Background and a bit of history...
What is Nanoscience?
The California Institute of Technology embarked upon an initiative to support long-term program of innovative research at the frontiers of science and engineering. Caltech's Kavli Nanoscience Institute will place special emphasis is upon efforts that transcend traditional disciplinary boundaries, with two principal areas of focus: nanobiotechnology and nanophotonics. Our common methodology in these areas is large-scale integration of nanoscale devices—that is, going beyond the present nanoscience of individual structures to realize interacting systems capable of unprecedented emergent functionality. To deploy these systems as tools for explorations the physical, engineering, life, and medical sciences, it is imperative we develop means to produce such nanosystems en masse—and this is true even for their application to fundamental research. Establishing such capability is one of our central goals in the KNI; it can only be realized optimally with the correct economy of scale. These efforts represent a new collaborative science that transcends what our individual laboratories can attempt.
Caltech has a singular legacy in the development of nanoscience and nanotechnology. In 1959, Richard Feynman gave his visionary talk entitled "There's Plenty of Room at the Bottom" on the Caltech campus. Feynman's presentation now holds a preeminent, defining, and inspirational place in the field's history. In what were approximately 7000 words, he mapped out potentialities that are only today beginning to be realized.
In January 2001, President Clinton visited the Caltech campus and, in a preview of his upcoming State of the Union address, announced his administration's launch of the "National Nanotechnology Initiative." This impetus has since led to a huge upsurge of activity; a number of major universities and research institutions have now embarked upon their own "nano" initiatives.
Given Caltech's historic presence, and our current excellence in diverse areas of nanoscale science and technology, we've been in a privileged position to develop a measured response. Over the past decade we have enhanced our singular strengths in this area by a series of individual, and strategic, faculty hires. Now, in launching the Kavli Nanoscience Institute (KNI) Caltech is culminating this effort by building and formalizing a coherent effort founded upon the substantial collaborative interactions in nanoscience and nanotechnology that originated, and have been ongoing, "within the trenches" during this period.
The KNI is located in | | 626.395.1547 | 1200 E. California Blvd., 107-81, Pasadena, CA USA 91125