Clemson University completed construction of a world-class nanomaterials facility specifically designed to support research projects that are funded by the National Science Foundation, Air Force Office of Scientific Research and the Department of Energy.
The new Clemson Nanomaterials Center (CNC) allows leading scientists and engineers to better conduct interdisciplinary nanotechnology research, including the development of high-energy storage and generation devices, superconducting wires and composites and gaining new insights into the nano-bio interface.
“The research work has already begun with most of the equipment already under extensive use,” said Apparao Rao, director of the Nanomaterials Center and R.A. Bowen Professor of Physics in Clemson’s physics and astronomy department.
Rao’s work focuses on broadening the frontiers of nanoscience and translating nanotechnology research to energy generation and storage, thermal management and the nanomedicine industry.
The National Science Foundation recently awarded Rao and his collaborators $1.2 million to find ways to scale up production on some of their nanomaterials to make them practical for manufacturing. The goal: energy-storage devices that could pump up the power of batteries and capacitors in hybrid and electric vehicles, power tools and various other products.
“And today’s industries, especially those working with renewable energy, could use a good jolt,” said Rao.
Clemson partnered with the South Carolina Research Authority (SCRA) to plan and design the new facilities. In six months, the 5,000-square-foot lab was built and outfitted with state-of-the-art equipment, including chemical vapor deposition systems, an electric arc system and advanced spectroscopes and microscopes.
“We are proud to work with Clemson University to advance South Carolina's knowledge economy and to promote the state’s growing prominence in the field of nanomaterials,” said SCRA CEO Bill Mahoney.
The Clemson Nanomaterials Center is strategically located near the Clemson’s Advanced Materials Research Laboratory which includes the Electron Microscopy Laboratory and the Center for Optical Materials Science and Engineering Technologies, which offers researchers the opportunity to capitalize on synergy, share ideas and strengthen Clemson’s efforts in carrying out cutting-edge materials research.