The research in the nanotechnology area is inspired by the need to find solutions to many pressing problems in the medical, environmental, computational, and national security areas where traditional approaches have reached limitations or failed. The nanotechnology approach is a new paradigm comprising of fundamental investigation of phenomena at the atomic and molecular levels and the application of knowledge gained through such fundamental research to a variety of applications such as the design and fabrication of new materials, faster computers, medical diagnostic and treatment procedures, and methods for pollution prevention, environmental remediation and restoration. Investigation of nanostrucutres that can yield highly sensitive and selective sensors for chemical, biological, and radiological agents has emerged as a critical area of research for medical, environmental, and national security applications.
NRCC's unique niche research area is “nanobioenvironmental chemistry” which:
- Addresses through experimental and computational research interrelated phenomena and problems in chemistry and biology pertinent and significant to the environment.
- Is multidisciplinary and employs nanoscience and nanoengineering principles and approaches - molecular self-assembly, concept of lab-on-a-chip, nano- and micro-fluidics, low-dimensional solids, nanotubes, bio-inspired materials, characterization of phenomena at the molecular level by imaging and spectroscopic techniques, and sensors.
- Will have significant impact on the scientific and technological developments in addressing environmental problems (pollution prevention, detection, and remediation), biotechnology (simple, inexpensive, and speedy diagnosis of ailments; targeted drug delivery; simple and inexpensive drug dosage monitoring for severe ailments such as cancer and AIDS; real-time automated medical treatment), bioterrorism (detection and remediation), and national defense (threat detection, threat neutralization and real-time automated medical treatment on the battle field).
- Will provide educational and collaborative research opportunities and facilitate the establishment of nanotechnology-based businesses in the local community.
The goals of NRCC are:
- Engage in cutting-edge nanotechnology research in science and engineering.
- Educate and train undergraduate and graduate students, and postdoctoral associates in the nanotechnology area.
- Aggressively pursue federal and private research funding through individual and collaborative research grants.
- Collaborate with other universities and national laboratories.
- Collaborate with industrial partners locally and nationally.
- Develop multidisciplinary courses at the undergraduate and graduate levels.
- Actively recruit students, especially women and underrepresented groups, from local high schools and colleges for undergraduate and graduate programs.
- Maintain a world-renowned research program through externally funded research, publications, and presentations at national and international meetings.
- Be pivotal in the university's mission to be a Student Centered Research University and in maintaining the university's Carnegie classification under the A Doctoral/Research Universities-Extensive@ category.