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Yale University Commits $100M to Multi-Disciplinary Nanoscience Institute

by Editor1 last modified March 30, 2007 - 15:44

Yale University has formally launched its Yale Institute for Nanoscience & Quantum Engineering, citing more than $100 million in financial commitments. The Yale institute aims to focus on six nano-related disciplines: molecular electronics, quantum information processing, soft-materials chemistry, nanoparticles, photonics, and nanoscale biomedical engineering.

Yale University Commits $100M to Multi-Disciplinary Nanoscience Institute

Yale's dean of engineering Paul Fleury says "uture begins at the intersection of biotechnology and quantum science."

While more than $100 million in funding already earmarked for these areas of investigation at Yale, an initial $5.5 million investment will strengthen the institute's infrastructure and initiate seed projects, according to university officials.

The development of "bridging" research programs to link current investigations and maximize interdisciplinary collaboration will be given highest priority, according to a Yale spokesperson.

Some 60 faculty members across ten Yale departments will form the initial intellectual base, and later provide expertise as more faculty are drawn into this new area of inquiry.

"An important path to the future begins at the intersection of biotechnology and quantum science," explains Paul Fleury, Yale's dean of engineering. 'We seek to understand and control how materials and devices can be assembled and how their functions can be programmed from the atoms up."

NanoBiology Momentum at Yale
News of the Yale’s multi-disciplinary nanotechnology investment follows by a few weeks news that a team of Yale biomedical engineers and cell biologists received a $1-million award from the National Science Foundation to develop “smart nanoparticles” for the delivery of vaccines.

Led by Tarek Fahmy, assistant professor of biomedical engineering, the team will apply the two-year, Nanoscale Interdisciplinary Research Team (NIRT) funding to develop a new class of nanomaterials with properties that mimic biological vectors like bacteria and viruses.

“While previous research has shown that safe, biocompatible materials can be engineered into nanoparticles that contain drugs or vaccines, we will develop new materials for vectors that interact specifically and predictably with cells,” said Fahmy. “Our nanosystems will be designed to evade the normal barriers and stimulate antigen-presenting cells of the immune system.”

Working together, biomedical and materials scientists at Yale are looking to these "smart" targatebale nanoparticles as devices that could seek out and destroy individual cancer cells while bypassing healthy ones.

Non-Biological Nanoscience Research at Yale
Yale’s Center for Microelectronics Materials and Structures has worked on the following projects:
  • Semiconductor device physics; MOS interfaces; ionizing radiation effects; hot carrier effects; electron tunneling; random telegraph signals and 1/f noise; advanced gate dielectrics; ferroelectric thin films.
  • Optoelectronics, novel compound semiconductor materials and devices, optical properties of novel compound semiconductor materials, long-wavelength optical emitters and detectors, physics of quantum well devices.
  • Heterojunction and low dimensional device physics; tunneling; mesoscopic physics; quantum devices; nanotechnology; molecular electronics. Chair of the Department of Electrical Engineering.
  • Exploratory compound semi-conductor materials and devices.
  • Photonic and elctronic materials and devices form wide bandgap semiconductors.
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