NSF funds centers for nanoscale research

Sept. 20, 2001
The National Science Foundation (NSF) today announced awards estimated to total $65 million over five years to fund six major centers in nanoscale science and engineering. The awards are part of a series of NSF grants – totaling $150 million in fiscal year 2001 alone – for research in multiple disciplines, including photonics.

Research at the nanoscale is needed to advance the development of the ultra-small technology that will transform electronics, materials, medicine, and many other fields. The National Science Foundation (NSF) today announced awards estimated to total $65 million over five years to fund six major centers in nanoscale science and engineering. The awards are part of a series of NSF grants--totaling $150 million in fiscal year 2001 alone--for research in multiple disciplines.

The six centers will be located at Columbia, Cornell, and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in New York; Harvard University in Massachusetts; Northwestern University in Illinois; and Rice University in Texas.

“With its nanoscale science and engineering initiative, the National Science Foundation is enabling the coming wave of research,” said Mihail Roco, head of the NSF initiative and chair of the National Science and Technology Council's subcommittee on Nanoscale Science, Engineering, and Technology. “Each of the six centers has a bold vision for research at the frontiers of science and technology, and together they will provide coherence and a longer term outlook to U.S. nanotechnology research and education.”

The Nanoscale Science and Engineering Centers will develop new areas of research and help establish a nanotechnology workforce. The centers are expected to significantly advance the information, medical, manufacturing and environmental technologies, while other NSF grants will fund small, interdisciplinary research teams and individuals doing exploratory research in a wide range of areas.

The centers will address challenges and opportunities that are too complex and multi-faceted for individual researchers or small teams to tackle in shorter periods of time, Roco said. The centers involve key partnerships with industry, national laboratories and other sectors. They will support education programs from the graduate to the pre-college level designed to develop a highly skilled workforce, advance pre-college training, and to advance the public understanding of science and engineering.

The following centers are receiving NSF awards:

Center for Electronic Transport in Molecular Nanostructures

$10.8 million/5 yrs

Columbia University

Director: James Yardley

The center, in collaboration with industrial partners and national laboratories, seeks to develop the understanding of charge transport in molecular structures with potential applications in electronics, photonics, biology, neuroscience and medicine. The educational program engages high school students in collaboration with the City University of New York and mentors undergraduates and graduates through specialized summer and academic year programs.

Center for Nanoscale Systems in Information Technologies

$11.6 million/5 yrs

Cornell University

Director: Robert Buhrman

The center features research to advance the development of nanoscale electronics, photonics, and magnetics with potential impact on high-performance electronics, information storage, communications and sensor technologies. The educational program partners with industry to support a K-12 teachers institute and a nanotechnology teaching laboratory. Graduate-level recruitment and mentoring programs are aimed at members of underrepresented groups.

Center for the Science of Nanoscale Systems and their Device Applications

$10.8 million/5 yrs

Harvard University

Director: Robert Westervelt

In collaboration with U.S. and foreign academic partners, the center supports an interdisciplinary program exploring the properties of nanostructures for novel electronic and magnetic devices, including potential applications in quantum information processing. Educational programs include outreach to middle school students and teachers and fostering public education in partnership with the Boston Museum of Science.

Center for Integrated Nanopatterning and Detection Technologies

$11.1 million/5 yrs

Northwestern University

Director: Chad Mirkin

The center will develop nanopatterning capabilities in the 1- to 100-nm scale for soft materials, with potential applications in the design of chemical and biological sensors. An engineering component includes collaborations with industrial partners. Educational activities include outreach to high school science teachers and the development of curriculum material for middle and high schools. The center is initiating a Small Business Entrepreneurs Program.

Center for Directed Assembly of Nanostructures

$10.0 million/5 yrs

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Director: Richard Siegel

The center is a partnership between Rensselaer, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Los Alamos National Laboratory, with additional support from New York State. Its focus is the assembly of nanoscale building blocks, consisting of soft and hard matter, to design materials with important applications as composites, in drug delivery and as sensors. Educational activities feature partnerships with industry and several colleges (Morehouse, Mount Holyoke, Smith, Spelman and Williams) to enhance research opportunities for groups that are underrepresented in science.

Center for Nanoscience in Biological and Environmental Engineering

$10.5 million/5 yrs

Rice University

Director: Richard Smalley

The center's research and outreach program focuses on applications of nanoscience to bioengineering and environmental engineering, with particular emphasis on the theme of integrating biology with nanochemistry. The educational program aims to help identify, recruit, and train a nanoscience workforce, particularly among groups currently underrepresented in the science workforce. A partnership with the Jones Graduate School of Management supports an entrepreneurial education program.

Note: The amounts shown are estimated totals over five years.

Sponsored Recommendations

Melles Griot® XPLAN™ CCG Lens Series

March 19, 2024
IDEX Health & Science sets a new standard with our Melles Griot® XPLAN™ CCG Lens Series fluorescence microscope imaging systems. Access superior-quality optics with off-the-shelf...

Spatial Biology

March 19, 2024
Spatial Biology refers to the field that integrates spatial information into biological research, allowing for the study of biological systems in their native spatial context....

Fluorescent Protein Optical Imaging Considerations

March 19, 2024
What factors should you consider when your incorporate fluorescent proteins in an optical imaging application? Learn more.

Custom-Engineered Optical Solutions for Your Application

March 19, 2024
We combine advanced optical design and manufacturing technology, with decades of experience in critical applications, to take you from first designs to ongoing marketplace success...

Voice your opinion!

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of Laser Focus World, create an account today!