The National Science Foundation (NSF) supports 16 user facility sites, their affiliated partners, and a coordinating office as the National Nanotechnology Coordinated Infrastructure (NNCI). The NNCI sites provide researchers from academia, small and large companies, and government with access to university user facilities with leading-edge fabrication and characterization tools, instrumentation, and expertise within all disciplines of nanoscale science, engineering and technology.
The Northwest Nanotechnology Infrastructure site specializes in world class nanotechnology infrastructure paired with technical and educational leadership in integrated photonics, advanced energy materials and devices, and bio-nano interfaces and systems; for a broad and diverse user base, its facilities act as a center for innovation for making, measuring, modeling, and mentoring to advance the use of nanotechnology in science and society.
Did you know that the atmosphere is constantly filled with nanoparticles from volcanic ash, sea spray, cosmic dust, and smoke. These are naturally occurring nanoparticles and occur at different heights in our atmosphere.
Did you know that not all color is due to pigments? Some colors are due to nanoscale structures like those found on the wings of the Blue Morpho butterfly.
Did you know ferrofluids were developed by NASA in the 1960s to control fluids in space? Ferrofluids are colloidal liquids made of nanoscale magnetic particles suspended in a liquid.
Did you know that the nanoscale properties of the lotus leaf are the inspiration for many easy-clean and water-repellant materials? The lotus leaf has nanoscale waxy bumps that cause water to bead up and roll off, taking dirt with it.
Did you know that the colors in stained glass windows of medieval cathedrals were created by different sized gold and silver nanoparticles? Changing the size (and shape) of the particles produces different colors.
Did you know that at the nanoscale materials take on unusual properties that differ from the bulk? Nano-sized aluminum powders are explosive and are being explored as rocket propellants.