The Centre for NSQI is concerned with the observation, understanding, manipulation and characterisation of nanostructures and quantum phenomena. Such research is often conducted at length-scales of single molecules and to be successful, requiring lab space that has levels of vibration far lower than that of any other construction.
The Centre has been designed and built as a massive concrete structure, making the building highly stable, but also allowing any vibration to travel extremely quickly through and out into the surrounding bedrock. The similar material properties of the concrete and rock mean that vibrations pass out of the building very quickly with little dissipation.
Internally, all the walkways and services are isolated, such that corridor floors, lifts, plant and services (water pipes, air conditioning etc) around the building are suspended on damper pads, springs or separate foundations, on floors to stop to stop any vibrations generated from passing into the main structure of the building. The low noise labs have experimental spaces with additional isolation features (isolation blocks or keel slabs in the Ultra low noise labs).
Such measures allow the LNL low noise and ultra-low noise labs to achieve vibration levels lower than the lowest recognised criteria (Vibration Criteria G - VC-G), indeed they have been found to be the quietest labs in the UK and some of the quietest in the world. As well as low structural vibration levels, the NSQI LNL also boast low acoustic, electromagnetic noise and stable environmental conditions.
Low noise lab
The low noise lab is the workhorse lab in the LNL of the Centre for NSQI. Small, but perfectly formed, these labs contain various features designed to ensure that a researcher can pursue their work uninterrupted by vibrations from the environment around them. See more about the low noise lab here.
Ultra-low noise lab
The ultra low-noise lab, of which we have two, is for the most sensitive work to be carried out in the basement of the Centre for NSQI. The keel slab that dominates the rooms, pushes the vibrational performance of the lab far beyond the levels needed by most researchers and has been designed for the requirements of researchers in the future. To go quieter still, a service room sits between the ultra-low noise labs, it is sound-proofed and has its own isolation block. Conduits pass between the rooms allowing control cables to run from the lab to the service room so that the experiment can be run in complete isolation. Find out more about our ultra-low noise lab here.
The NSQI has two small cleanrooms that compliment the University cleanroom next door. Designed to be class 1000 (ISO 6), they typically perform nearer to class 100 levels. Features include:
- temperature and humidity control
- separate gowning rooms
- pass-through hatches
- HF acid-compatible fume cupboard
- vented chemical storage
- CDA, N2 and argon supplies
- Millipore deionised water
- basic lab equipment such as hotplate, waterbath and drying oven
- basement cleanroom for handling photosensitve materials
- full yellow lighting and fridge for chemical storage
Seminar and meeting rooms
The NSQI has three bookable spaces: seminar room, foyer and fish bowl office. To book, check availability in the calendars then email Alex Martin with the name, date and time of your event and the space or spaces you wish to book. If you’re having any catering delivered you will need to book the Foyer and all spaces will need to be set up and packed away by those booking the space.
Seminar room (G.05)
- Large area ideal for events and conferences
- Interactive whiteboard and full presentation and video conferencing facilities
- Contains 18 foldable tables that can be stored at the back of the room
- AV Podium with PC and Projector
- Capacity without tables max 60 people
- Capacity with tables max 36 people
- Not available for undergraduate teaching
- For availability see seminar room calendar
- Large open plan space at the front of the building
- Large windows
- Comfortable seating
- Capacity max 50 people
- Can’t be booked exclusively, you may be sharing it with other building users
- Must be booked for any catering
- For availability see foyer calendar
Fish bowl office (1.01)
- Small office for meetings with desk
- Teleconference facilities
- Capacity max 6 people
- For availability see fish bowl office calendar