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Macromolecular, Supramolecular and Nanochemistry  (MSN)

Name Email Phone Room
Suk-Wah  Tam-Chang (703) 292-8684   
John  M. Papanikolas (703) 292-8809   
Luke  Hanley (703) 292-8653   
Catalina  Achim (703) 292-2048   
George  M. Janini (703) 292-4971   


Proposals submitted to this program (including individual and collaborative proposals, GOALIs) must be submitted to the CHE Disciplinary Research Programs solicitation.


  • RUI proposals should be submitted to the RUI Solicitation during the proposal submission window.
  • proposals submitted in response to another solicitation (CAREER)
  • conference proposals (must discuss with a Program Officer before submission)
  • EAGER, RAPID or RAISE proposals (must discuss with a Program Officer before submission)


The Macromolecular, Supramolecular and Nanochemistry (MSN) Program focuses on basic research that addresses fundamental questions and advances knowledge regarding the chemistry of macromolecular, supramolecular, and nanoscopic structures. Research of interest to this program will explore novel chemistry concepts including, but not limited to: synthesis of macromolecular, supramolecular and nanoscopic structures; surface functionalization methodologies; surface monolayer chemistry; and template-directed synthesis; inter- and intra-molecular interactions that give rise to macromolecular, supramolecular or nanoparticulate self-assembly into discrete structures; and chemical dynamics that are responsible for spatial organization in discrete organic, inorganic, or hybrid systems (excluding extended solids).  Also included are advanced experimental or computational methods to delineate or to predict the chemical structure, unique chemical and physicochemical properties, and chemical reactivity that result from macromolecular, supramolecular, and nanoscopic structures, including systems that exhibit quantum confinement and other non-classical effects. Projects which demonstrate synergy between experiment and theory are of special interest.

Submissions that address national needs are encouraged.  Of particular interest are the priority areas associated with NSF's Ten Big Ideas.  Elements particularly relevant to the Division of Chemistry include: Harnessing the Data Revolution, the Quantum Leap, Midscale Instrumentation, Understanding the Rules of Life, and Growing Convergence Research at NSF.  Consult Chemistry's Dear Colleague Letter compilation for Division-specific guidance on how these areas match the Division's portfolio.

Submissions that advance MSN chemistry knowledge in sustainability are also encouraged.  Examples include, but are not limited to: transformative approaches to efficient and inexpensive synthesis using renewable feedstocks or earth abundant elements; and innovative research that enhances the understanding of efficient use and recycling of critical elements or the conversion of energy from renewable sources.

Proposals for which the primary focus is on single molecules, extended solids (including metal organic frameworks), materials research, fate of nanoparticles in the environment, device properties, engineering, biological properties (including toxicity), drug delivery, or selection or genetic engineering of enzymes are not of interest in the MSN Program.  Investigators interested in these areas are encouraged to approach other, more closely aligned programs such as those in the Divisions of Materials Research (DMR), Physics (PHY), and Chemical, Bioengineering, Environmental, and Transport Systems (CBET).

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