Research in Progress

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Any research in verifying predictions of theories, discovering new phenomena, or creating prototypes for engineering structures, devices, circuits, and systems requires a complex effort in fabrication of the experimental apparatus. In the case of experiments at the nanoscale, this fabrication, which is performed at the Cornell Nanofabrication Facility (CNF), takes advantage of techniques (or fabrication processes as engineers like to call them due to their background in the semiconductor industry) from a multitude of disciplines. The structural form of the end result is applicable to research in electronics, physics, chemistry, biology, materials science, and mechanical engineering. This interdisciplinarity of the research and its techniques are central to work at the nanoscale.

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In the past few years, nanobiotechnology has emerged as an exciting scientific and technological opportunity to meld nano-microfabrication and biosystems to the benefit of both. Nanobiotechnology is the genesis of substantial new insights into the structure and operation of biological systems, which leads to the design of new classes of micro- and nanofabricated devices and systems.

Featuring close collaboration among life scientists, physical scientists, and engineers, the Nanobiotechnology Center (NBTC) enters its third successful year as a National Science Foundation-supported Science and Technology Center. With Cornell as the lead institution, the center draws on the talents of biological researchers at the Wadsworth Center of the New York State Department of Health and academic scientists from Clark Atlanta, Howard, Princeton, and Oregon Health and Sciences Universities.

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The Alliance for Nanomedical Technologies, established in 2001, brings together academia and the private sector of New York State to develop the next generation of medical devices. The New York State Office of Science, Technology, and Academic Research (NYSTAR), awarded the Alliance $2.8 million over two years to establish a new Center for Advanced Technology (CAT). Cornell University, University of Rochester, the Wadsworth Center of the New York State Department of Health, and Tompkins County Community College, as partners in the Alliance, seek to exploit the interface between engineering and biology, and to harness microfabrication techniques in order to build integrated devices.

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For more than a third of a century, some of the most
important technological advances of modern society have originated from the successful efforts of engineers and
scientists to repeatedly shrink the scale and increase the performance and capabilities of information technology components and systems. These continuing advancements in electronics, information storage, optoelectronics, and photonics have revolutionized technology, creating whole new industries and affecting major societal change.

The Center for Nanoscale Systems in Information Technology (CNS) was established at Cornell in 2001 as result of a nationwide competition held by the National Science Foundation (NSF) to address some of the exciting challenges that clearly are to be found in nanotechnology research and development. CNS's focus is to develop nanoscale science and nanoscale technology for application in future high-performance information technology systems.

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The mission of the Cornell Center for Materials Research (CCMR), established in the early 1960s, is to explore, advance, and exploit the forefront of the science and engineering of advanced materials. The unifying theme of the center’s current research is the study of materials purposefully structured at the nanoscale (near atomic dimensions). This objective is pursued through experimental and theoretical studies of the assembly and processing of nanomaterials and their resulting behavior. CCMR aims to be a world leader in the design, control, and understanding of the behavior of both crystalline and disordered nanomaterials.

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