"Nanotechnology is an interdisciplinary field that will require special business acumen to carry new technologies from research to manufacturing. The Nanoscale Physics track is composed of students who already have a strong technical background. The program enhances their problem-solving, business and communication skills, positioning them to effectively introduce game-changing technologies into the world of business."
– Kyle Kissell, Ph.D. Director, Technology Development, NanoRidge
The Nanoscale Physics program prepares students for a career in nanoscience by combining a strong component in quantum theory, which governs the behavior of systems at the nanoscale, with the study of practical nano- and mesoscale devices. This provides the student with the knowledge required to successfully navigate the emerging field of nanoscale science and nanotechnology. In addition, a year-long course in methods of experimental physics is offered to ensure that students obtain the advanced practical skills valuable to the nanotechnology industry.
Rice is a well-established center for nanotechnology, with researchers active in several departments outside the physics core. The Richard E. Smalley Institute for Nanoscale Science and Technology includes among its faculty Nobel Laureate R. Curl, as well as esteemed faculty from the physics and astronomy, chemistry, electrical and computer engineering, civil and environmental engineering, chemical engineering, bioengineering, computational and applied math, and mechanical engineering and materials science departments. It focuses on interdisciplinary studies in many areas of nanoscale science including carbon nanotubes, nanoshells, and nanobiology.
The Center for Biological and Environmental Nanoscience (CBEN) at Rice fosters the development of this field through an integrated set of programs that aim to address the scientific, technological, environmental, human resource, commercialization, and societal barriers that hinder the transition from nanoscience to nanotechnology. The Center's research focuses on investigating and developing nanoscience at the "wet/dry" interface.
International Council on Nanotechnology (ICON)
Rice's current and prospective industrial partners have strongly
encouraged CBEN to go beyond the traditional structures of an industrial
affiliates program to create a more inclusive and international group.
Their enthusiasm has prompted us to develop a program that welcomes not
only corporate members, but also government, non-governmental
organizations (NGOs) and other academics. This broader partnership is
vital to our core mission of creating a sustainable nanotechnology
industry that requires meaningful and organized interactions among
At their request we have launched the International Council on
Nanotechnology (ICON). The mission of this organization is to assess,
communicate, and reduce environmental and health risks associated with
nanotechnology while in turn maximizing its benefits to society. To
realize this vision, ICON seeks participation from a diverse group of
parties including industry, academics, government officials, and
representatives of environmental organizations. Its activities span
technical research in nano-cell interactions, policy projects such as
development of nanomaterial standards and terminology, and social
studies of risk perception and communication. By pooling the resources
of the nanotechnology industry, governments, and academia, ICON can
cost-effectively provide a wide range of synergistic projects that serve
the interests of all stakeholders. There is widespread enthusiasm for
this organization, which will create new knowledge of use to government
and industry researchers and serve as a central clearinghouse for
information related to health and environmental aspects of
nanomaterials. By catalyzing the formation of ICON, we are taking the
first, early steps to ensuring that CBEN creates a legacy that lives
beyond its ten-year NSF funding cycle.
Faculty members involved in the Professional M.S in Nanoscale Physics Program include:
F. Barry Dunning, Track Director, Physics and Astronomy
Douglas A. Natelson, Track Advisor Physics and Astronomy
Andrew R. Barron, Chemistry
Mary Purugganan/Liz Eich, PSM Professional Communication
Jason H. Hafner, Physics and Astronom
Thomas C. Killian, Physics and Astronomy
Kristen M. Kulinowski, Center for Biological and Environmental Nanotechnology
Peter Rossky, Dean of Natural Sciences
Frank R. Toffoletto, Physics and Astronomy
Last updated 10/14 dkbeck