About the Nanoscale & Quantum Phenomena Institute at Ohio University

Two people working on the accelerator beam

Mission Statement

The mission of the Nanoscale and Quantum Phenomena Institute (NQPI) is to advance cross-disciplinary research, educational, and technological innovation efforts in active areas of materials science and engineering by promoting nanoscience techniques, theory, and infrastructure.

NQPI is composed of faculty members having expertise in biology, chemistry, engineering, mathematics, physics, and other relevant fields engaged in research ranging from organic materials to semiconductors and spanning the macroscopic to nanoscale and quantum regimes.

NQPI support serves as a strategic investment to advance these efforts by providing critical infrastructure, fostering collaboration, and promoting communication by leveraging funds, materials, equipment, and expertise.

Membership Support

In addition to providing a collective voice for researchers working in materials science and engineering (MSE), NQPI fosters cross-disciplinary research and educational activities around MSE at OHIO by promoting communications between the membership, and by pooling/sharing resources (including funds, materials, equipment, and expertise). A partial list of specific benefits for active members (defined in the following section) are outlined below:

Graduate Student Fellowships — NQPI continues the successful CMSS Graduate Student Fellowship Program. This competitive program provides graduate student semesters of funding awarded annually. Support is given currently for up to six fellowships.

Undergraduate Research support — Summer undergraduate research internships are funded annually, currently up to six internships.

Research Seminar — Support for bringing distinguished speakers to present topical research.

Research Challenge Award Program — Active members are eligible to receive funds for the submission of qualifying proposals.

Shared equipment and facilities — An ongoing initiative of NQPI is to consolidate essential equipment within a shared facility and provide resources and personnel for the maintenance and operation of this facility. This will be structured such that all active members would have open access to the facility.

Administrative personnel — In addition to administering the budget and finances, the NQPI administrator may assist members with activities such event planning, visitor logistics, and proposal preparation.

Supplies, equipment, and travel funds — A limited pool of funds are available to active members for assisting in the purchase of critical supplies, equipment repairs or purchases, and travel.

Institute-wide software licenses — Access to site licenses for various software packages such as Origin, Mathematica, etc. are provided.

Public Relations and Outreach — NQPI produces a newsletter as well as maintains an institute website to promote the accomplishments of its members and their students.

Research Forum — NQPI sponsors a bi-weekly, student led, forum where students can gain experience presenting their work. Student presenters are eligible for travel stipends.

Hosted Events — NQPI helps organize and host events such as an annual student poster session, organizational meetings for collaborative research and proposal preparation, and public outreach events.

Conference/workshop support — NQPI may provide support in the form of personnel and/or funding for members involved in organizing a conference or workshop.

Matching funds for external proposals — NQPI provides matching funds for competitive external proposals, depending on availability of funds.


The primary criterion to be considered an active member of NQPI is to contribute to the overall activities. These include, (1) submitting proposals through the institute (with total proposal request of $100,000 or greater and subject to full F&A costs); (2) allowing NQPI members access to shared research equipment at reduced access rates; (3) participating in NQPI subcommittees as requested; (4) participating in NQPI activities, promoting NQPI branding (via use of the NQPI logo, letterhead, banner, etc.), and supporting recruiting efforts.


Condensed Matter and Surface Sciences Program

CMSS was established in 1987 after a campus wide competition. In its initial stages, CMSS was involved in building research infrastructure and expertise in materials research, including faculty hires in various departments, and establishing a regular focused seminar series, among other efforts. Over the years, it has been essential in fostering collaborations both internally and externally, with several of these securing multi-investigator awards from various federal, state, and private funding agencies.

Nanoscale & Quantum Phenomena Institute

In 2000, the Clinton Administration launched the National Nanotechnology Initiative. Ohio University in the same year launched its own "nanoscience initiative" via the Ohio University Doctoral Enhancement plan. This university funding led to the hire of four new nanoscientists within the Physics & Astronomy Department. This allowed the Condensed Matter area of the department to grow significantly in the field of nanoscience, in which it already had existing strengths. In 2001, the Nanoscale & Quantum Phenomena Institute was established.

2018 Consolidation

In the Fall of 2017, under the suggestion by the interim Provost and the Vice President for Research and Creative Activities, a proposal was submitted to the Ohio University president outlining a broad university-level investment that would consolidate the existing Condensed Matter and Surface Sciences program and the Nanoscale & Quantum Phenomena Institute, enhancing the overall visibility and success of the members' activity in these topical areas. The submitted proposal outlined a combined vision and structure for both programs that would operate under the infrastructure of NQPI and retain the core missions of both CMSS and NQPI, open new opportunities for strategic investments, and streamline administrative procedures. This proposal was approved by former President M. Duane Nellis in February 2018, demonstrating a strong vote of confidence and commitment by the university to support successful research activities. The members of CMSS and NQPI deeply value the support from the president, the provost, the vice president for research, and the deans of the College of Arts & Sciences and the Russ College of Engineering in this new venture. NQPI will continue the work of advancing the successful educational and research missions of both CMSS and NQPI which are recognized by peer institutions around the world.