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Under new leadership, Kavli Institute at Cornell evolves from a think tank to a proving ground
Date:4/11/2010

ITHACA, N.Y. Looking to push the boundaries of nanoscience, the Kavli Institute at Cornell for Nanoscale Science is no longer a think tank for new ideas, but a proving ground to aggressively push the limits of nanotechnology.

And to that end, Cornell has named Paul McEuen, the Goldwin Smith Professor of Physics, as the director. David A. Muller, associate professor of applied and engineering physics, will serve as co-director.

The institute will fund projects and researchers to create and build the tools of the nanoscale future. "If you make a new tool, you can have an enormous impact in a variety of different areas. We don't have eyes and hands at the nanoscale to see and control things the way we're used to at the milli-, micro- or macro-scale," said McEuen.

The institute will focus on next-generation microscopies; physical and electronic measurement and manipulation; and optoelectronic nanocharacterization. The institute will fund small teams for development of novel instruments and two Kavli postdoctoral fellows annually.

The institute's leaders emphasize that "high-risk, high-payoff projects" will be encouraged. "We are looking for that handful of 'It's-so-crazy-it-might-actually-work' ideas that would change how we see the nanoworld," Muller said.

Other core Cornell faculty members are Dan Ralph, professor of physics, and Michal Lipson, associate professor of electrical and computer engineering.

Cornell's Kavli Institute is one of four nanoscience institutes funded by the Kavli Foundation. In fact, the 15 Kavli institutes worldwide focus on nanoscience, neuroscience, cosmology and theoretical physics. Cornell's institute has supported such activities as lectures, symposia, summer schools and workshops.

There are big thrills in pioneering into the realm of the very small. "One of the exciting things on the frontier is the development of increasingly complex nanoscale structures that have
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Contact: Blaine Friedlander
bpf2@cornell.edu
607-254-8093
Cornell University
Source:Eurekalert

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