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About Us

Sandra J. Rosenthal, DirectorWelcome to the website of the Vanderbilt Institute of Nanoscale Science and Engineering –– VINSE!

Since its launch in 2001, faculty, staff and students at VINSE have continually explored and advanced the boundaries of nanoscience while embracing Vanderbilt’s values of equality, collegiality, compassion and excellence. Spanning 13 academic departments spread across the College of Arts and Sciences, School of Engineering and School of Medicine, VINSE faculty members conduct path-breaking research in the areas of nano-biology and medicine; nanoscale energy, optics and electronics; computational nanoscience; and novel materials. Educationally we offer the Interdisciplinary Program in Materials Science for graduate students, while undergraduate students can obtain a minor in Nanotechnology and Nanoscience. Our outreach activities include classroom visitations as well as on-campus high school field trips that touch the lives of hundreds of students every year. During the summer, we sponsor a group of REU students, run modules in support of the Vanderbilt Summer Academy (VSA) and award fellowships for undergraduates to spend 10 weeks working inside the cleanroom alongside our professional staff.

In 2017 VINSE moved to new world-class facilities located in the Engineering and Science Building (ESB). These new facilities include a state-of-the-art cleanroom with an adjacent and interconnected nanocrystal/analytical lab support core and an advanced imaging suite with extensive supporting resources. Along with technical excellence and future expansion capabilities, all areas have been designed to facilitate outreach activities. The cleanroom and adjacent nanocrystal/analytical lab are located on the main floor of the ESB with floor-to-ceiling windows for safe and convenient viewing by groups and casual observers. The imaging suite located in the basement contains a novel visualization center that allows direct interaction between researchers and tour groups as well as real-time observation of research being performed on our most sophisticated imaging platforms. The majority of our most advanced tools and instrumentation have been procured within the last five years with further acquisitions currently being planned or pursued.

Please explore our website to see who we are and what we do and to learn about our capabilities. I also personally invite you to become connected with us via Facebook and Instagram to stay up-to-date with our latest events, improvements and discoveries. At VINSE we may work at the nanoscale, but we embrace big challenges with potentially huge impacts for society and our world. Our future has never been brighter! Think small and achieve BIG!


Sandra J. Rosenthal
Jack and Pamela Egan Professor of Chemistry
Professor of Physics, Pharmacology, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
Director, Vanderbilt Institute of Nanoscale Science and Engineering