Nanotechnology, the science and technology of precisely controlling the structure of matter at the molecular level, is widely viewed as the most significant technological frontier currently being explored. Materials and devices at the nanoscale (a nanometer is one billionth of one meter) hold vast promise for innovation in virtually every industry and public endeavor including health, electronics, transportation, the environment, and national security, and has been heralded as "the next industrial revolution."
At the forefront of this new scientific frontier, the Institute for Nanotechnology was established as an umbrella organization for the multimillion dollar nanotechnology research efforts at Northwestern University. The role of the Institute is to support meaningful efforts in nanotechnology, house state-of-the-art nanomaterials characterization facilities, and nucleate individual and group efforts aimed at addressing and solving key problems in nanotechnology.
As part of this effort, a $34 million, 40,000 square foot state-of-the-art Center for Nanofabrication and Molecular Self-Assembly was constructed on the Evanston campus. The new facility, which was anchored by a $14 million grant from the Department of Health and Human Services, is one of the first federally funded facilities of its kind in the United States and home to the Institute headquarters.
Currently comprised of two major interdisciplinary research centers and a celebrated group of award-winning faculty and students, the Institute positions Northwestern University and its partners in academia, industry, and national labs as leaders in this exciting field.
The multimillion dollar interdisciplinary nanotechnology research efforts carried out in the Institute are supported by the NIH, NSF, ARO, ONR, AFOSR, DOE, and many industrial and philanthropic organizations.