Nanotechnology and the Department of Defense

Clifford Lau, Office of the Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Research

The Department of Defense (DOD) recognized the importance of nanotechnology well before the National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI). DOD investment in nanoscience dated back to the early 1980s when the research sponsored by DOD began to approach the nanometer regime. Nanoscience and nanotechnology is one of six research areas identified by DOD as strategically important research areas. After careful evaluation and coordination with other federal agencies within the Interagency Working Group on Nanotechnology, the DOD investment was organized to focus on three nanotechnology areas of critical importance to DOD: Nanomaterials by Design, Nano-Electronics/Magnetics/Optoelectronics, and Nanobiodevices. DOD has traditionally provided leadership in nanotechnology research, particularly in the areas of nanoelectronics, chemistry, and materials. The research sponsored by DOD will provide the scientific foundation for developing the nanotechnology to enhance our warfighting capabilities.

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