Harvard University

Center for Nanoscale Systems

The Center for Nanoscale Systems (CNS) is a shared-use core facility at Harvard University. Our scientific focus is the study, design and fabrication of nanoscale structures and their integration into large and complex interacting systems.


The Center for Nanoscale Systems' Nanofabrication Facility, provides resource and staff support for fabricating and characterizing nanoscale devices and structures.

Electron Microscopy

The imaging team at provides a wide range of tools, training, and expertise, with a primary focus on providing access to world-class advanced electron microscopy instrumentation to the CNS community.

Nanoscale Analysis

The CNS Analysis, Laser, and scan-probe microscopy laboratories enable users to explore a wide variety of behavior in complex nanosystems using a diverse array of optical, mechanical, and analytical instruments.


A thinner, flatter lens

Curved lenses like those in cameras or telescopes are stacked to reduce distortions and clarify images. That’s why high-powered microscopes are so big and telephoto lenses so long. While lens technology has improved, it is still difficult to make a compact and thin lens.

But researchers from the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) have demonstrated the first flat — or planar — lens that works highly efficiently within the visible spectrum of light, covering the whole range of colors from red to blue.



from the

Robert Westervelt, Director

William L. Wilson, Executive Director

The Center for Nanoscale Systems (CNS) at Harvard University was created with a very clear vision: To provide a collaborative multi-disciplinary research environment to support of the creation and evolution of world-class nanoscience and technical expertise, for the Harvard research community as well as the larger community of external researchers both from academia and industry.

Our Core Values:

Facilitating leading-edge, multi-disciplinary, research and education in the areas of fabrication, imaging, and characterization of nanoscale structures, across the disciplines of applied physics, biology, chemistry, electrical engineering, geology, materials science, medicine and physics.

Creating a “world-class” collaborative nanotechnology research community by providing shared instrumentation facilities and infrastructure, expert staff, synergistic meeting places, and educational opportunities conducive to productive scientific engagement.

As the New England hub of the NSF National Nanotechnology Coordinated Infrastructure (NNCI), CNS strives to be at the leading edge of science and technology, by providing world-class tools for world-class research, and by fostering a strong competitive edge for our nation’s investigators. Importantly we serve a broad, diverse, national set of users who are focused on meeting the nation’s needs in a wide range of next generation technologies.

The focus of the technical team at CNS has been to develop specialized tools, processes, instrumentation, and expertise to help design, simulate, characterize, and fabricate novel materials, nanostructures, devices, and systems, going beyond conventional approaches. We invite you to join our research community, pushing the envelope of nanoscience and nanoengineering.


20 Oct, 2017

Congratulations to Adam on his Teaching Award

Adam Graham was awarded a distinction in teaching from Harvard's Derek Bok Center. Congratulations to Adam Graham on his excellent contributions to the teaching mission of CNS!


24 Mar, 2017

CNS Seminar, “Engineering Quantum Confinement in Semiconducting van der Waals Heterostructure,” Professor Philip Kim

12:00pm, Pierce Hall 209 (NOTE ROOM CHANGE!) The recent development of research in 2-dimensional (2D) semiconducting materials based on semiconducting transition metal dichalcogenides (TMDCs) enables a novel engineered quantum structures. Employing functional interface realized in high-quality van der Waals (vdW) heterostructures, gate-defined electronic systems can be fabricated. In particular, spatially confined quantum structures in TMDC can offer unique valley-spin features, holding the promises for novel mesoscopic systems, such as valley-spin qubits. In this presentation, we report the fabrication of the gate-defined quantum structures formed in atomically thin TMDC heterostructures, exhibiting quantum transport phenomena and optoelectronic processes. For this work, we have developed several experimental innovations, including stamping the TMDC channel to the local gate electrodes, encapsulation of channel in 2D dielectrics, and light illumination at low temperatures, which lead to a vast improvement in the quality of the TMDC heterostructures. We report several unusual quantum transport phenomena in the TMDC heterostructures, such as the quantized conductance in gate-tunable quantum confinement in a quantum point contacts and single electron charging with tunable tunnel-coupling. We also report tunable optoelectronic processes in confined quantum structures in 2D TMDCs.



  • CNS Nanophotonics Seminar

    Oct 25 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

    Prof. Jonathan Fan, Stanford University

    11 Oxford Street, Cambridge, MA, United States

  • EDAX EDS TEAM Software Workshop

    Oct 17 9:00 am - 5:00 pm

    Dr. Jens Rafaelsen

    11 Oxford Street, Cambridge, MA, United States

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