CHAMPAIGN, Ill. Through the wonders of modern technology, the world is said to have gotten smaller. Correspondingly, the world of research has grown more minute, a realm where scientists and engineers now routinely work on a scale ranging from the size of small atoms to that of large molecules.
Working at the nanoscale (a nanometer is one billionth of a meter) scientists may develop chemical and biological sensors that will be far more sensitive, selective and cost-effective than conventional systems. Or they might use nanoengineering concepts to create advanced materials, structures and devices for a variety of electronic and photonic applications.
Through numerous avenues of research on nanotechnology, scientists at the University of Illinois are well poised to push back the frontiers of knowledge and make such exciting and beneficial discoveries. The following are a few brief examples of their efforts.
Last fall, the National Science Foundation established six Nanoscale Science and Engineering Centers, each with a specific scientific mission. Researchers at the UI are involved in the work at two of those centers.
The NSF Nanoscale Science and Engineering Center for Directed Assembly of Nanostructures is a partnership among the UI, the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, N.Y., and the Los Alamos National Laboratory in Los Alamos, N.M. The UI program is centered at the Frederick Seitz Materials Research Laboratory on campus, and involves faculty members Jeff Moore and Yi Lu in chemistry; Charles Zukoski in chemical engineering; and Paul Braun, Jennifer Lewis, Ken Schweizer and Gerard Wong in materials science and engineering.
Work at the center is addressing fundamental issues underlying the design and synthesis of dramatically improved materials through hierarchical assembly, said Schweizer, the Morris Professor of Materials Science and Engineering at the UI and associate director of the center. The ability to assemble
Contact: James E. Kloeppel
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign