The Research Triangle Park

The future of great ideas



North Carolina is home to nearly 100 companies that use nanotechnology and nanobiotechnology for medical imaging, drug delivery and electronics applications.


Industry Resources

Institutions advancing the growth of nanoscale technologies.

N.C. Center for Innovation for Nanobiotechnology 
non-profit organization working to connect public and private resources and increase the commercialization of nanobiotechnologies in North Carolina

Center of Innovation for Nanobiotechnology (COIN)
COIN is a nonprofit that is a premier source of nanobio networking opportunities, information, and tailored innovation services that address client needs and advance commercialization. COIN’s programs and services address key issues such as early-stage funding, preclinical testing, technology scouting and industry partnering.


Workforce & Education

Local nanotechnology development has been bolstered by a network of regional resources. Ranked among the top 10 states for nanotechnology research, North Carolina is known not only for its strong academic programs, but also for a high concentration of nanotech researchers and graduate students.

North Carolina has nanotechnology university research centers and two nanoscience PhD programs. There are more than 20 nanotechnology research centers and programs at just the Triangle’s top three universities: Duke University, N.C. State University and UNC-Chapel Hill. All three universities rank among the top 100 in the nation for nanotechnology funding, having earned a combined $77 million in funding for nanotechnology research just between 2000 and 2005.

Duke University

Center for Biologically Inspired Materials & Material Systems
The center is developing a new paradigm for education and research, using nature as an example for engineering, while explaining nature using engineering principles and rigor. Its curriculum integrates natural science, life science, and engineering. Center investigators use biologically inspired approaches to bridge a gap in current biomedical and bioengineering programs.

Center for the Environmental Implications of NanoTechnology
The center is elucidating the relationship between a vast array of nanomaterials—from natural, to manufactured, to those produced incidentally by human activities—and their potential environmental exposure, biological effects and ecological consequences.

Center on Globalization and Global Competitiveness
The center’s nanotechnology research agenda seeks to understand how social and environmental implications affect the development and diffusion of nanotechnology. The organization is also developing methods and tools to disseminate and educate others on research results related to nanotechnology topics.

The Fitzpatrick Institute for Photonics
The program focuses on cutting-edge research areas, such as biophotonics, nano/microsystems, nanophotonics, quantum optics and information photonics, which are uniquely suited to address the challenges and fulfill the promises of the next technology revolution at the nexus of the nano-bio-info-opto convergence.

N.C. State University

The central website for nanotechnology news and information at N.C. State University, an emerging leader in the field. Inter-disciplinary efforts among faculty in the fields of chemistry, physics, biology, engineering, textiles, and veterinary medicine are producing new and exciting discoveries at the nanometer level.

Analytical Instrumentation Facility
AIF operates numerous analytical instruments-including state-of-the-art electron microscopy, focused ion beam and materials analysis maintained by a professional staff. AIF staff train users to operate analytical instrumentation, design efficient analytical experiments, and interpret data. AIF also provides short courses to ensure students understand modern analytical techniques and the instrumentation required to implement them.

Center for Chemical Toxicology Research and Pharmacokinetics
The center’s main research interests focus on dermal absorption and toxicity of chemicals, drugs, nanoparticles and complex mixtures, pharmacokinetics, and predicting tissue residues of drugs.

Center for High Performance Simulation
The center promotes collaboration between the N.C. State colleges of Physical and Mathematical Sciences and Engineering in electronic, atomic, meso-scale, and macroscopic simulation methods and offers training and research to graduate students, as well as workshops and visiting researcher seminars.

Center for Molecular Spintronics
The center was formed through a $1.2 million grant from the National Science Foundation’s Center for Chemical Innovation to pursue research in the emerging field of molecular spintronics. The center is also designed to support collaborations between scientists at N.C. State University and UNC-Chapel Hill to develop smaller, faster, more energy-efficient electronic devices with increased storage capability.

Nano Energy Lab
The Nano Energy Lab is a multi-departmental research effort to advance the field of nanomaterials and nanostructures for renewable energy devices and systems, and also houses a Photovoltaics Process & Analysis Facility.

Nanofabrication Facility
The center provides hands-on access to users on a wide a range of nanofabrication equipment to support electronics, optical, molecular, magnetic, and MEMS projects. This facility is open to all researchers and has a full range of micro- and nano-fabrication capabilities.

Nonwovens Cooperative Research Center
The center serves the nonwovens industry through research, training, education and extension, engagement, and economic development. NCRC houses unique, state-of-the-art facilities for product development, analytical services and materials testing, analysis, and evaluation. The center also offers services to its Industrial Members and Affiliates, such as proprietary testing, analysis, and product development.

NSF Center for Advanced Materials and Smart Structures
The center has four major focuses: advanced ceramics; advanced composites; electronic ceramic devices, sensors, and smart structures; and wide-band-gap III-V semiconductors, ohmic contacts, and devices. CAMSS has experimental facilities in the areas of advanced materials processing, nanoscale characterization, and computer modeling.

Nuclear Reactor Program
The program houses the PULSTAR reactor and three facilities designed to support the nondestructive examination of materials: the neutron powder diffractometer to investigate the atomic structure of materials, the intense positron beam for nanoporosity investigation including in high tech thin film applications, and the neutron imaging facility for radiography and tomography.

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Center for Environmentally Responsible Solvents and Processes
The center supports a multi-disciplinary, fundamental research to identify and enable sustainable processes and products using CO2-related technology. The center is a multi disciplinary effort among five universities and two national laboratories to advance the research of environmentally friendly solvents, provide undergraduate and graduate training and industrial and educational outreach.

Carolina Center of Nanotechnology Excellence
The Carolina Center of Cancer Nanotechnology Excellence is a National Cancer Institute-funded collaboration between UNC-Chapel Hill and the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center to design multifunctional nanodevices, which are tested in sophisticated mouse models of human cancer, with the ultimate intent of translation to the clinic.

Center for Computer Integrated Systems for Microscopy and Manipulation
CISMM develops force technologies applicable over a wide range of biological settings, from the single molecule to the tissue, with integrated systems that orchestrate facile instrument control, multimodal imaging, and analysis through visualization and modeling.

Institute for Advanced Materials, Nanoscience and Technology
IAM is an interdisciplinary research institute coordinating research in polymer science, nanomaterials, and nanobiosciences, including developing new opportunities for broader collaborations with N.C. State University and other state universities.

N.C. Center for Nanoscale Materials

The center has 15 associated faculty members from several academic units at UNC-Chapel Hill, N.C. State University, and Duke University and supports eight postdoctoral fellows and 15 graduate research assistants. The center’s research focus is on understanding the fundamental science of nanoscale materials and using their properties for commercial applications.