- Nanotechnology 101
- Nanotechnology and You
- About the NNI
- What is the NNI?
- The NSET Subcommittee
- NSET's Participating Federal Partners
- Working Groups
- National Nanotechnology Coordination Office (NNCO)
- Contact Information
- Collaborations and Funding
- Nanotechnology Signature Initiatives
- FAQs for Business
- Federal Funding & Infrastructure
- Business Development
- Publications and Resources
Program Component Areas (PCAs), which provide an organizational framework for categorizing the NNI's activities, are major subject areas under which related projects and activities are grouped. Progress in these areas is critical to achieving the NNI's goals and to realizing its vision.
NNI funding was established by the NNI Strategic Plan and is organized under eight PCAs. The investment for each PCA is reported in the annual NNI supplement to the President’s Budget.
The PCAs are set out in the NNI Strategic Plan:
1. Fundamental Nanoscale Phenomena and Processes
Discovery and development of fundamental knowledge pertaining to new phenomena in the physical, biological, and engineering sciences that occur at the nanoscale. Elucidation of scientific and engineering principles related to nanoscale structures, processes, and mechanisms.
Research aimed at the discovery of novel nanoscale and nanostructured materials and at a comprehensive understanding of the properties of nanomaterials (ranging across length scales, and including interface interactions). R&D leading to the ability to design and synthesize, in a controlled manner, nanostructured materials with targeted properties.
3. Nanoscale Devices and Systems
R&D that applies the principles of nanoscale science and engineering to create novel, or to improve existing, devices and systems. Includes the incorporation of nanoscale or nanostructured materials to achieve improved performance or new functionality. To meet this definition, the enabling science and technology must be at the nanoscale, but the systems and devices themselves are not restricted to that size.
4. Instrumentation Research, Metrology, and Standards for Nanotechnology
R&D pertaining to the tools needed to advance nanotechnology research and commercialization, including next-generation instrumentation for characterization, measurement, synthesis, and design of materials, structures, devices, and systems. Also includes R&D and other activities related to development of standards, including standards for nomenclature, materials characterization and testing, and manufacture.
R&D aimed at enabling scaled-up, reliable, and cost-effective manufacturing of nanoscale materials, structures, devices, and systems. Includes R&D and integration of ultra-miniaturized top-down processes and increasingly complex bottom-up or self‑assembly processes.
6. Major Research Facilities and Instrumentation Acquisition
Establishment of user facilities, acquisition of major instrumentation, and other activities that develop, support, or enhance the nation’s scientific infrastructure for the conduct of nanoscale science, engineering, and technology R&D. Includes ongoing operation of user facilities and networks.
7. Environment, Health, and Safety
Research primarily directed at understanding the environmental, health, and safety impacts of nanotechnology development and corresponding risk assessment, risk management, and methods for risk mitigation.
8. Education and Societal Dimensions
Education-related activities such as development of materials for schools, undergraduate programs, technical training, and public communication, including outreach and engagement. Research directed at identifying and quantifying the broad implications of nanotechnology for society, including social, economic, workforce, educational, ethical, and legal implications.