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RX: Materials and Manufacturing Directorate - Library Resources: Nanotechnology


According to the National Nanotechnology Initiative, "Nanotechnology is science, engineering, and technology conducted at the nanoscale, which is about 1 to 100 nanometers. Nanoscience and nanotechnology are the study and application of extremely small things and can be used across all the other science fields, such as chemistry, biology, physics, materials science, and engineering." -- What is Nanotechnology?

In June 2005, Bawa, et al. proposed what they felt was a more appropriate and practical definition of nanotechnology:
"The design, characterization, production, and application of structures, devices, and systems by controlled manipulation of size and shape at the nanometer scale (atomic, molecular, and macromolecular scale) that produces structures, devices, and systems with at least one novel/superior characteristic or property." [Bawa, et al., 2005, "Protecting new ideas and inventions in nanomedicine with patents," Nanomedicine: Nanotechnology, Biology and Medicine v.1(2): 150-158]

Reading Corner

eBooks of Interest:

Books from the National Academies Press

Free eBooks [PDFs] from the National Academies Press

Research Databases

Nanotechnology Research at Universities and National Laboratories -- National Nanotechnology Initiative: College, Graduate School, and Postdoctoral Opportunities
This site has a list of degree programs, including Bachelors degrees with majors, minors and concentrations; Masters degrees; and PhD programs. It also has a list of Scholarships, Fellowships, Internships, and Postdoctoral Positions for students at all stages of their educational career. Useful for locating potential research partners or research teams.

Top Ten U.S. Universities for Nanotechnology Study and Research

  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT): Their research interests include: 
    • Micro/nano-enabled energy and power technology​
    • nanobiotechnology
    • nano/micro design and manufacturing
    • micro/nanoscale mechanics and materials
    • micro/nanophotonics
    • micro/nanoscale transport
  • Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech): The Institute for Electronics and Nanotechnology strategic investments are focused on the miniaturization and integration of micro- and nano-electronics. They also support research in:
    • biomedical nanotechnology
    • nanotechnology for energy storage and production
    • nanomaterials
    • nanoscale optics and photonics
  • University of California, Berkeley: The Berkeley Nanosciences and Nanoengineering Institute (BNNI) is the umbrella organization for expanding and coordinating Berkeley research and educational activities in nanoscale science and engineering. Some of the research institutes associated with the BNNI are:
  • The Berkeley Quantum Information and Computation Center: This center brings together researchers from across campus (from the colleges of Chemistry, Engineering and Physical Sciences) to work on fundamental issues in quantum algorithms, quantum cryptography, quantum control and the experimental realization of quantum computers.
  • Berkeley Sensor and Actuator Center: This is the NSF Industry/University Cooperative Research Center devoted to interdisciplinary engineering research on micro- and nano-scale sensors, moving mechanical elements, microfluidics, materials, and processes that take advantage of progress made in integrated-circuit, bio, and polymer technologies.
  • Center for Analytical Biotechnology: enhances technology development by promoting cross-disciplinary approaches and collaborations directed toward solving key problems in biology and medicine. One of the thrusts of the center is bioimaging and nanotechnology.
  • The Cell Propulsion Lab: A joint Center with the University of California, San Francisco, the Center for Engineering Cellular Control Systems is an NIH-funded Nanomedicine Development Center. Their goal is to understand the fundamental design principles of cellular control systems and to apply these principles to engineer cells or cell-like devices with novel "smart" therapeutic functions.
  • Center for Scalable and Integrated Nanomanufacturing: An NSF-funded Nanoscale Science and Engineering Center consisting of a team of scientists and engineers from University of California Los Angeles, University of California Berkeley, Stanford University, University of California San Diego, University of North Carolina at Charlotte, and HP Labs. The two main technical goals of SINAM are: (1) the ability to do lithography below 20 nm, and (2) the ability to fabricate 3D complex nanostructures. The Center Director is Dr. Xiang Zhang, a UC Berkeley professor of Mechanical Engineering.
  • Stanford University: nano@stanford is one of the 16 sites supported by the National Science Foundation in order to provide researchers from academia, small and large companies, and government with access to university user facilities with leading-edge fabrication and characterization tools, instrumentation, and expertise within all disciplines of nanoscale science, engineering and technology.
  • Harvard University: The Center for Nanotechnology and Nanotoxicology at the Harvard School of Public Health draws on decades of experience with environmental pollutants and the health effects of particles to address the unique environmental health and safety (EHS) concerns raised by engineered nanomaterials (ENM) and nanotechnology applications. Similarly, Professor Charles M. Lieber, in the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, heads a research group that is focused broadly on nanoscience and nanotechnology, harnessing the unique physical properties of novel nanomaterials to push scientific boundaries in biology and medicine.
  • Northwestern University: The International Institute for Nanotechnology at Northwestern University catalyzes and supports world-class interdisciplinary nanoscience research to address the world’s most pressing problems in medicine, environmental science, information technology, energy, homeland security, food and water safety, and transportation.
  • University of California, Los Angeles: The mission of the California NanoSystems Institute at UCLA is to leverage public and private investment for nanoscience research at the interfaces between disciplines, translate discoveries into knowledge-driven commercial enterprises, and educate the next generation of scientists and engineers. The CNSI Technology Centers deliver a collection of world-class capabilities for fabrication, characterization and screening of nanomaterials, systems, and devices to encourage discovery and innovation across disciplines.
  • Rice University: Materials research at Rice encompasses many areas including biomaterials, coatings and thin films, optical materials, energy storage and conversion, carbon nanomaterials and composites and the list goes on. The Department of Materials Science and NanoEngineering is dedicated to expanding the boundaries of knowledge in materials and producing the materials scientists and engineers of the future.
  • University of Chicago: The Pritzker Nanofabrication Facility is focused on supporting basic science, applied research, research and development, and prototype production using micro and nanofabrication. The Center for Nanoscale Materials at Argonne National Laboratory, a half-hour away from the University of Chicago campus, is also a premier user facility. The center’s goal is to support basic research and the development of advanced instrumentation that will help generate new scientific insights, create innovative materials with unique functionality, and contribute significantly to energy-related research and development programs. 
  • The University of Texas at Austin: The Texas Materials Institute acts as a virtual department to ensure that UT-Austin achieves excellence in graduate education and research in the broad field of materials. Nanomaterials, one of the areas of interest, focuses on  microstructural features from 1 – 100 nm in size. The ability to tune material properties by controlling size allows nanomaterials to have applications in a broad range of fields including optics, magnetic devices, catalysis, microelectronics, pharmaceutics, and energy conversion and storage technologies. The University of Texas at Austin has strong expertise in the synthesis, characterization, property measurements, and performance evaluation of nanomaterials as well as devices based on nanomaterials.
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