NU receives $5M for national nanoscale research

Drew Gerber, Assistant Campus Editor

Northwestern has received a $5 million five-year grant from the National Science Foundation to create a national resource for nanoscale research in collaboration with the University of Chicago, which will provide researchers access to nanotechnology facilities and expertise.

The Soft and Hybrid Nanotechnology Experimental Resource, comprising six NU research facilities and one facility at UChicago, operates under the direction of NU’s International Institute for Nanotechnology. The collaboration is one of 16 sites nationwide to receive funding.

“(It) streamlines our nanotechnology facilities, providing unique and integrated capabilities for internal Northwestern and UChicago researchers as well as external users, especially small and medium enterprises and startup companies,” said Vinayak P. Dravid, Northwestern’s director of the collaboration, in a news release.

The grant will allow for further collaboration between Northwestern and UChicago researchers but also supports access for external researchers from the region and nationally.

The collaboration offers tools focused on hybrid nanostructures in addition to traditional nanotechnology tools, Northwestern said in a news release. Hybrid nanostructures, combining biological structures with rigid elements on a nanoscale, are used in applications such as biosensors and tissue regeneration.

“This award further cements our leadership in nanotechnology and related advanced materials research, education and outreach,” Dravid said.

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