New Video highlights IIN-U.S. Air Force Research Lab partnership

By Sheryl Cash

November 14, 2018

EVANSTON, Ill.–The U.S. Air Force Center of Excellence for Advanced Bioprogrammable Nanomaterials, or C-ABN, established at Northwestern University in 2015, is the only Center of its kind in the country. The C-ABN represents an exciting new synergistic collaboration between researchers at the International Institute for Nanotechnology (IIN) at Northwestern and the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL).

The C-ABN is the focus of a new video created by IIN.

Together, scientists at these two prestigious research centers are designing advanced bioprogrammable nanomaterials for solutions to challenging problems in the areas of energy, the environment, and security and defense.

The C-ABN research is broadly focused on developing high performance, functional materials from novel nanoscale building blocks. Seventeen individual research projects are supported by the C-ABN and are organized into three primary research topic areas or thrust groups:

  1. In the Materials & Methods Development Thrust Group researchers are developing new high-performance materials for protective gear and other uses. They are also developing new methods to understand and stimulate creative problem-solving.
  2. In the Advanced Biosensing Thrust Group researchers are developing a simple, rapid, and accurate methods to monitor and mitigate stress and enhance human performance.
  3. In the Functional Substrates, Thrust Group researchers are working on the development of underlying substances with unique functionality leading to highly-sensitive sensors, high-performance circuitry, and hybrid, wearable energy-storage devices.

The C-ABN is housed under the IIN at Northwestern and benefits from a strong administrative foundation; industrial participation for the development of products, processes, and services; and programs that successfully move new technologies from the laboratory to the marketplace.

The C-ABN also encompasses a strong workforce development component. Faculty, junior researchers, and students spend time working with researchers at AFRL laboratories during the summer and AFRL researchers visit Northwestern for short sabbaticals and research visits. Through a seminar series, AFRL speakers travel to Northwestern, and Northwestern researchers to the AFRL in Dayton, Ohio.

Funding for the C-ABN is provided by the Materials and Manufacturing Directorate and Human Effectiveness Directorate of AFRL, the U.S. Air Force Office of Scientific Research, and by Northwestern.

The International Institute for Nanotechnology at Northwestern University is an umbrella organization that represents and unites more than $1 billion in nanotechnology research, education and supporting infrastructure.