New Center to Focus on Nanomaterials

Physicist Jeanie Lau is director of UC Riverside’s Center of Nano-scale Electronics, Phenomena, and Technology

Photo shows Jeanie Lau smiling.

Jeanie (Chun Ning) Lau is the director of the Center of Nano-scale Electronics, Phenomena, and Technology. Photo credit: L. Duka.

RIVERSIDE, Calif. — The University of California, Riverside has a new center devoted to nanoscale research.

Called the “Center of Nano-scale Electronics, Phenomena, and Technology” (CONSEPT), the center focuses on exploring novel electronic, optical, thermal, and mechanical phenomena that emerge in nanoscale systems, and exploiting these phenomena for next-generation devices and systems.

CONSEPT formally opened this month.  In weeks to come, it will be housed in the Materials Science and Engineering Building on campus.

“CONSEPT is envisioned to encompass such materials as graphene, carbon nanotubes, magnetic systems, and topological insulators as well as nanomechanical systems and chemical and biological sensing,” said Jeanie (Chun Ning) Lau, the director of the center and a professor of physics and astronomy.

Lau noted that research and technological development based on nanoscale systems has become a multi-billion dollar enterprise, with heavy investment from federal and state governments and industries.

Image shows a spinning Buckminsterfullerene molecule.

The Center of Nano-scale Electronics, Phenomena, and Technology will focus on nanomaterials, such as the buckminsterfullerene molecule seen here.

“Nanoscience has become one of the most active and dynamic areas of research,” she said. “More than 80 percent of the universities included in the Association of American Universities have one or more centers focused on research of nanoscale systems.”

CONSEPT is the second center at UCR to focus on nanoscience.  The first center, the Center for Nanoscale Science and Engineering (CNSE), was established in 2000.

“There will be many overlapping but complementary research interests between CONSEPT and CNSE, and the nanofabrication facilities of CNSE will be utterly critical,” Lau said. “CNSE focuses more on application-driven technology based on nanoscale chemical and biological systems, whereas CONSEPT focuses on novel physical phenomena, processes and devices in nanomaterials. We expect there will be much synergy and cross-fertilization of ideas and talents between the two centers.”

Like CNSE, CONSEPT will include researchers from both the College of Natural and Agricultural Sciences and the Bourns College of Engineering.  Marc Bockrath, a professor of physics and astronomy, is the center’s assistant director.

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Additional Contacts

Jeanie Lau
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