The Nano SE Ph.D. program offers a research-intensive degree focused on nanoscience and nanotechnology, with an emphasis on nano-scale materials. A multi-disciplinary core curriculum is taken by students from diverse science and engineering backgrounds. These ―core‖ courses are intended to introduce students to contemporary topics in nanoscience and nanotechnology, and to initiate a cross-disciplinary approach to research and learning. These courses can usually be completed in one, or at most two years. In addition to this core, students entering with an M.S. degree are required to take at least two electives outside the student‘s traditional area of training. Students entering at the B.S. level will be expected to pursue, or take course work equivalent to, an M.S. degree, in addition to the nano core curriculum.
Students from traditional science and engineering backgrounds enter the program with well-defined research interests and affiliate themselves with a research group and a faculty mentor. Current nano program participants draw from the Departments of Chemistry and Physics, and Chemical, Electrical, Materials and Metallurgical, and Mechanical Engineering. Students with traditional training in these areas participate in cross-disciplinary research with a nano focus.
Examples of active research areas are: synthesis and characterization of nanocomposite materials, photo-activated nano-inks for direct write applications, nano-energetic materials, polymer chemistry, theory of spintronic devices, and structural and optical characterization of nano-materials for solar energy, bio-fuels and other forms of renewable energy.