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NSF Nanoscale Science and Engineering Centers

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Nanomanufacturing Nanoscale Science and Engineering Centers

Center for Hierarchical Manufacturing
University of Massachusetts Amherst
The Center for Hierarchical Manufacturing is an NSF Nanoscale Science and Engineering Center (NSEC). The mission of The Center for Hierarchical Manufacturing (CHM) at the University of Massachusetts is to be a leading research and education center for the development of efficient, cost effective process platforms and versatile tools for the two and three dimensional integration of components and systems across multiple length scales. The approach integrates nanofabrication processes for sub-30 nm elements based on directed self-assembly, additive-driven assembly, nanoimprint lithography, high fidelity 3-D polymer template replication, and conformal deposition at the nanoscale with Si wafer technologies or high-rate roll-to-roll (R2R) based production tools to yield materials and devices with unprecedented performance for computing, energy conversion and human health. The CHM effort is made comprehensive by research on device design, modeling and prototype testing in functional architectures that takes advantage of the specific hierarchical nanomanufacturing capabilities developed by the Center.

Center for High-rate Nanomanufacturing
Northeastern University
The NSF-funded Nanoscale Science and Engineering Center for High-rate Nanomanufacturing is a collaborative effort with core research partners linked above. Research falls into three categories: 1) Large scale directed assembly & transfer, 2) Environmental health & safety, and 3) Regulatory & ethical issues. Education & outreach programming is linked here and at partner institutions. Use the navigation bar to the left to browse our news, events, projects, and publications in each area.

Center for Scalable and Integrated Nanomanufacturing
University of California Berkeley
With the vision of a new nanotechnology manufacturing paradigm combining fundamental scientific research with industrial outlook, SINAM has developed its leadership in nanomanufacturing through the collective effort of its exceptional interdisciplinary team of academic and industrial researchers from seven institutions during our Phase I operation. In our Phase II operation, the multi-institutional team effort of SINAM including The University of California at Berkeley (UCB), The University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA), Stanford University, The University of North Carolina Charlotte (UNCC), Northwestern University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Hewlett-Packard Laboratories, brings together a wealth of expertise in manufacturing, process systems and modeling, material synthesis, the physical sciences and applications development. In an environment dedicated to multi-disciplinary and collaborative science, in addition to a program of education for the next generation of pioneers, SINAM creates the opportunities for industrial quantum-leaps in nanotechnology.

Center for Nanoscale Chemical-Electrical-Mechanical Manufacturing Systems

University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
Research in the Center for Nanoscale Chemical-Electrical-Mechanical Manufacturing Systems (Nano-CEMMS) addresses a central problem in the development of nanotechnology: how to assemble structures at sizes smaller than can be seen (or transduced) and manipulated (or transcribed). Making three-dimensional, nanoscale devices and systems from millions to trillions of different types of molecules is incredibly difficult. The Center's goal is to develop a reliable, robust and cost-effective nanomanufacturing system to make nanostructures from multiple materials. This technology will allow advancements and discoveries in nanoscience to move from the laboratory to production. The Nano-CEMMS Center is a partnership of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Stanford University, North Carolina Agricultural and Technological State University, University of California - Irvine, University of Notre Dame, and Northwestern University.

Other Nanoscale Science and Engineering Centers

Center for Nanoscale Systems (NSEC)
Cornell University
The Center for Nanoscale Systems in Information Technology was established at Cornell in 2001 by the National Science Foundation as one of 6 interdisciplinary Nanoscale Science and Engineering Centers (NSEC’s) to address the existing challenges and opportunities that are to be found in nanotechnology research and development. The Center for Nanoscale Systems is supported by NYSTAR the New York State Office of Science, Technology & Academic Research. Cornell’s Center for Nanoscale Systems is positioned to be a major leadership component of the overall Federal effort collectively known as the National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI).

Science of Nanoscale Systems and their Device Applications (NSEC)
Harvard University
Our Nanoscale Science and Engineering Center (NSEC) is a collaboration among Harvard University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the University of California—Santa Barbara, and the Museum of Science—Boston with participation by Delft University of Technology (Netherlands), the University of Basel (Switzerland), the University of Tokyo (Japan), and the Brookhaven, Oak Ridge, and the Sandia National Laboratories. The NSEC combines "top down" and "bottom up" approaches to construct novel electronic and magnetic devices with nanoscale sizes and understand their behavior, including quantum phenomena. Through a close integration of research, education, and public outreach, the Center encourages and promotes the training of a diverse group of people to be leaders in this new interdisciplinary field.

