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Since 2001, Federal agencies and Cabinet-level departments have invested more than $25 billion in nanotechnology research, development, and commercialization.
These investments, made under the auspices of the NNI, have enabled groundbreaking discoveries that have revolutionized science; established world-class facilities for the characterization of nanoscale materials and their fabrication into nanoscale devices; educated tens of thousands of individuals from undergraduate students to postdoctoral researchers; and fostered the responsible incorporation of nanotechnology into commercial products.
However, ten centuries passed before high-powered microscopes were invented, allowing us to see things at the nanoscale and begin working with these materials.
Nanotechnology as we now know it began more than 30 years ago, when tools to image and measure at the nanoscale became available. National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI) was created to help these researchers benefit from each other’s insights, accelerate technology development, and foster commercialization across disciplines. The term "nanomaterial" refers to nanoscale materials, or materials that contain nanoscale structures internally or on their surfaces.
For more information on how the NNI started and how it is organized, see the page entitled What is the NNI?
The NNI community extends beyond the Federal Government and includes grantees, students, companies, technical and professional societies, foundations, and others engaged in nanotechnology research and development.This community has broken down the traditional disciplinary boundaries and laid the foundation for interdisciplinary discovery, which is increasingly vital to research as fields converge.If you are interested in learning how you can participate, send an email to [email protected] click on 'Read More' below for further details on how to apply.Read more Our students have been involved in new and exciting research and have published in leading journals.See examples of our current students' research: energy harvesting, solar cells, battery materials, mysteries of plants, capsules that build themselves, quantum computing and more.See About the Nano DTC - Applications for 2020 entry will open in early September.For example, a material’s melting point, color, strength, chemical reactivity, and more may change at the nanoscale.Researchers seeking to understand the fundamentals of properties at the nanoscale may call their work nanoscience; those focused on effective use of the properties may call their work nanoengineering.Other nanomaterials have distinct qualities that have led researchers to call them by other non-nano prefix names, such as quantum dots or graphene.Generally speaking, nanomaterials are objects with one or more dimension at the nanoscale.