The research ethos of the CUNY ASRC Nanoscience Initiative is to disregard traditional boundaries between disciplines and put the scientific challenge at the center. Indeed, boundaries are deliberately crossed, explored and combined, allowing for truly innovative advancements in technology. The ASRC building has been designed with precisely this way of working in mind — it provides an open and highly interactive and progressive environment where innovation flourishes.

The Nanoscience Initiative has three focal areas: NanoBio, NanoDevices, and NanoMaterials, although many research groups fall into several or all of these categories.

The bionanotechnology effort at CUNY ASRC is based on the recognition that key processes in biology take place at the nanoscale, and nanotechnology can therefore play a key role in producing materials and structures able to interface most effectively with biological systems. Thus, nanotechnology may enable more seamless interfacing of man-made technologies with biological systems, of relevance to measuring and ultimately directing biology. Key areas of focus are the development of chemically patterned surfaces to influence cell behavior, use of soft, self-assembled nanostructures to produce new biomaterials and producing materials that response to biological events by changing their properties and function.

Nanodevices are critical enablers that will allow mankind to exploit the ultimate technological capabilities of electronic, magnetic, mechanical, and biological systems. While the best examples of nanodevices at present are clearly associated with the semiconductor industry, the potential for such devices is much broader. Nanodevices will ultimately have an enormous impact on our ability to enhance energy conversion, control pollution, produce food, and improve human health and longevity.

Nanomaterials research is focused on the discovery and development of new materials. With a variety of applications, such as electronics, biomedical devices, sensing and sustainable energy, amongst many others, nanomaterials research is vital for the global advancement of technologies. Fabrication and characterization of novel nanoscale materials, properties, and phenomena is at the heart of the nanomaterials research at the Advanced Science Research Center and across the campuses of The City University of New York. These research activities include developing new materials and methods using state-of-the-art instrumentation, while maintaining highest research integrity. Current research projects at CUNY include materials for nanoelectronics, photonics, nanomechanics, biomedical applications, and energy conservation.