The Gertrude E. and John M. Petersen Institute of NanoScience and Engineering (PINSE) is an outreach of the University of Pittsburgh’s Swanson School of Engineering.  PINSE is an integrated, multidisciplinary organization that brings coherence to the University's research efforts and resources in the fields of nanoscale science and engineering. The Institute's vision is to solve large, complex scientific and engineering challenges by facilitating interdisciplinary teams drawn from faculty in the Schools of Arts and Sciences, Engineering, and Health Sciences, and to educate the next generation of scientists through world-class integrated programs.

To do this, PINSE:

  • fosters interactions among diverse research groups both inside and outside of the University, encouraging innovative and interdisciplinary collaboration.
  • serves researchers, scientists, and students by providing access to state-of-the-art nanofabrication and characterization equipment.
  • collaborates with commercial institutions through consultations in developing suitable process protocols.  
  • promotes expertise in nanoscience through an open seminar series and user meetings, bringing leading researchers to present their work on nanoscience in an interdisciplinary setting.

These goals combine to form the three tenets of PINSE – Collaboration, Innovation, and Service.


PINSE supports the Nanoscale Fabrication and Characterization Facility (NFCF), a user facility located in Benedum Hall. This facility houses state-of-the-art equipment with core-nano-level capability.  There are several features which make the capabilities of NFCF unique including 4 different types of Lithography (Optical, EBL, Dual Beam, and Dip-Pen), an Electron Probe Micro Analyzer (EPMA), and Transmission Electron Microscope (TEM).