Skip to Content




Arizona State University (ASU) will establish the Nanotechnology Collaborative Infrastructure Southwest (NCI-SW) as a NNCI site. The NCI-SW will support the advanced tool-set, faculty expertise and knowledgeable staff required by academic and industrial users performing research at the frontiers of nanoscience and engineering. Its training programs will focus on workforce development and entrepreneurial initiatives for 21st century manufacturing industries. A partnership between ASU, Maricopa County Community College District (MCCCD), and Science Foundation Arizona (SFAz) will allow two-year colleges in metropolitan Phoenix and rural Arizona to deliver a STEM-based nanotechnology curriculum designed to meet the economic development needs of their communities. Particular emphasis will be placed on programs in rural Arizona that support Hispanic and Native American students. Students in these programs will have access to advanced laboratory facilities either directly on the ASU campus or via remote access. Faculty and students from local high schools and community colleges will collaborate with ASU faculty on summer research programs at the frontiers of nanotechnology and develop lesson plans that convey the excitement of the latest discoveries back to their classrooms. Public outreach events at science fairs and at the Arizona Science Center will allow the wider community access to the latest breakthroughs in nanotechnology at ASU and from around the world.

The goals of the NCI-SW are to build a Southwest regional infrastructure for nanotechnology discovery and innovation, to address societal needs through education and entrepreneurship, and to serve as a model site of the NNCI. The NCI-SW site will encompass six collaborative research facilities: the ASU NanoFab, the LeRoy Eyring Center for Solid State Science, the Flexible Electronics and Display Center (FEDC), the Peptide Array Core Facility, the Solar Power Laboratory (SPL), and the User Facility for the Social and Ethical Implications of Nanotechnology. The NCI-SW site will open the FEDC and SPL to the broader research community for the first time. The site will provide particular intellectual and infrastructural strengths in the life sciences, flexible electronics, renewable energy and the societal impact of nanotechnology. ASU will collaborate with Maricopa County Community College District (MCCCD) and Science Foundation Arizona (SFAz) to develop STEM materials with a nanotechnology focus for A.S. and A.A.S students in communities throughout metropolitan Phoenix and rural Arizona. NCI-SW will provide entrepreneurship training for users who wish to commercialize nanotechnology in order to benefit society. To facilitate the commercialization of research breakthroughs, the NCI-SW will support prototyping facilities and low-volume manufacturing pilot lines for solar cells, flexible electronics and biomolecular arrays. The Science Outside the Lab summer program at the ASU Washington DC campus will allow users across the NNCI to explore the policy issue associated with nanotechnology. A web portal hosted and maintained by MCCCD will provide seamless access to all the resources of the NCI-SW.


National Science Foundation, Division of Electrical, Communications and Cyber Systems


September 2015 — August 2020