Nanoscience and Nanotechnology is an area of established excellence at the University of Alberta.

Nanoscience in the Faculty of Science adds a new spin to this designation by combining the theoretical, experimental and computational strengths of physicists, chemists, biologists, and computing scientists with strong linkages to the Faculty of Engineering and the Nanotechnology Research Centre.

Together, science researchers aim to:

  • discover and design new materials,
  • characterize their structure and properties,
  • modify them to have useful characteristics,
  • and then fabricate them.

The research programs are aimed at creating better and more environmentally friendly materials for a diversity of applications in the electronics, telecommunications, aerospace, energy, ICT and pharmaceutical sectors.

Specific research is, therefore, focused on designing and fabricating materials that, for example, can self-assemble, are lightweight, combine hard (inorganic) and soft (organic) materials, or have superconductive properties.

For example, Jillian Buriak, professor of chemistry and Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Nanomaterials for Energy, is developing thin, plastic-based solar cells that can be sprayed or rolled, like paint or wallpaper, onto a surface or even woven into fabric - making solar energy more accessible to everyone.

Chemistry research in Nanotechnology

UAlberta/NRC Nanotechnology Initiative