(B.A. MacDonald, J. Osteryoung, D. Caldwell, L. Inglehart)

Nanostructured Materials Research in the Division of Materials Research (DMR)

B.A. MacDonald
Division of Materials Research, MPS/NSF

The area of nanostructure science and technology is an extremely active one within the MPS Directorate's Division of Materials Research (DMR). For the May 8 workshop we asked the program directors of the Individual Investigator Awards (IIA) and of the Materials Research Science and Engineering Centers (MRSECs) to examine their respective programs to list on-going nanoscience/technology activities and provide an estimate of the total funding directed towards these areas. The accompanying viewgraphs indicate that in FY 1996 DMR supported the nanoscience field with over $22.3 million, and that all of the division's programs give broad support to this field.

Areas of nanoscience within the DMR programs include synthesis, fabrication, processing, structure analysis, characterization, properties, and applications. The Materials Theory Program handles theory, modeling, and simulation science for DMR and accordingly supports a broad range of theoretical work related to clusters, self-assembly, artificially-structured materials, and nanoproperties of materials. The experimental programs explore a variety of material forms, including clusters, nanoparticles, thin films, composites, coatings, and bulk structures. Associated synthesis and fabrication activities make use of a broad range of techniques available for creating and processing nanostructures.

Materials properties of interest include the electronic and photonic areas, superconducting materials, magnetic behavior, mechanical behavior, wear resistance, catalysis, and even potential drug-delivery systems, all of which excite a variety of potential applications. It is apparent that this broad range of nanostructured materials activities offers significant overlap between programs, permitting opportunities for joint support of grants between DMR activities and other parts of the Foundation.

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Published: January 1998; WTEC Hyper-Librarian