Nanotechnology: Research & Development Capabilities

nanoballsNanoscience studies how materials behave at the near-atomic level (10-9 or one-billionth of a meter). Many intrinsic and functional properties of biological, chemical and physical materials and processes begin at this scale. Through nanoengineering, we can help you create processes that are sustainable and efficient. Our work assists industries specializing in health care, pharmaceuticals, environmental remediation, chemical detection, functional materials, energy, electronics and more.

Research and Capabilities


  • Environmental health and safety of nanomaterials
  • Nanomaterials for environmental remediation and water purification
  • Nanoparticle-cell interactions


  • Nanomaterials for extreme environments
  • Nanomaterials for energy development
  • Synthesis and evaluation of self-healing materials
  • Nanostructured antifouling and responsive surfaces
  • Nanocomposites
  • Self and directed assembly of nanomaterials
  • Nanomaterials for electro- and magneto-actuated assembly and manipulation
  • Nanostructured chemical sensors

Characterization and Processing

  • Advanced imaging of nanomaterials and nanoparticles
  • Fracture mechanics of nanomaterials
  • Nanoscale thermal and electrical conductivity
  • Thermomechanics of nanoscale features in microprocessing
  • Nanoscale computation
  • Nanoscale transport phenomena (nanofluidics)
The college’s Field Emission-Scanning Electron Microscope (FE-SEM) offers cryogenic capability.

Health care/Pharmaceutics

  • Nano-scale disease therapeutics and diagnostics (nanotheranostics)
  • Biomaterials and artificial tissue
  • Point-of-care diagnostics and biosensing
  • Electromagnetic-based physical nanotherapeutics
  • Nanoscale biophysics
  • 3-D in vitro cell culture

Specialized Equipment

  • 3-D printing
  • Atomic force microscope (AFM)
  • Energy dispersive x-ray spectroscopy (EDS)
  • Field emission-scanning electron microscope
  • (FE-SEM) with cryogenic capability
  • Nano differential scanning calorimeter (DSC)
  • Optical/fluorescence microscopy
  • Static and dynamic light scattering (SLS, DLS)
  • Transmission electron microscope with cryogenic capability (TEM)
  • Ultraviolet-visible, fluorescence, and infrared spectroscopy
  • X-ray Diffraction (XRD) system

Specialized Laboratories

  • Bionanotechnology
  • Colloids and Interface
  • Dynamics Photomechanics
  • Electromagnetically Inspired Biomaterials and Biosystems
  • Molecular Simulation
  • Nanofluidics
  • Pharmaceutical Engineering
  • Sensors and Surfaces
  • Sustainable and Environmental Technologies
  • Thermomechanics and Tribology

Our Partners

  • Amgen
  • BASF
  • Cabot Corporation
  • Ford Motor Company
  • Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative
  • Jenike & Johanson, Inc.
  • National Institutes of Health
  • National Science Foundation
  • Naval Undersea Warfare Center
  • Procter and Gamble
  • Rhode Island Department of Transportation
  • Rhode Island Space Grant Consortium

Rhode Island Consortium for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology

Established by Congress, is a joint initiative between the University of Rhode Island and Brown University that focuses on enhancing Rhode Island’s competitiveness in nanoscience and nanotechnology by fostering research collaboration, building infrastructure and promoting corporate investment. Visit the consortium’s website.

Think Big We Do

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