Nanoscale Engineering deals with materials and devices with critical dimensions that are of the order of 1 to 100 billionths of a meter. Working at these scales can have a number of advantages. For instance, the properties of nanostructured materials can be tuned over a wide range. This engineering of materials arises, in large part, because devices have the same length scale as that of energy carriers such as photons, phonons, and electrons providing new freedoms to control energy flow and interactions with matter.

In the Mechanical Engineering Department we have a strong emphasis on Nanoscale Engineering with faculty researching how nanoscale materials can be used for a wide variety of applications. This includes fundamental studies focused on manipulating light, heat and fluids as well as more applied work such as developing more efficient energy storage/conversion devices and controlling interactions with biological systems such as cells. Ultimately, Nanoscale Engineering is an inherently interdisciplinary area of research that is at the cutting edge of technology, and Vanderbilt is a significant contributor to the state-of-the-art.

Many faculty in this area are closely associated with the Vanderbilt Institute of Nanoscale Science and Engineering (VINSE), which houses state-of-the-art clean room and imaging facilities in the newly constructed Engineering and Science Building.