The Division that participates to the NFFA consortium is the Central Microstructure Facility (CMF) within the Technology Department of STFC. CMF was established in 1979 and has been an open facility ever since, to provide microfabrication and nanofabrication and nanometrology support to the large scale facilities within the organisation, as well as UK academic and industry users. It has equipments and expertise in a wide range of fields, including micro and nanofabrication, nanoscale characterization technologies, and has played a vital role in the UK to promote and support UK nanoscience and nanotechnology development. It has been named as one of the technology nodes in the UK micro- and nano-technology (MNT) network. The key expertise at CMF includes electron
beam nanolithography, optical lithography, X-ray LIGA technology, deep structure patterning and transfer technology and nanoimprinting technology. In the last 20 years, CMF participated a number of European projects, both as partners and as co-ordinators. Currently CMF operates over 20 research projects, all of them involving external academic or industrial partners.
Because CMF is part of the STFC and closely attached to the large scale facilities (LSFs) within STFC, it naturally serves as a centre for the users of LSFs for their needs in nanostructuring and sample preparation. CMF has already conducted a number of research projects with the synchrotron radiation source to make novel X-ray focusing lenses, with the high power lasers to make laser targets and with the neutron scattering source to make large area magnetic samples. In addition, CMF has formal contact with the Centre for Nanoscale Materials attached to the Argonne National Laboratory in US, to collaborate on development of nanoscience facility. Our experience in working with the LSFs will be highly valuable to the NFFA project. We believe such experience and practice can be extended to European wide, so that a wide scientific community in nanoscience research can benefit from the Nanoscience foundry clusters within Europe.