Massachusetts Institute of Technology
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MIT.nano sketch (view from Bldg 4)

MIT.nano, Building 12

Status: In design

Themes: Innovation and collaboration

Completion: 2018

Dedicated to experimentation and instruction, MIT.nano represents one of the largest commitments to research in MIT’s history. The facility will carry the last two decades of nanoscale characterization and investigation into new realms of application and discovery.



MIT.nano sketch (view from Bldg 4)
MIT.nano sketch (view looking east from Bldg 13)
MIT.nano sketch aerial view
MIT.nano sketch aerial view
MIT.nano sketch bldg cross section
Photo of researchers in a lab


In design

Completion Date


Themes and priorities

Innovation and collaboration

Recent discoveries have caused a revolution in our understanding of how materials behave at the nanoscale (one billionth of a meter). MIT researchers are exploring the ways nanoscience and nanotechnology will impact the urgent challenges of our time in health, energy, computing, and more. The construction of MIT.nano will further these innovations. “Even big problems have answers if you have your hands on the right tools,” says MIT President L. Rafael Reif. “Because nanoscience and nanotechnology are omnipresent in innovation today, a state-of-the-art nano facility is the highest priority for MIT, the School of Science, and the School of Engineering.”

The MIT.nano facility will combine the Institute’s nanotechnology, materials, and engineering systems research with the most advanced fabrication tools and materials processing capabilities. Under a single roof, MIT faculty and students will distinguish and manipulate materials at the atomic scale, create novel and innovative devices, and develop ways to implement those devices within larger systems.

Occupying the footprint of Building 12 just steps from the Infinite Corridor at the heart of the MIT campus, MIT.nano will support the activities of 2,000 MIT researchers. It will streamline delicate experimentation and prototyping by bringing together complex research activities that are currently distributed around campus. A world-class facility, it will modernize MIT’s research capacity and deepen the collaboration between disciplines, nurturing game-changing ingenuity and advancing the frontiers of innovation without boundaries, for the betterment of humankind.

Preparation of the building location site will begin in June 2014. Building construction is expected to commence late 2015, following the demolition of the existing Building 12 in early 2015. Building construction will proceed through 2017 with occupancy commencing in 2018.


Image credits

Sketches courtesy Wilson Architects, photo by Tony Rinaldo.


School or Unit

School of Engineering (SoE), School of Science (SoS)



Project Team

Architect: Wilson Architects, Boston, MA
Construction manager: Turner Construction, Boston, MA
MIT Team: Arne Abramson, Travis Wanat, Andrew Corson, Robert Cunkelman, Frank Higson, Jack Mannion


200,000 gsf

Design Features

  • A 200,000 square-foot facility that more than doubles MIT’s shared fabrication and imaging capabilities
  • Two floors of high-performance cleanrooms optimized for energy efficiency, safety, and future flexibility
  • Spaces for prototyping and packaging synthesis, imaging and microscopy, materials and thin film growth, and numerical design
  • The most environmentally quiet space on campus, a basement level optimized to meet the most stringent nanoscale imaging requirements for low-vibration and low electromagnetic interference (EMI)
  • Meeting spaces for collaboration and conversation, as well as offices for research staff
  • New undergraduate chemistry teaching laboratories, to support the hands-on experimentation that is critical to training future leaders in science and engineering
  • A new outdoor courtyard nestled between MIT.nano and the main group, providing an informal setting for the MIT community to congregate and collaborate

Sustainable Design Elements

Creatively designed air filtering systems will maintain cleanroom standards while providing sustainable benefits. A few features include:

  • Heat recovery on building exhaust
  • Variable frequency drives on motors that save energy by powering devices up or down based on needs in the space
  • Lowest pressure drop ductwork and filters
  • Rightsized exhaust devices that minimize the amount of exhaust needed to maintain the cleanroom air purity and filtration

Additional Information

Members of the MIT community are invited to community meetings on May 5 and May 6 to learn about the new lab and schedule of activities.

Team members are currently meeting with MIT offices within the vicinity of the building to prepare for the construction of the new lab.


  • Work to prepare the site will begin in June 2014 following MIT Commencement.
  • Demolition of the existing Building 12 is targeted for early 2015.
  • Construction is scheduled to begin late-2015
  • Building occupancy will commence in 2018.

Keep up to date:

Note: MIT.nano was formerly called nMaSS.