National Nanotechnology Day 2016: Events and Activities

National Nanotechnology Day, a series of events and activities led by the U.S. nanotechnology community, is an annual opportunity to inform the public and stakeholders about nanotechnology and its benefits; the accomplishments of industry, academia, and government in nanotechnology R&D, commercialization, and education; and the future opportunities and promise for nanotechnology. The purpose of this day is to celebrate the hard work of scientists, engineers, and entrepreneurs who have helped nanotechnology move from a laboratory curiosity to an enabling technology that is rapidly becoming pervasive in consumer products, medicine, transportation, energy, and infrastructure.    

The inaugural event took place on October 9th, 2016. This date, 10/9, pays homage to the nanometer scale, 10-9 meters.

Activities took place across the country on and around this date and were hosted by a number of professional societies, schools, and other organizations. Below are some of the events and activities planned for National Nanotechnology Day. If your organization held an event or other activity related to National Nanotechnology Day, please contact Marlowe Newman of the National Nanotechnology Coordination Office (NNCO) to request adding it to this list. 

Events and Activities

American Chemical Society hosted a Capitol Hill briefing and luncheon on nanotechnology and improving the efficiency of transportation vehicles on September 29th, and published a perspective article on future opportunities and challenges in nanotechnology in ACS Nano. ACS is sponsoring the Wikipedia Edit-a-thon for Notable Chemists and Chemistry at the WikiConference in San Diego on October 9th and hosting a webinar on 2D Materials and Beyond. In addition, ACS is hosting a webinar on October 6th, “The Chemistry of Life: Treating Cancer with Nanoparticles Powered by the Sound of Light” and is adding a dedicated National Nanotechnology Day webpage on its website.

American Chemistry Council wrote a blog post on nanotechnology and National Nanotechnology Day.

American Society of Mechanical Engineers prepared a white paper on future directions and challenges in nanotechnology and published a feature article entitled "The Nanoscale Frontier" in Mechanical Engineering magazine in November. In addition, ASME dedicated its homepage to nanotechnology October 5-12 and created a special National Nanotechnology Day page highlighting various Mechanical Engineering articles on nanotechnology.

American Vacuum Society has written a white paper on future opportunities and challenges in nanotechnology.

Cornell University hosted outreach events on campus.

Georgia Institute of Technology conducted nanotechnology demos with Atlanta metro area students, including a Middle School STEM day on October 5th, an outing with the NanoBus, and a Nano@Tech Seminar on October 13th.

Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers wrote a white paper on future directions and challenges in nanotechnology.

Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research at MIT created an interactive webpage showing how researchers across the MIT campus are using nanomaterials to explore and improve the world.

Levey Day School hosted a series of demos for it's 1st through 5th graders, and then ran the 100 Billion Nanometer Dash.

Nanobeasts STEM + Robotics gave a lecture for teens on nanotechnology and hosting a public event with demos and giveaways, followed by a running of the 100 Billion Nanometer Dash.

Nanotechnology Applications and Career Knowledge (NACK) hosted simultaneous remote access demo sessions on October 12th as part of the RAIN (Remote Access Instruments for Nanotechnology) Open House.

National Nanotechnology Coordination Office hosted a National Nanotechnology Day webpage and promoting the 100 Billion Nanometer Dash. The next rounds of the National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI) multimedia contests, EnvisioNano and Nano Film, open on October 9th. Additionally, NNCO is collaborating with experts from around the country to present Nano Nuggets, a series of short videos featuring leaders in the field talking about nanotechnology. (See the full list in the section below.)

National Science Foundation launched the 2016 cycle of Generation Nano: Small Science, Superheroes.

Northwestern University hosted its Fall 2016 Image Gallery Reception

North Carolina State, Research Triangle Nano Network (RTNN) hosted a nanotechnology image art exhibit, as well as other activities with a K-12, public, and university student focus.

Rice University hosted an event commemorating the 20th anniversary of the Smalley/Curl/Kroto Nobel Prize.

Royal Society of Chemistry promoted NNCO's 100 Billion Nanometer Dash.

Society for Chemical Hazard Communication has added National Nanotechnology Day to the Newsworthy section of its website.

The American Ceramic Society published a webpage for National Nanotechnology Day.

The Materials Society published a JOM OpEd, “Nanomaterials: A Foundational Building Block to Nanotechnology Breakthroughs Past and Future”.

University of Central Florida hosted NanoFlorida, a student-organized event with representatives from various Florida universities on September 25-26.

University of the District of Columbia is hosting a public outreach event.

University of Nebraska, Nebraska Center for Materials and Nanoscience is filming short videos with industry representatives.

University of Pennsylvania, Krishna P. Singh Center for Nanotechnology is hosting a Nano Week Extravaganza.

Univeristy of Virginia's Nano and Emerging Technologies (NExT) held a running of the 100 Billion Nanometer Dash  and a screening of Nano Nuggets.

Virginia Commonwealth University held outreach event at the Virginia Museum of Science.

Virginia Tech's NanoEarth participated in the Virginia Tech Science Festival with a booth for all ages featuring a portable Raman microscope, a matching game with nanoscale views of everyday items (e.g. sugar crystals, fly wings, etc.), and hands on activities involving the exploration of thin films and electroplating.

Nano Nuggets

A Nano Nugget is a short video produced by NNCO or provided by the community featuring experts, visionaries, and artists sharing their thoughts on nanotechnology. Topics for Nano Nuggets include the impact of nanotechnology on healthcare, sustainability, manufacturing, materials, and many others. The full suite of videos will be available on the NNI's YouTube channel, Nano Tube, and in the NanoTV section of The following is a sampling of the organizations that took part in the Nano Nugget project by providing on-camera interviews (including examples of the topics discussed):

Argonne National Lab (information processing)

Arizona State University (disease diagnosis)

California Institute of Technology (nanoarchitectured materials and solar fuels) 

Carnegie Mellon University (data storage)

Case Western University (nanomedicine) 

Cornell University (sensors as well as many other topics) 

Department of Energy, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) (manufacturing) 

Johns Hopkins University (nanomedicine)

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (cancer treatment) 

Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (nanomaterials for medical imaging) 

Minnesota Nano Center (DNA barcoding)

National Institutes of Health (cancer detection)

National Nanotechnology Coordination Office (students and lightweight materials)

National Science Foundation (protecting the environment using nanotechnology)

NASA (lightweight materials)

Northwestern University (biomaterials) 

Rice University (materials and nanomachines)

Royal Society of Chemistry (materials)

Sandia National Lab, Center for Integrated Nanotechnologies (nanomaterials for medical imaging)

Texas A&M University (batteries)

University of California - Los Angeles (nanotechnology and the brain) 

University of California – Riverside (superheroes) 

University of Central Florida, Society for Emerging and NanoTechnologies (SENT) (nanomanufacturing and coatings)

University of Massachusetts – Amherst (manufacturing)

University of Texas – Austin (translational nanotechnology) 

White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (the National Nanotechnology Initiative)