About the Shared Materials Instrumentation Facility

Mission Statement

Provide researchers and educators with high quality and cost-effective access to advanced characterization, imaging and cleanroom fabrication capabilities.


The Shared Materials Instrumentation Facility (SMIF) is the Pratt School of Engineering’s core facility that enables materials, devices, and integrated systems research at Duke University in a variety of fields that include nanotechnology, biomaterials and biomedical engineering, information sciences, optoelectronics, sensor technology, and renewable energy. SMIF is housed in the Fitzpatrick Center for Interdisciplinary Engineering, Medicine and Applied Sciences (FCIEMAS). The facility consists of 7,000 square feet of clean room fabrication space, and nearly 3,000 square feet of specialized laboratory space for characterization and imaging equipment. SMIF is part of the Research Triangle Nanotechnology Network (RTNN) in partnership with similar facilities at North Carolina State University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The RTNN is one of 16 organizations nationwide that comprise the National Science Foundation sponsored National Nanotechnology Coordinated Infrastructure (NNCI) program.

SMIF is open to all trained students, staff, faculty, and researchers and is used for both research and educational purposes. SMIF has nearly 500 users, of which 2/3 come from Duke University and 1/3 come from external academic institutions or industry SMIF staff trains students and researchers to use the lab equipment and instruments themselves, and provides guidance and support in developing processes and methodologies that utilize these capabilities. Alternatively, SMIF staff can run samples for researchers as a service. SMIF also coordinates various educational and outreach activities.