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 NCI-SW serves as the southwest regional hub of the NNCI, supporting nanoscale science, engineering, and education. We provide broad access to advanced nanofabrication and characterization tools, faculty and staff expertise, and educational opportunities for a diverse community of users.
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 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 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 all of the atoms in your body, except for the Noble gases, have at least at one time in the past been in a nanoparticle?
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.