Centre for Nanoscience and Quantum Information
The Bristol Centre for Nanoscience and Quantum Information (NSQI) is the University's dedicated research centre for nanoscience and quantum information activities. The upper floors house the Quantum Engineering and Technology Labs and Quantum Engineering Centre for Doctoral Training whilst the lower ground floor comprises the University Low Noise Labs.
The NSQI is a purpose-built centre, designed to provide extremely stable laboratories for research at the nanoscale.
Researchers benefit from using a building that a mix of laboratory types (from low noise labs, to wetlab and cleanrooms - NSQI specifications) all within a highly engineered surrounding. The NSQI has exceptionally stable floor systems, a highly-rigid building frame, advanced modelling of the foundations flexure nodes, and decoupling of vibration generators such as plant machinery. In addition there is 24/7 environmental stability, low levels of airborne dust, individual temperature control, controllable airflow, clean power/earth systems, optional process chilled water, clean compressed air and electromagnetic shielding, making these labs ideally suited for experiments where background interference is a barrier to sensitive research.
The low noise labs (LNL) on the lower ground floor benefit from this stability such that they exceed the standard VC-G specification for specialist nanoscale operations.
In 2014 the labs were found to be the ‘quietest’ in the UK by the team building and testing a seismometer for the next NASA Mars InSight space mission and the LNL was subsequently used for the testing and calibration of prototypes and the mission instrument.
LNL also provides a home for BrUNEL – the Bristol UHV NanoESCA Laboratory. This facility, funded by the EPSRC and the University, will operate as part of the Materials Surface Analysis Cluster at the University of Bristol. This cluster includes analytical facilities offered by the Bristol Interface Analysis Centre (IAC), the School of Chemistry’s Electron Microscopy Suite, and the Wolfson Bioimaging Facility.
The NSQI is managed by the School of Physics, but is a university-wide resource for anyone working in nanoscience or quantum information. In its time, the center has housed projects from Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Biochemistry, Physiology & Pharmacology, Aerospace engineering, Mathematics, Engineering mathematics and Electrical Engineering. Find out more about using the NSQI here.