California NanoSystems Institute
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Affiliate Research Centers

The California NanoSystems Institute collaborates with a number of affiliate research centers which serve to strengthen the Institute's international reputation as a hub for research excellence in nanosystems and nanotechnology across disciplines from the life and physical sciences, engineering and medicine.

Center for Environmental Implications of Nanotechnology (CEIN)
Andre Nel, Faculty Director

The mission of the UC CEIN is to insure that nanotechnology is introduced and implemented in a responsible and environmentally-compatible manner to allow the US and the International community to leverage the benefits of nanotechnology for global economic and social benefit.

The UC CEIN will deliver the knowledge needed to responsibly and sustainably advance nanotechnology for the nation and the world through its research, educational and outreach contributions to the National Science Foundation, Environmental Protection Agency, the wider National Nanotechnology Initiative, industry and the public.


  • Develop a library of reference nanomaterials
  • Understand the impacts of different types of nanomaterials on organisms and ecological systems
  • Develop a predictive model of toxicology and environmental impacts of nanomaterials
  • Develop guidelines and decision tools for the safe design and use of nanomaterials

Center for Reticular Chemistry
Faculty Director: Omar M. Yaghi
Faculty Contact for BASF California Scholars Program: Richard Kaner

The mission of CRC is to provide national and international leadership in all aspects of reticular chemistry research and development, and to establish CNSI as an intellectual hub for researchers in the field. Reticular chemistry was invented by CRC members in the 1990s and it is concerned with linking of molecular building blocks of synthetic and biological origin into predetermined structure using strong bonds. This chemistry has led to the design and synthesis of new materials with unparalleled diversity. CRC members are leading a revolution in the invention of new classes of porous crystalline materials among such are those called metal-organic frameworks (MOFs). They have nanopores that can be functionalized by organic units and their metrics varied at will. MOFs have surface areas up to 6000 m2/g and are the least dense crystals known. To date over 3,000 new compositions of MOFs have been reported and studied for their applications in hydrogen storage, methane transport, carbon dioxide capture, polymerization catalysis, gas and liquid separations, magnetism, electronics and proton conduction. CRC boasts the prestigious BASF California Scholars which brings to UCLA the best and brightest young researchers from around the world to carry out interdisciplinary projects which advance this technology to other fields including engineering, mathematics, biology, physics and medicine.

Functional Engineered Nano Arthitectonics (FENA)
Kang Wang, Faculty Director

The center on Functional Engineered Nano Architectonics (FENA) aims to create and investigate new nano-engineered functional materials and devices, and novel structural and computational architectures for new information processing systems beyond the limits of conventional CMOS technology.

FENA embraces the current opportunity to create and explore the next generation of nanoscale semiconductor technology to the borders of ultimate CMOS and beyond: inventing the heterogeneous interfaces of new nanosystems, enabling a combination of biological and molecular functions, and revolutionizing the paradigms of information processing and sensing. These new nanostructured materials will provide the basis for the continued expansion of the semiconductor industry and the creation of new applications of monolithically integrated (CMOS, molecular and biomolecular) nanosystems.

FENA's high impact, high risk and long term agenda makes it a unique research center. It's focused mission and objective is in line with the critical nanomaterial challenges highlighted in the International Technology Roadmap for Semiconductors (ITRS) and those facing today's semiconductor industry.

For additional information about FENA visit

Nano Renewable Energy Center (NREC)
Yang Yang, Faculty Director

The Nano Renewable Energy Center (NREC) will focus on the research and development of the latest renewable energy technologies. Due to the energy crisis and the global warming effect, there is an urgent need to find reliable and renewable energy sources. Nature provides plenty of energy, for example, the sun deposits 120,000 TW of power onto the Earth's surface, which is far more than enough to provide the 13 TW of total power that is currently used by the planet's population. Hence, the primary goal of the NREC is to utilize nano technology in the renewable energy research, and to achieve quantum leap progress. The research at NREC will be focusing on these three important categories: (1) Energy Harvesting; (2) Energy Storage; and (3) Energy Management. Initial research activity at the NREC is on high performance and low-cost flexible solar cells based on conjugated polymers; inorganic nano particles; and organic-inorganic hybrid material system. Other research areas, such as energy storage, will emerge as we expand our research activities in the future.

