Nanoscience and Nanotech: Industrial Application and Transformation

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The nanoscale is both ordinary and extraordinary. On one hand, it is simply a dimension—a very, very small dimension. But this tiny scale has enormous implications. It is the scale at which light interacts with matter, and at which materials are “programmed” with their structural and surface properties. It is the scale at which biology, life itself, occurs.  

We invite you to join leading MIT experts to explore the latest nanoscale discoveries and applications in our three-day course Nanoscience and Nanotech: Industrial Application and Transformation.

How are nanotechnology and nanoscience used in industry now?

Nanotechnology and nanoscience are implicitly used across all industries, ranging from medicine and homeland security to transportation, energy production, manufacturing, food, and retail.  The use for nanotechnology is visible in all sectors; however, many leaders, managers, and engineers are unsure of what exactly nanoscience is or how their businesses could benefit from it. As a result, they lose out on valuable opportunities.

In Nanoscience and Nanotech: Industrial Application and Transformation, we rise to the challenge and help business and engineering leaders appreciate the distinctiveness and enormous potential of nanotechnology and nanoengineering. Modern tools make it possible to be explicit in our manipulations and characterization of nanoscale–in the creation and control of materials, devices, and processes.

How will nanotechnology and nanoscience be used in industry in the future?

Fabrication (or manufacturing) and characterizing at the nanoscale require specialized capabilities. When you’re working at the nanoscale, you must control environmental conditions such as temperature, humidity, air quality, and electromagnetic interference. Impurities as small as a speck of dust, a skin cell, or a single, subtle vibration are much bigger than a nanometer, and if you’re trying to build or characterize at this scale, any contaminants may impede you. Engineers and manufacturers working at the nanoscale must expand their toolboxes and become adept at using highly specialized equipment for fabrication, assembly, measurement, and instrumentation. 

MIT scientists and engineers are discovering astonishing new behaviors at the nanoscale and inventing powerful ways to put them to work. Researchers across all scientific disciplines—materials, photovoltaics, computation, chemistry, and biologics, to name just a few—are developing uses for nanotechnology. New applications in manufacturing, biology and chemistry, electronics and computation are powered by the increasing accessibility of toolsets for the fabrication, study, and manipulation of nanoscale structures and systems. 

Finally, though nano is tiny, the data sets it can generate are massive. Nanotechnology wouldn’t be possible without data, both as inputs and outputs. Just like all other business processes, nanotechnology requires enormous amounts of data to establish the right conditions for operating equipment. Then, once the work begins, even bigger data sets are generated. It is critical to be able to manage, process, and utilize these data streams. 

Through the lens of industry applications, MIT research, and at-home, hands-on activities, this course provides a framework for thinking about, applying, and commercializing the power of the nanoscale.

Program Benefits

  • Learn how nanotechnology and nanoscience are used in industrial sectors
  • Examine how fundamental assumptions change at the nanoscale and explore the consequent effects on materials, systems, and applications
  • Learn about the new research that will impact your career or business
  • Delve into case studies that examine cutting-edge tools and strategies for building and discovering at the nanoscale, including fabrication techniques for micro- and nanofabrication, bottom-up synthesis of nanosystems, and characterization methods that apply to multiple fields
  • Explore the inherent challenges and opportunities in managing, processing, and utilizing data streams associated with connecting the physical to the digital for nano applications


Who Should Attend

This course is appropriate for technology and engineering professionals, including managers, who are involved in nanoscience in any industry


Brian Anthony
Brian Anthony is the co-director of MIT’s Medical Electronic Device Realization Center and associate director of MIT.nano. With over 25 years of experience in product realization
Vladimir Bulović
Vladimir Bulović is a Professor of Electrical Engineering at MIT holding the Fariborz Maseeh Chair in Emerging Technology.

*Program faculty is subject to change


Day 1

Introduction to nano: surprisingly familiar, yet ripe for discovery

Nanoscience: new behaviors in physical systems

Nanotechnology: applying insights across sectors and disciplines

Survey of current applications and their supporting toolsets

Virtual tour of fabrication and metrology toolsets inside the new MIT.nano facility

At home, hands-on exercise


Day 2

Review and discuss at-home exercise

Case studies of industry applications and MIT-based research and/or commercialized applications in nanoscience and nanoengineering in: 




Pharma / biology

At home, hands-on exercise / experiments


Day 3

Review and discuss at-home exercise

Case studies of industry applications and MIT-based research and/or commercialized applications in nanoscience and nanoengineering, interspersed with facilitated discussions:

The data side of nano – managing and processing

The data side of nano – visualization

Nano case – memory and compute – quantum

Discussion Q&A and wrap-up:  what’s next?


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