MNTL building

MNTL Mission: To create, support, and sustain an environment to facilitate advanced research in photonics, microelectronics, biotechnology and nanotechnology for the benefit of the University community, the State of Illinois, and society as a whole.

Contact Information

Micro and Nanotechnology Laboratory   |   208 North Wright Street   |   Urbana, Illinois 61801   |   217.333.3097


United by a passion for research and discovery, the researchers, faculty, and students who make MNTL their laboratory create the path to an extraordinary future every day. Would you like to join them? We encourage you to review the Employment Center site. It provides listings of employment opportunities and general employment information for all three University of Illinois campuses, including Urbana-Champaign, Chicago, and Springfield.

Director's Welcome

MNTL Director Brian Cunningham
Brian Cunningham

Welcome to the University of Illinois Micro + Nanotechnology Laboratory (MNTL), one of the country's largest and most sophisticated university facilities for conducting photonics, microelectronics, biotechnology, and nanotechnology research. A crown jewel of the University of Illinois College of Engineering, MNTL is the place where campus researchers and visiting scientists come to design, build, and test innovative nanoscale technologies with feature sizes that span the range of atoms to entire systems.

Our 16 cleanrooms, 46 general purpose labs, and a 2,500 square foot biosafety level-2 bionanotechnology complex contain all the tools researchers need to conduct their work. The building houses faculty and graduate students from the departments of Electrical & Computer Engineering, Bioengineering, Physics, Mechanical Science & Engineering, Material Science & Engineering, Agricultural and Biological Engineering, and Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering.

In addition, MNTL is home to several major research centers, including the NSF Center for Innovative Instrumentation Technology, the NIH Midwest Cancer Nanotechnology Training Center, the NSF Emergent Behaviors of Integrated Cellular Systems, the NSF IGERT training center for Cellular and Molecular Mechanics & BioNanotechnology, NSF nanoBIO NODE, and the Center for Nanoscale Science and Technology.

Originally opened in 1989 as the Microelectronics Laboratory, MNTL was widely known for its excellence in III-V compound semiconductor device and processing research. An $18 million state-funded expansion in 2008 broadened our mission and capabilities to address challenges at the intersection of engineering and biology.

Today MNTL’s faculty and students are engaged in research that addresses many of the most pressing challenges facing our society. Applications include high-speed data communications, high efficiency lighting, solar power, flexible electronics, biomedical imaging, biomedical diagnostics, new tools for life science research, environmental monitoring, and novel microelectronics/photonics concepts for next-generation computing architectures.

Brian T. Cunningham
MNTL Director
Professor of Electrical & Computer Engineering, and Bioengineering
P: 217.333.3097