University of Minnesota

University of Minnesota opens new state-of-the-art Physics and Nanotechnology Building

Media tour offered on Wed., April 23; Public open house and tours are Thurs., April 24

April 21, 2014

Media Note: A media-only preview tour is scheduled for 10:30-11:30 a.m. on Wednesday, April 23. Media will see the new high-tech labs and clean room facilities and reporters will be allowed to suit up in “bunny suits” and enter the clean room. The director of the Minnesota Nano Center and the head of the School of Physics and Astronomy will be available to talk about new research made possible with the new building. Media will also receive links to video, photos and other materials for use in their stories. Please email or if you plan to attend.

The University of Minnesota is opening a new state-of-the-art Physics and Nanotechnology Building and is letting the public have a first look during an open house and public tours from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. and 4-7 p.m. Thursday, April 24, 115 Union St. S.E., Minneapolis. Enjoy self-guided tours with faculty, staff and students at various stations throughout the building to answer questions.

Housing both the University College of Science and Engineering's School of Physics and Astronomy and the Minnesota Nano Center, the 144,000-square-foot, $84.5 million building includes 43,000 square feet for 40 modern and highly flexible physics laboratories and laboratory support space. The building also includes a unique high bay lab facility for large-scale physics experiments.

More than 15,000 square feet is dedicated to nanotechnology research, including a 5,000-square-foot, clean room facility with two Class 10 bays and three Class 100 bays. With its new space, the Minnesota Nano Center will offer expanded facilities for nanotechnology applications in biology, medicine, and advanced materials. This research includes multiple disciplines across the University and in industry.

The new building will accommodate about 200 faculty, graduate students, post-doctorate researchers, and visiting researchers in the School of Physics and Astronomy and the Minnesota Nano Center. More than 100 researchers from dozens of departments in several colleges throughout the University will also use the nanotechnology facilities in this building. In addition, about 250 people from business and organizations across the country currently use the University’s nanotech facilities.

Zimmer Gunsul Frasca Architects, LLP, in association with Architectural Alliance, designed the state-of-the-art building, and Mortenson Construction served as general contractor on the project. More than 816 workers from various trades participated in constructing the building over the 24-month construction period.

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