CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (AP) -- The Massachusetts Institute of Technology announced Tuesday that is building a large $350 million facility in the heart of campus to study materials on the smallest scale.
The 200,000-square-foot building, called MIT.nano, will house state-of-the-art cleanroom, imaging and prototyping facilities supporting research with nanoscale materials and processes.
An estimated 2,000 MIT researchers may ultimately use the building in fields including energy, health, life sciences, quantum sciences, electronics and manufacturing.
"The capabilities it provides and the interdisciplinary community it inspires will keep MIT at the forefront of discovery and innovation, and give us the power to solve urgent global challenges," MIT President L. Rafael Reif said.
MIT.nano will house two interconnected floors of cleanroom laboratories containing fabrication spaces and materials growth laboratories, greatly expanding the capacity for research involving components that are measured in billionths of a meter.
The building will also include what's being touted as the quietest space on campus — a floor optimized for low vibration and minimal electromagnetic interference, dedicated to advanced imaging technologies.
The facility will be built near the campus' signature great dome.
"This building needs to be centrally located, because nanoscale research is now central to so many disciplines," said electrical engineering professor Vladimir Bulovic, faculty leader on the project and associate dean for innovation in the School of Engineering.
A campus facility known as Building 12 will be demolished to make way for the new center. Construction will start in the summer of 2015; the building is scheduled to be completed by 2018.