Rice nanophotonics lab gets $3 million training grant

HOUSTON, July 12, 2005 Rice University's Laboratory for Nanophotonics (LANP) has been awarded a highly competitive, five-year, $3 million federal grant for a program to prepare students in the design and fabrication of nanoscale optical components and their applications in emerging technologies.

Nanophotonics, the development of new ways to generate and manipulate light using ultrasmall, engineered structures -- some as tiny as a strand of DNA -- is one of the fastest growing fields in nanotechnology. Nanophotonics spans the disciplines of physics, chemistry, electrical engineering and bioengineering, and it holds promise for important technological advances in industries as diverse as microelectronics, magnetic recording, biomedicine, environmental remediation and homeland security.

The purpose of the training program is to create leaders with the technical and professional skills needed to achieve research breakthroughs in this emerging area and to apply them to a broad range of advanced technologies. The grant was awarded by one of the National Science Foundation's (NSF) most competitive programs, the Integrative Graduate Education and Research Training (IGERT) program.

"Rice has long been known for cross-cutting interdisciplinary research in emerging fields such as biomedicine, information technology and nanotechnology," said LANP Director Naomi Halas, the Stanley C. Moore Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering and professor of chemistry. "Nanophotonics is proving to be a highly valuable new approach in advancing all these technologies. Our nanophotonics program includes leading theorists and experimentalists in both the basic and applied sciences, and the IGERT award recognizes that we have one of the nation's top programs."

A major focus of Rice's program is graduate training in the design, fabrication, and use of nanoscale optical components that are compatible with living systems. Key program elements include a core

Contact: Jade Boyd
Rice University

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