SHyNE leads efforts to help build more regional connections with both other academic and research institutions as well as professional societies.

llinois Nano Center Consortium (iNANO)

The greater Chicago area has one of the highest concentrations of nanoscale fabrication and characerization research infrastructure in the world. This iNANO workshop series is designed to bring together users and staff from the regional nano centers to enhance cooperation and collaboration.

The first iNANO meeting was held in 2018 with a topic of SENSORS. 2019's iNANO topic was QUANTUM with keynote speaker, David Awschalom, presenting his talk, "Quantum spintronics: controlling and connecting spins in semiconductors".

David Awschalom presenting his talk on "Quantum spintronics: controlling and connecting spins in semiconductors."

Midwest Microscopy and Microanalysis (M3S)

Supported by NUANCE, SHyNE, MRSEC and Northwestern University, this yearly event brings professionals, academics and vendors together from all across the country.

2019's theme was "Microscopy at the Interface of Materials and Biology", and M3S was honored to have Dr. John Mansfield present a lecture on "The ESEM as invaluable tool in cultural heritage studies". This lecture discussed the role of ESEM in such areas as determining a painting's authenticity versus a forgery and other applications of ESEM in determing the history of objects. 


M3S headline speaker, Dr. John Mansfield.


SHyNE Resource has developed a unique REU program providing facilities‐focused research projects for four undergraduate students (50% from underrepresented minority groups). The REU program is coordinated by the International Institute of Nanotechnology (IIN) and research projects are developed in close collaboration between SHyNE facility staff and Northwestern faculty. This combination of a traditional REU research experience with the hands‐on instrumentation focus provides an opportunity for students to learn new skills and enrich their experience.

The 2019 SHyNE REU Program students:
1) Denise Hernandez (Claremont McKenna College)
2) Connor Horn (Cornell University)
3) Ryan Mbagna Nanko (University of Maryland, Baltimore County)
4) Vivian Shi (Bard College at Simon's Rock)

2018 Projects:
  • ‐ Nanocomposites for energy storage (NUANCE)
  • ‐ Structure characterization of 2D hetero‐ion systems (NUANCE)
  • ‐ Pulsed laser deposition uniformity characterization (XRD/PLD)
  • ‐ A new generation of EDS standards (NUANCE)

2018 REU Class on a field trip to Argonne National
Lab (Left to right: Steven Rebollo, Kavya Anjur, Jillian Rix)


Our outreach efforts have a broad reach into the Chicago region, supporting K‐12 educational activities with a strong impact on underrepresented groups. 

Here's a list of some recent tours of the SHyNE facilities for high school and middle school students:

  • Laboratory tours for Northwestern University’s ETopIA program and Lenart Elementary School, Chicago, Illinois
  • Upward Bound Tour
  • Homewood Flossmoor High School Tour
  • Laboratory tours for students from the community college Kennedy King College
  • Nano Scouts: IIN sponsored event where scouts tour facilities
  • Laboratory tour for Biotechnology Day, a one‐day life sciences festival to inform high‐school students from Chicago area high schools, hosted by Northwestern’s Master of Biotechnology Program and co‐sponsored by the Biotechnology Training Program and the School of Education and Social Policy’s Office of STEM Education Partnership

Upward Bound
Upward Bounds students taking a facility tour.
All Scout Nano Day attendees learning about SEM.


SHyNE Resource, collaborating with Northwestern’s Medill School of Journalism, has established a novel Nano‐Journalism focus within the existing Health, Environment and Science Journalism program. The program began in 2016 and multiple components will be introduced, designed to bring journalism students into the facilities to learn about nanoscience research and connect scientists and researchers with the Medill experts in science writing to help them effectively communicate their research to a general audience. The program includes field trips to science facilities for Medill students and science writing workshops for SHyNE researchers.

We developed a SHyNE Nano‐Journalism Internship (not‐for‐credit) program for BSJ or MSJ students to learn more about science journalism by working with SHyNE Resource on social media, writing new articles about events, new instrumentation, awards and publications from SHyNE staff and researchers.