explains Surface Chemistry of Nanocrystals

A research team that included Foundry staff discovered how charged ligands balance on the surface of colloidal nanoparticles, thereby validating a novel atomic level simulation of semiconducting nanocrystals

Probing Dopant Distribution

Finding by Foundry researchers opens the door to better doping of semiconductor nanocrystals

Organic Facility Director Frank Svec Retiring

Frank Svec, Director of the Organic and Macromolecular Synthesis Facility since its inception, will be retiring on June 15. Matt Francis will be joining the Foundry as Acting Facility Director.

Jeff Neaton Takes Over DOE Instagram Account

The DOE gave followers a glimpse into a day in the life of Jeff Neaton on May 15 through its Instagram account. Over 20 pictures were used to capture what goes into a day as the Director of the Molecular Foundry.

Eva Nogales, UC Berkeley

Tuesday, June 17, 2014 at 11am

Visualization of biological macromolecular complexes by Cryo-EM

The Influence of Dopant Distribution on the Plasmonic Properties of Indium Tin Oxide Nanocrystals

Molecular Foundry researchers demonstrated the strong influence of dopant distribution on the optoelectronic properties of colloidal indium tin oxide (ITO) nanocrystals.

Delia Milliron, Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Texas at Austin

Tuesday, June 3, 2014 at 11am

The Role of Surfaces and Interfaces in Nanocrystal-Based Materials

Foundry/NCEM Create New Seminar Series Beginning May 13

Nine seminar speakers will represent the diverse expertise found at the Foundry and NCEM. Seminars on topics of general interest will take place on Tuesdays at 11am in the Chemla Room.

Jason Azoulay, University of Southern Mississippi

Tuesday, May 27, 2014 at 11am

Narrow Band Gap Conjugated Polymers for Emergent Electronic Technologies

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