Professor Trevor Thornton explains nanotechnology at the 2018 Night of the Open Door while a visitor checks out a patterned wafer under an optical microscope.

ASU's Open Door

Open Door is an annual event in which Arizona State University (ASU) invites the general public to visit all of its campuses to learn about the work and capabilities at the school. It is also a signature event of the Arizona SciTech Festival.


Our 2018 event attracted over 760 visitors, well above the 480 we saw in 2017.


Hands-on activities included the use of an optical microscope to view patterned wafers, real-time remote access to a scanning electron microscope to image samples with micro- and nanoscale features, as well as demos to illustrate the use of nanotech­nology in paper money and producing stain resistant fabric.


LCNano, another research center within NCI-SW, provides complementary activities in another building.


For the 2022 ASU Open Door, the NCI-SW will host activities at the Tempe campus in March.


A young visitor to the 2018 Geeks Night Out operating the remotely located scanning electron microscope.

City of Tempe’s Geeks Night Out

For the past few years, the city of Tempe has teamed with the Arizona SciTech Festival to present this signature event that is a fusion of Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STEAM), offering a variety of interactive displays and hands-on activities.


ASU’s NCI-SW partners with Rio Salado College to share a booth at Geeks Night Out. Activities offered include the operation of a remotely accessible scanning electron microscope as well as the construction of solar cells and other demos to help attendees better understand the latest developments in nanoscience and energy technologies.


The 2022 Geeks Night Out is scheduled for March 16.  The event attracts visitors of all ages, making it a true K-to-Gray learning experience.

Looking into the NanoFab, through one of its windows during a Lab Tour.

Lab Tours

The staff of NCI-SW provides window tours of ASU laboratories in which research work at the nanometer-scale is carried out. These include the NanoFab (the cleanroom in which devices with nanoscale features are built), the Molecular Beam Epitaxy Lab (where ultra-thin films down to a single molecule in thickness are created), and more. The tours are suitable for those from middle school on up.


To schedule a tour or obtain more information, contact:

Jessica Hauer, (email: jessica.hauer@asu.edu)

Education and Outreach Coordinator,