Building upon the Institute's traditional strengths in materials science and engineering, Rensselaer researchers are part of a pre-eminent group of scientists around the world working to manipulate matter with atomic precision. With an NSF Nanoscale Science and Engineering Center on campus, a new microelectronics clean room capable of fabrication on the nano-level, and a talented group of biotechnology researchers bringing nano-capabilities to their work, Rensselaer has taken a place at the heart of what has been framed by some as the next 'industrial revolution'.
The Center is primarily involved with fundamental nanotechnology research in materials, devices and systems. By combining computational design with experimentation the Center's researchers are discovering novel pathways to assemble functional multiscale nanostructures with junctions and interfaces between structurally, dimensionally, and compositionally different nanoscale building blocks to create useful hierarchical material systems.
Research in RQI encompasses advanced materials, quantum magnetism, plasmonics and photonics, biophysics, ultracold atom physics, condensed matter and chemical physics, and all aspects of nanoscience and nanotechnology.
The Center for Biological and Environmental Nanotechnology (CBEN) is a National Science Foundation (NSF) funded Nanoscale Science and Engineering Center (NSEC) at Rice University. Aiming to transform nanoscience into a field with the impact of a modern-day polymer science, CBEN focuses on research at the interface between "dry" nanomaterials and aqueous media such as biology and the environment, developing the nanoscience workforce of the future, and transferring discoveries to industry
Faculty in the Department of Materials Science and NanoEngineering hold joint appointments in several other departments: mechanical engineering, bioengineering, chemistry, chemical and biomolecular engineering, electrical and computer engineering, civil and environmental engineering and physics and astronomy.
The Nanomaterials, Nanomechanics and Nanodevices lab (N3L) at Rice University is led by Prof. Jun Lou. Their interests lie in the areas of nanomaterial synthesis, nanomechanical characterization and nanodevice fabrication for energy, environmental and biomedical applications.
Rice University has established a unique interdisciplinary program in Nanophotonics aimed at providing science and engineering students with the educational and research training to develop new tools for generating, controlling and manipulating light at nanoscale dimensions.