Nanotechnology & Multiscale Research

Nanotechnology & Multiscale

Extending the life of America's infrastructure
New nanosilica concrete creates stronger, longer-lasting, greener construction materials.

Every day, concrete structures crack and erode prematurely due to Alkali Silica Reactivity (ASR), a chemical reaction that causes fissures in the material as it sets. Jon Belkowitz, a doctoral student, plans to put an end to this problem through his study of chemical reactions within concrete at the nanoscale. Taking advantage of nanostructure characterization tools and materials, his research into the optimal use of nano silica will create a new concrete mixture that will result in longer-lasting buildings, roadways, sidewalks, stairs, sewers, and dams.

Miniaturized circuits and sensors enable next-generation technologies.

In the quest to exploit unique properties at the nanoscale, scientists at have developed a novel technique for creating uniform arrays of metallic nanostructures. A team of faculty and students in the Department of Physics and Engineering Physics, led by Dr. Stefan Strauf, appropriated methods from holographic lithography to demonstrate a new approach for scaling up the fabrication of plasmonic nanogap arrays while simultaneously reducing costs and infrastructure.