The NRCC was established in December 2002 by the Board of Trustees to promote and facilitate nanotechnology research at WMU. Research in the nanotecnology is a national priority. NRCC is managed by Professor Ekkehard Sinn, Department of Chemistry.
Nanotechnology is a new paradigm dealing with fundamental studies and applications in extremely small dimensions (nanometer, atomic and molecular dimensions). This will fundamentally change the process of scientific inquiry, education, and application in essentially every field of study and can be expected to lead to exciting beneficial new discoveries. NRCC's unique niche area is nanobioenvironmental chemistry which will build on Western Michigan University's existing research strengths in nanotechnology approaches to environmental chemistry, biotechnology and interrelated phenomena and problems. Western is in an unique position with the existing strengths in chemistry, biology, environmental science, physics and engineering to make a significant impact in this critically important field which will significantly impact many areas including national security and defense.
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.