Nano Research Facility School of Engineering & Applied Science

Vision & Plans

Today, nanotechnology plays a vital role in expediting a revolution in technology and industry that benefits our society. Advances in nanotechnology - the ability to engineer, manipulate, and manufacture materials at the nanoscale - have enabled an industry to produce and use engineered nanomaterials in a wide variety of consumer products. It is anticipated that the escalating use of these materials in industrial and consumer products will result in greater exposure of workers and the general public to these nanomaterials. Therefore, it is essential to embark on responsible development of nanotechnology - a commitment to develop and to use these materials to meet human and societal needs, while making every reasonable effort to anticipate and mitigate adverse effects and unintended consequences.

Washington University Engineering has technical expertise to build our niche at the intersection of nanotechnology and important needs in public health and the environment with a focus on:

  • Nanostructured Materials - the bottom up approach to nanofabrication
  • Nanotoxicology - nanotechnology in the context of public health and the environment
  • Photoacoustic Microscopy - nanotechnology as an enabler for early cancer detection

The Nano Research Facility (NRF) cultivates an open and shared research environment that brings researchers across disciplines together, particularly in the emerging area of nanomaterials with applications in the energy, environment, and biomedical fields. NRF includes a micro-fabrication lab, surface characterization lab, particle technology lab, and bio-imaging lab.  NRF is available to both academic and industry users nation-wide. Our commitment is to provide unique technical capabilities in areas of:

  • Knowledge-based synthesis of nanostructured materials
  • Particle instrumentation tools for toxicity studies
  • Non-invasive imaging modalities for nano and biological applications