Next Generation Nano
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How can we create materials that are stronger,
lighter, and faster?
How do we spur a new revolution in
computing and electronics?

How can we create materials that are stronger, lighter, and faster?

What breakthroughs will transform how
we generate energy?

How can we create materials that are stronger, lighter, and faster?

How do we spur a new revolution in computing and electronics?

What breakthroughs will transform how
we generate energy?

How can we create materials that are stronger, lighter, and faster?

How do we spur a new revolution in computing and electronics?

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In recent decades, researchers working at scales as small as a single atom, the nanoscale, have revolutionized our understanding of how matter is structured. At this scale, classical physical laws overlap with quantum effects permitting assembly of structures and devices that have novel properties, applications, and behaviors. Columbia’s work in next generation nanotechnology and fabrication holds immense promise for both further discovery and practical applications. Led by the Columbia Nano Initiative, their discoveries, and the new tools and methods they develop, are leading to the creation of materials with extraordinary qualities – extremely strong, highly conducive to energy transfer, unique in their electrical properties – allowing for revolutionary advances in:

COMPUTING

For the past few decades computers have become smaller and smaller, and faster and faster, through silicon-based solid state computing – a material which is now placing limits on further development. Newly fabricated materials built from the nano-level up hold the promise of replacing silicon, producing a transformation in computing that will far surpass the silicon revolution.

NEW MATERIALS

Columbia is a leading center for graphene research. Our scientists are exploring this super-strong material’s potential for paper-thin smart phones as strong as steel, TV screens that roll up like paper, aircraft far lighter than any seen before, and remarkable bioactive structures.

ENERGY

Whether pioneering new techniques for enhancing solar energy efficiency or developing a platform to harness the energy of evaporation – the biggest energy source in nature – Columbia researchers are using nanoscience to open new frontiers in clean, renewable energy.


  • In September, the Columbia Nano Initiative opened a state of the art new clean room at the Schapiro Center for Engineering and Physical Science Research, which will support projects in physics, electrical engineering, applied physics, mechanical engineering, and chemistry.
  • Researchers have developed a new method for fabricating a highly efficient selective solar absorber that can harness and convert sunlight to heat for use in energy-related applications, from heating water and generating steam to residential heating.
  • Columbia Engineering researchers have demonstrated a new technique that takes its inspiration from the nacre of oyster shells — a composite material that has extraordinary mechanical properties, including great strength and resilience.