Research News

  • Wrinkles and Crumples Make Graphene Better

    Wrinkles and Crumples Make Graphene Better

    Brown University researchers have developed a method for making super-wrinkled and super-crumpled sheets of the nanomaterial graphene. The research shows that the topography can enhance some of graphene’s already interesting View Full Article View Publication

  • Researchers Transform Slow Emitters Into Fast Light Sources

    Researchers Transform Slow Emitters Into Fast Light Sources

    Phosphors are efficient light emitters but they’re not optimal for high-speed communications because they turn on and off slowly. Researchers from Brown and Harvard have now found a way to modulate light from phosphor emitters orders of magnitude faster using phase-change materials, which could make phosphors useful in a range of new optoelectronic applications.
  • A Better Method For Making Perovskite Solar Cells

    A Better Method For Making Perovskite Solar Cells


    Faster, cooler, thinner, better Perovskite solar cells could be a cheap, efficient alternative to silicon-based solar cells. A new technique can potentially mass-produce thinner perovskite films at room temperature without sacrificing quality. Thin-film perovskite solar cells could be used for colorful windows that can generate electricity. Padture lab/Brown University

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  • DNA ‘cage’ could improve nanopore technology

    DNA ‘cage’ could improve nanopore technology

    A Nanoscale Cage

    An electrical field draws a strand of DNA in by the smaller hole, bottom, but the curled DNA cannot exit through the larger hole, top. After experimental procedures, a reversed electrical field draws the DNA strand back out of the lower hole, allowing before and after comparison.
    Credit: Stein lab/Brown University 

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  • Researchers Simulate Behavior of 'Active Matter'

    Researchers Simulate Behavior of 'Active Matter'

    Microspheres in a fluid, spinning in opposite directions, create flow patterns that affect other particles. Computer simulations show the particles self-assembling into different structures at different concentrations: bands, small swirls, a single large vortex.

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  • Researchers Predict Material with Record-Setting Melting Point

    Researchers Predict Material with Record-Setting Melting Point

    Compounds made from hafnium and carbon have some of the highest known melting points. Using computer simulations, Brown University engineers predict that a material made with hafnium, nitrogen, and carbon will have a higher melting point than any known material.View Publication

  • Nanowires highly ‘anelastic,’ research shows

    Nanowires highly ‘anelastic,’ research shows

    A slow return

    Zinc oxide nanowires return to shape slowly after being bent. That property, called anelasticity, suggests that nanowires might be good in applications that require absorption of shocks or vibrations. Full Article

  • Research Improves Efficiency From Larger Perovskite Solar Cells

    Research Improves Efficiency From Larger Perovskite Solar Cells

    Perovskite solar cells are cheaper to make than traditional silicon cells and their electricity conversion efficiency is improving rapidly. To be commercially viable, perovskite cells need to scale up from lab size. Researchers from Brown and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory report a method for making perovskite cells larger while maintaining efficiency.

The Institute for Molecular and Nanoscale Innovation (IMNI) at Brown University was founded in 2007, and IMNI serves as an umbrella organization to support centers and collaborative research in materials, molecular and nanoscale sciences and technologies.  IMNI is a "polydisciplinary" venture with over 80 participating faculty members representing nine departments across campus, and 12 staff members.  

Much of IMNI research activity is centered around three broad themes:

  • Center for Advanced Materials Research
  • Center for Nanoscience & Soft Matter
  • Nanohealth Initiative 

IMNI serves as a focal point for interaction with industry, government, and our affiliated hospitals.  IMNI supports and administers: seed funding, scientific team building, proposals preparation, post-award block grants, seminars, special events, and nanoscience course offerings across campus.

IMNI manages three major core research facilities:  Microelectronics Facility, Electron Microscopy Facility, NanoTools Facility - and the Joint Engineering/Physics Instrument Shop.

IMNI News and Events