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Housed in ICTAS CRC, the Nanoscale Characterization and Fabrication Lab is an Instrumentation Facility for Researchers


Technology is at a unique point in history.
Engineering systems are now the same size as basic units of life. Sensors and probes operate at the cellular level, and materials are manipulated at even smaller dimensions – down to individual atoms.

The NCFL was created to provide researchers with the tools to work in converging disciplines at these dimensions. Established in 2007, it is an initiative of the Institute for Critical Technology and Applied Science at Virginia Tech. The facility is equipped with more than $10 million in highly specialized equipment, more than half of which was made possible through funding provided by Commonwealth Research Initiative. It seeks to help researchers investigate novel phenomena and build transforming technologies that solve critical challenges.

The NCFL provides:

  • Access to advanced equipment for electron microscopy, optical microscopy, and several spectroscopic techniques
  • Training for students and researchers in the use of the lab’s instrumentation
  • Short courses and characterization services for industry

We are facilitating research in:

  • Targeted delivery of nano-medicine
  • Fuel cells
  • Nanoscale engineering and the environment
  • Self-assembled nanostructures
  • Nano-metrology and nano-manufacturing
  • Paleobiology


You are required to have a valid PO before being able to use the instruments. You WILL NOT be able to log in and use the instruments without one. Please plan ahead.


New Rates :
Effective January 1, 2024, NCFL rates will change. Please refer to the NCFL Policies page for current rates. NCFL rates were last updated March 1, 2021.”

Users, please note that NCFL is hiring new lab managers to fill vacancies for the FIB/SEM and TEM

Interim FIB/SEM and TEM Access: 
For FIB/SEM, please contact Steve McCartney. For TEM, please enter the information requested on this form. Stay tuned for the latest access information. 

Staff Changes:
Congratulations to Dr. Jonathan Angle on his transition to Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and to Dr. Sheri Singerling on her transition to the University of Goethe. Thanks to you both for your outstanding service to the NCFL user community!