Center for Biological and Environmental Nanotechnology
Rice University
CBEN discovers and develops nanomaterials to enable new medical and environmental technologies. Nanotechnologies generally have great potential to revolutionize how we treat disease and clean our environment. CBEN focuses on those technologies that use chemically prepared, soluble nanomaterials. These materials are the same size as naturally occurring biomolecules, and can be designed for specific functions in biological and environmental systems. Successful applications require fine manipulation of the interface between inorganic nanostructures (the dry side) and biological systems (the wet side). CBEN has termed this the ‘wet/dry interface’ and its control is the organizing theme of all of CBEN’s science and engineering research.

Center for Integrated Nanopatterning and Detection Technologies (NSEC)
Northwestern University
Established in 2001, the NU-NSEC represents researchers from Northwestern University, University of Chicago, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and Argonne National Laboratory and their collaborators from industry, academic institutions, and national laboratories in the common goal to create an accelerated pathway from conception to application to commercialization. The overarching research goal is to develop new and powerful detection technologies for biological and chemical analytes based on nano-engineered materials, and substantial progress has been made toward realizing this goal. The two targeted deliverables are (1) an automated, massively-parallel nanopatterning system capable of routinely printing sub-100 nm soft matter features over large areas, and (2) an integrated, ultrasensitive, biodetection system capable of identifying protein and nucleic acid disease markers with complex samples at the point-of-care. Research is divided into three synergistic research groups (or SRGs): Nanopatterning SRG; Signal Transduction & Receptor Design SRG; and Integrated Biodetection Chip SRG. The Center also provides seed funding for one or two projects each year in new and emerging areas.

Center for Electron Transport in Molecular Nanostructures (NSEC)
Columbia University
As the ability to create faster and smarter silicon based devices approaches its finite limits, the world has turned to nanoscience to continue the information processing evolution. Nanoscience involves the study and observation of phenomena on the dimensional scale of nanometers, a unit measuring one billionth of a meter (3 - 4 atoms wide). Mastery of this field is essential in order to create smarter, faster and cheaper computer based products beyond the next decade. With this important task in mind, The Columbia University Nanocenter's goal is to establish new paradigms for information processing using the characteristics of electron transport unique to nanoscale molecular structures. Founded in 2001, the Nanocenter draws upon years of experience in chemical synthesis to design molecular structures with carefully crafted properties. This work has the potential to impact major disciplines in addition to electronics including photonics, biology, neuroscience and medicine.

Center for Directed Assembly of Nanostructures (NSEC)
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Our NSF Center integrates research, education, and technology dissemination to serve as a leading national and international resource for fundamental knowledge and applications in nanoscale science and technology. We partner with industry and research groups internationally, with quality undergraduate institutions with diverse student populations, and with innovative K-12 educational programs to ensure that the fruits of our Center's research, education, and outreach efforts are having significant impact on society. The results of our program are leading to new methodologies for assembling novel functional materials and devices from nanoscale building blocks, to an interdisciplinary cadre of students and researchers trained in nanoscale science and engineering, to new opportunities for helping to create a science literate public through informal education based on nanoscience, and to novel applications of nanotechnology that may spur industry into the 21st century.

Center on Templated Synthesis and Assembly at the Nanoscale
University of Wisconsin
The University of Wisconsin-Madison Nanoscale Science and Engineering Center in Templated Synthesis and Assembly at the Nanoscale, funded by the National Science Foundation, addresses grand challenges associated with directed assembly of nanoscale materials into functional systems and architectures through the use of self-assembly, chemical patterning, and external fields. Public dialogue, analysis of governmental regulation, and environmental health and safety research are integral components of the Center. The NSEC operates an ambitious and unique education and outreach program aimed at cultivating the next generation of nanoscale science and engineering experts with diverse and interdisciplinary backgrounds.

Center for Probing the Nanoscale
Stanford University
Stanford and IBM have a distinguished legacy in nanoprobe technology. The goal of the Center for Probing the Nanoscale (CPN) is to continue this legacy and broaden its impact. CPN aims to develop the nanoprobes that will become the standard equipment of the future, enabling the nanotechnology community to measure, image, and control nanoscale phenomena.

