Funded through a National Science Foundation grant of more than $4 million, ¡MIRA!/APMS are teaming up with Arizona State University and other regional partners in a five-year effort to expand the reach of the Nanotechnology Collaborative Infrastructure Southwest (NCI-SW) to the communities of northern Arizona and the Four Corners region. NCI-SW is the southwest regional node of the National Nanotechnology Coordinated Infrastructure (NNCI.)
Building on the work begun during the first NCI-SW led by ASU professor Trevor Thornton, NAU will bring expertise in theoretical and experimental quantum and soft/biological nanomaterials led by principal investigator, Inès Montaño and co-PIs Gabriel A. Montaño and Miguel José Yacamán. The NAU researchers also bring years of experience in outreach to diverse communities.
The primary role of NNCI centers are as user facilities, providing state-of-the-art instrumentation and expertise to researchers from academia, small and large companies and government scientists and students in nanoscale science and engineering. Currently, 16 NNCI centers exist across the country.
“Nanotechnology user facilities are incredible hotbeds for scientific discovery,” said Montaño. “The impact they can have on students is tremendous! Students, particularly from non-research institutions, are able to work side-by-side with experts as they are introduced to the future of science and technology that is nanoscience. Our students at NAU will grow in leaps and bounds working with users, learning about the wide world of research and growing their networks.”
The addition of NAU extends the geographical reach of NCI-SW, increasing educational opportunities for communities of northern Arizona and the Four Corners region. NAU will lead new initiatives to create educational opportunities with NCI supporting collaborators, including San Juan Community College in Farmington, N.M. and the University of New Mexico-Gallup.
NCI-SW is set to launch fall of 2020.