UCLA Art|Sci Center
Victoria Vesna, Faculty Director

The mission of the UCLA Art|Sci Center is to pursue, facilitate and promote research and programs that demonstrate the potential of media arts and science collaborations. Media artists and scientists will collaborate to address ethical, social and environmental issues of contemporary scientific innovations and artistic projects that respond to cutting-edge inventions and research. The UCLA Art|Sci Center will have lab space in both the new CNSI building as well as in the new Broad building on North campus.

Additional information about the UCLA Art|Sci Center is available at

Western Institute of Nanoelectronics (WIN)
Kang Wang, Faculty Director

The Western Institute of Nanoelectronics (WIN) a National Institute of Excellence, has been organized to leverage what are now considered the best interdisciplinary talents in the field of nanoelectronics in the world. The institute's mission is to explore and develop advanced research devices, circuits and nanosystems with performance beyond conventional devices, which are based on the current industry standard, complementary metal oxide semiconductors (CMOS).

For the first phase, proposed research will focus initially on spintronics extending from material, devices, and device-device interaction all the way to circuits and architectures. The center's objective is to allow for the future expansion and addition of new projects and programs in the later phases. WIN will use the new infrastructures and laboratories of all the participating universities, including the California NanoSystems Institute of UCLA and UC Santa Barbara, the Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society of UC Berkeley, and the National Nanotechnology Infrastructure Network of Stanford University. A portion of WIN will be located in a new 3,000-square-foot laboratory within the new CNSI Institute building. For additional information about WIN visit

IT Infrastructure

The computational and mathematical resources for CNSI members and their academic and industry partners will be offered principally through the newly founded Institute for Digital Research and Education (IDRE), which will be located in the CNSI building. IDRE's mission is to promote and coordinate computation, simulation, and visualization on campus. Its efforts will be augmented by the Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics at UCSB and the NSF Institute for Pure and Applied Mathematics at UCLA. Partnerships with Los Alamos, Lawrence Livermore, and Berkeley National Laboratories will provide additional computational resources. UCLA's Academic Technology Services (ATS), as part of IDRE, hosts campus clusters and is developing a UC-wide Grid. Its first connection outside of UCLA is with the CNSI at the UCSB campus.

Additional information on IDRE can be found at:

Beowulf Clusters

The CNSI Beowulf cluster -bw2 is built from HP AMD Opteron 248, 2 CPU based machines running the Linux operating system. The cluster is accessed through the entry/login machine,, and are operated as a unit, sharing networking, file servers, and other peripherals. This cluster can be  used to run both serial and parallel jobs.

The bw2 is composed of HP's AMD Opteron based dual processor nodes. The nodes are configured to run the high performance computing applications that are currently run by CNSI researchers.

The bw2 currently has the following nodes:

  • An interactive head/login node (
    • AMD Opteron 248 -2 dual processors (@2.2GHz)
    • 4 GB RAM
    • Gigabit ethernet network connection
    • 2x 160 GB Hard drive
  • Two interactive nodes (n03 & n04)
    • AMD Opteron 248 -2 dual processors (@2.2GHz)
    • 4 GB RAM
    • Gigabit ethernet network connection
    • 2x 160 GB hard drive.
  • Two large memory batch nodes (n01 & n02)
    • AMD Opteron 248 -2 dual processors (@2.2GHz)
    • 12 GB RAM
    • Gigabit ethernet network connection
    • 260 GB hard drive.
  • 46 general batch nodes (n05, n06, ..,n50)
    • AMD Opteron 248 -2 dual processors (@2.2GHz)
    • 4 GB RAM
    • Gigabit ethernet network connection
    • 160 GB hard drive.
  • 2 HP Procurve Switch 2848
    • Gigabit switch
  • File Server (NFS mounted)
      • Total exported file systems 4 TB