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Award Abstract #1542015

NNCI: North Carolina Research Triangle Nanotechnology Network (RTNN)

NSF Org: ECCS
Div Of Electrical, Commun & Cyber Sys
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Initial Amendment Date: September 10, 2015
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Latest Amendment Date: September 10, 2015
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Award Number: 1542015
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Award Instrument: Cooperative Agreement
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Program Manager: Lawrence S. Goldberg
ECCS Div Of Electrical, Commun & Cyber Sys
ENG Directorate For Engineering
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Start Date: September 15, 2015
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End Date: August 31, 2020 (Estimated)
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Awarded Amount to Date: $1,100,000.00
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Investigator(s): Jacob Jones jacobjones@ncsu.edu (Principal Investigator)
James Cahoon (Co-Principal Investigator)
David Berube (Co-Principal Investigator)
Mark Wiesner (Co-Principal Investigator)
Nan Marie Jokerst (Co-Principal Investigator)
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Sponsor: North Carolina State University
CAMPUS BOX 7514
RALEIGH, NC 27695-7514 (919)515-2444
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NSF Program(s): NANOSCALE: INTRDISCPL RESRCH T,
PROJECTS,
National Nanotechnology Coordi,
BIO CENTERS
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Program Reference Code(s): 7237
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Program Element Code(s): 1674, 1978, 7601, 7634

ABSTRACT

The Research Triangle Nanotechnology Network (RTNN) enables innovation and commercialization of new promising nanotechnologies and enables public education for the U.S. by providing technical leadership and open access to comprehensive and unique nanotechnology laboratories, equipment, and research expertise. The RTNN is anchored by three major research universities (North Carolina State University, Duke University, and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill) that are clustered near one of the nation's major nanoscience and nano-biotechnology regional economies. The RTNN focuses on pioneering, studying, and refining innovative methods to catalyze both traditional and emerging nanotechnology research areas, including those from Biology, Biomedical Engineering, Textile Engineering, Environmental Engineering, Agriculture, Soil Science, Forest Biomaterials, and Plant & Microbial Biology. Since the barriers of distance, cost, and awareness often prevent facility usage by both traditional and non-traditional users, the RTNN will surmount these barriers using a variety of innovative programs. The RTNN further leads research on the societal and ethical implications of nanotechnology, including issues of environmental health, safety, ethics, and equity, through a Social and Ethical Implications of Nanotechnology (SEIN) component that also assesses innovative program success. The RTNN will create a nanotechnology innovation ecosystem that spans grades 7-12, community colleges, universities, and industry. By translating program successes across the nation, the RTNN will become a national focal point for innovation and will serve as a guide for nanotechnology innovation ecosystems across the nation.

The RTNN brings together comprehensive shared user facilities and complementary faculty research programs at three major research universities. These resources will be used to dramatically increase the national impact of state-of-the-art fabrication and characterization facilities and research expertise in nanoscience and nanotechnology. RTNN technical capabilities span nanofabrication and nano-characterization of traditional hard, dry materials (i.e., 2D and 3D nanomaterials, metamaterials, photonics, and heterogeneous integration) and emerging soft, wet materials (i.e., tissue, textile, plant, and animal nanomaterials). Specific areas of capability include the environmental assessment of nanotechnology, atomic layer deposition, flexible integrated systems, and fluidic systems. The RTNN will enable emerging research areas by adding additional process flows and tools throughout the project that enable new ways of integrating and interfacing the nano-scale with the human-scale. The RTNN will expand shared facilities usage by creating and assessing innovative programs and disseminating these programs across the nation. These programs include graduate student peer-to-peer distance use internet networking, summer undergraduate research internships with follow-on outreach to the student's school of origin, public engagement leveraging large scale internet courses, and outreach to grades K-12. A specific emphasis is on engaging users from underserved user groups, including women, minorities, and people who do not typically access shared university facilities. The aim of the RTNN is to create a comprehensive, integrated nanotechnology ecosystem that will provide a pipeline of STEM students for a strong, vibrant, and entrepreneurial next generation workforce.

 

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