Kuwait University Nanotechnology Research Facility (KUNRF) is a part of the general facility laboratories of the College of Engineering and Petroleum (CEP) at Kuwait University (KU). Services offered by KUNRF are intended to provide scientific laboratory support that is particularly aimed at helping KU researchers in reaching their research objectives in fields related to advanced engineering materials and nanotechnology, and in studying the development of structure and properties of materials at different scales (micro-, submicro- and nanoscale levels).
An initiative to establish a nanotechnology research facility at CEP was started in 2007, with the efforts of several engineering departments at the college and the KU research sector. The KUNRF proposal was approved by the research sector in 2008 and assigned as a general facility project (Grant No. GE 01/07). Ever after, KUNRF has been run under the supervision of the Vice-Dean of Academic Affairs at CEP, and a general facility committee was formulated to establish the facility and operate its activities. KUNRF effectively started operating in the second quarter of 2009, with a capacity of three laboratories (G-53, G-54 and G-55 located in the ground floor of building KH8) that comprises 23 major equipment and secondary instruments, and other laboratory supplies for running scientific experiments. In addition, KUNRF staff currently consists of 8 qualified and trained research assistants with multidisciplinary research experience in engineering, materials science, physics and chemistry.
The functions of KUNRF equipment generally fit one of the following categories: material testing, characterization, and fabrication, sample preparation and experimental data analysis. Some of the major characterization methods include scanning electron microscopy, optical microscopy, atomic force microscopy, spectroscopic ellipsometry, ion chromatography, spectrophotometry and optical emission spectrometry. Testing equipment includes a rheometer, a nanoindenter and a universal testing machine, while electron beam evaporator serves as the major fabrication technique. In short, KUNRF provides multi-disciplinary research services and experiences for researchers in different fields related to the study of advanced engineering materials and nanotechnological applications in renewable energy, oil and gas industries and biomedicine.