Rensselaer creates center for nanotechnology research

02 April 2001

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute has created the Rensselaer Nanotechnology Center that will integrate research, education, and technology commercialization through partnerships with government and industry.
Headed by Richard W. Siegel, the Robert W. Hunt Professor of Materials Science and Engineering, the Center will focus on creating novel materials and devices that could, for example, create more effective drug delivery systems in the human body, stronger and more durable plastics, enable high capacity energy and information storage devices, and produce flame-retardant plastics for planes and automobiles, as well as other important applications.
Nanotechnology uses clusters of molecules and atoms to make nanometer (billionth of a meter) size building blocks for new materials. These blocks have different properties than larger sizes of the same materials, such as electrical conductivity, optical properties, and mechanical strength.
These materials can therefore be used for many new applications. The ability to control the pattern of the building blocks of materials has resulted in advances like mirrors that do not fog, more effective sunscreens, and wear-resistant coatings for eyeglass lenses. Research areas of the Center include advanced materials and coatings, biosciences and biotechnology, nanoelectronics, microelectronics, and nanosystems. In addition, a new research effort on potential socioeconomic impacts will be initiated to understand the impact of nanotechnology on industry and society. Some of the Center's activities in nanobiotechnology may be housed in the planned biotechnology building slated for construction on the Troy campus. Contact: Patricia Azriel Tel: +1 518 276 6098

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