Center for Affordable Nanoengineering of Polymeric Biomedical Devices
Ohio State University
The primary goal of the Center for Affordable Nanoengineering of Polymeric Biomedical Devices (CANPBD) is to develop polymer-based, low-cost nanomaterials and nanoengineering technology to produce advanced medical diagnostic devices, cellbased devices, and multifunctional polymer-nanoparticle-biomolecule nanostructures for next-generation medical and pharmaceutical applications. Although challenging, this goal provides opportunities for scientific breakthroughs, cutting edge technologies and novel interdisciplinary system integration. Fundamental science and engineering is one of the major foci of our center. In Phase I, many useful nanotechnologies, devices and nanoconstructs have been developed. Each has specific merits and value-added capabilities providing for near-term applications. Following this success, we plan to establish a nanotechnology pipeline in Phase II to address the need for (1) ‘up-stream’ fundamental science, (2) high risk technologies meeting long-term research objectives, and (3) ‘down-stream’ devices and nanoconstructs requiring integrated system-level effort.

Center of Integrated Nanomechanical Systems
University of California—Berkeley
The Center of Integrated Nanomechanical Systems (COINS) is a multidisciplinary nanoscale science and engineering center (NSEC) funded by the National Science Foundation with its headquarters at the  University of California at Berkeley and satellite campuses at Stanford, Caltech, and University of California at Merced. The goal of COINS is to develop and integrate cutting-edge nanotechnologies into a versatile platform with various ultra-sensitive, ultra-selective, self-powering, mobile, wirelessly communicating detection applications. The success of this mission requires new advances in nanodevices, from fundamental building blocks to enabling technologies to full device integration. Since 2004, we have set our Center on a path towards achieving this goal by developing four major research thrusts, in the areas of Energy, Sensing, Mobility, and Electronics/Wireless. Each of these programs encompasses research projects spanning the full spectrum of basic through to the applied level, and each program has a set of criteria that has been established for use as a means of determining which projects to support, in order to assure optimal project alignment. In addition to engaging in research within each of the enabling thrusts, we are also integrating the component technologies from each of the thrusts to realize into functioning detection systems.

Nano-Bio Interface Center
University of Pennsylvania
Nano/Bio Interface Center at the University of Pennsylvania is a Nanoscale Science and Engineering Center (NSEC) bringing together researchers from the Schools of Engineering and Applied Science; Arts and Sciences; and Medicine. The NBIC exploits Penn's internationally recognized strengths in design of molecular function and quantification of individual molecules. The Center unites investigators from ten departments to provide, not only new directions for the life sciences, but also for engineering in a two-way flow essential to fully realizing the benefits of nano-biotechnology.

Center for Nanotechnology in Society
Arizona State University
The guiding conceptual goals of CNS-ASU are two-fold: to increase reflexivity within the nanotechnology enterprise and to increase society’s capacity to engage in anticipatory governance of nanotechnology and other emerging technologies. “Reflexivity” refers to the capacity for social learning that informs about the available choices in decision making about nanotechnology. This reflexiveness can signal emerging problems, enabling what we call anticipatory governance – the ability of society and institutions to seek and understand a variety of inputs to manage emerging technologies while such management is still possible. Through this improved contextual awareness, we can help guide the path of nanotechnology knowledge and innovation toward more socially desirable outcomes and away from undesirable ones.

Center for Nanotechnology in Society
University of California—Santa Barbara
The NSF Center for Nanotechnology in Society at UCSB serves as a national research and education center, a network hub among researchers and educators concerned with societal issues concerning nanotechnologies, and a resource base for studying these issues in the US and abroad. The Center addresses education for a new generation of social science and nanoscience professionals, and it conducts research on the historical context of the nano-enterprise, on innovation processes and global diffusion of nanotech, and on risk perception and the public sphere. CNS-UCSB researchers address a linked set of social and environmental issues regarding the domestic US and global creation, development, commercialization, production, consumption, and control of specific kinds of nanoscale technologies.

Societal Interactions with Nanotechnology—NanoCenter
University of South Carolina
The NanoCenter is the University's focal point for science and engineering studies of nanometer-scale structures, their unique properties, and their integration into functional units. It fosters multidisciplinary research and education efforts involving faculty whose combined expertise spans the disciplines of a comprehensive research university, including the arts and sciences, engineering, and medicine, as well as other professional schools.