CNS is the Center for Nanoscale Systems, which is a part of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS) at Harvard University. Until April of 2005, the Center existed under a different name, the Center for Imaging and Mesoscale Structures (CIMS).
CNS was created by FAS in 1999 to assist and support the research community of Harvard University researchers and collaborators. The inclusion of CNS in the National Nanotechnology Infrastructure Network (NNIN) in 2004 has expanded that function to include any and all other members of the larger research community both local and national, academic and non-academic who conduct research in any aspect of the large and growing field of nanoscale science.
CNS accomplishes this mission by purchasing, operating and maintaining large, centralized scientific facilities for use by users. CNS also provides training, and assistance to users to ensure that the next generation of scientists has the knowledge to answer the questions being raised by the research of today. Development of new advanced facilities for the imaging and fabrication of nanoscale structures is also a high priority for CNS.
While operating user facilities is a large component of CNS’ operation, it is not the only contribution of the Center to the scientific community of Harvard and beyond. For example, CNS hosts seminars and provides seminar support to Harvard faculty members; has Seed Money and Visiting Scientist Programs to financially support faculty research efforts; provides cost-sharing support to facilitate the acquisition of new equipment facilities; hosts NSF Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) students; and has CNS technical staff members who teach and guest lecture in Harvard classes.
CNS is also involved in the planning and design of the Laboratory for Integrated Science and Engineering (LISE) new building project.