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University of Wisconsin Nanoscale Science & Engineering Center

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NSEC on Templated Synthesis and Assembly at the Nanoscale  (University of Wisconsin-Madison)

Research Focus & Anticipated Benefits

The Nanoscale Science and Engineering Center (NSEC) at the University of Wisconsin, Madison is sponsored by the National Science Foundation (NSF). NSECs address complex, interdisciplinary challenges in nanoscale science and engineering, and integrate research with education internally and through a variety of partnership activities.

The Wisconsin NSEC addresses grand challenges associated with directed assembly of nanoscale materials into functional systems and architectures through the use of self-assembly, chemical patterning, and external fields. Research at the Center aims to advance the performance of nanomanufacturing processes; explore directed assembly at the nanoscale through the synthesis of biologically-inspired organic nanostructures; and manipulate the assembly of nanoscale objects, including particles and macromolecules. Wisconsin NSEC scientists also study the environmental health and safety implications of nanotechnology to elucidate the toxicity of nanomaterials and their environmental fates.

Education & Outreach

Wisconsin NSEC education and outreach activities are designed to educate teachers, students, and the general public about nanoscience. Programs for teachers include Research Experience for Teachers (RET), professional development workshops offered through the Wisconsin Summer Science Academies program, and an online nanotechnology course for high school and middle school teachers. The Center also supports programs directed toward K-12 students including projects that help build diversity within the scientific community. Today's Science for Tomorrow's Scientists is an online tutorial to teach middle and high school students about NSEC research. The SciEncounters program partners with local Boys and Girls clubs to excite teenagers and middle school students about science and engineering. Partnering with the ILAB program, the Center works to develop instruments to enable blind and visually impaired high school and college students to work independently in the laboratory. For undergraduates, the Wisconsin NSEC hosts an annual Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program in nanotechnology. NSEC programs for the general public include the SPICE (Students Participating in Chemical Education) program that presents nanoscience and technology demonstrations shows at local public outings.

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