Do you really think this "nanotechnology thing" will last...
- P.M. Ajayan (Troy NY, 1997)

Since 1997 our group has been referred to as the "Nanotech group." In that year the Laboratory for Nanotechnology was established in the Department of Physics at Clemson University by Prof. Carroll. Today we are members of the Center for Nanotechnology and Molecular Materials at Wake Forest University. It has been a long road from Clemson to Winston-Salem, with many successes and failures along the way. Our group has evolved into a large and thriving multidisciplinary team addressing many problems we would have not even imagined in 1997. Yet, true to our original name, our emphasis remains on the study and applications of exotic  nanomaterials.


As english writer John Galsworthy put it: "Beginnings are always messy..." and this is especially true when trying to establish a research group. The Carroll Group was established during a time of tremendous growth in scientific funding, and an environment of excitement about this newly emerging field of nanotechnology. At that time, in 1997, very few groups referred to themselves as "nano." What was to become a world-wide phenomenon began with a small gaggle of materials scientists, physicists, and chemists. We were lucky to be among them.

Nanotech comes to Clemson University

The original Nanotech team was made up of Dr. Dave Carroll, Dr. Richard Czerw, Dr. Daniel Tekleab, Dr. Jiwen Liu. We soon added Dr. Faith Coldren, Dr. Scott Webster, and Dr. Nicole Levi. The group was housed in a warehouse in Pendleton SC (about five miles from Clemson's campus). We washed glassware at the car wash next door and had to cover all the equipment to keep it clean and to protect it from the water that ran through holes in the roof when it rained.

In our five years at Clemson we published nearly 70 papers and filed numerous patents, some of which are licensed today. Dr. Carroll was tenured and promoted early and a number of MS and PhD students received their degrees. We also had numerous postdocs and guests come through; many of whom left their mark on the group by introducing new directions and techniques. No one represents this better than Mr. S. Hoshi, a guest from Yazaki Meter Company in Japan. Through Hoshi the group established an organic device effort that would define us for years to come.

Our New Home: Wake Forest University

We arrived in Winston-Salem NC in the fall of 2003. With our labs under construction and most of our equipment in storage, the Nanotech team set about to redefine itself and establish new directions in our new home. Importantly, with WFU's huge medical school and research facilities, the group was now able to pursue applications in medicine.


As our group sets it sights on its next decade of research, we recognize the contributions and salute the dedication of the more than 100 scientists that have made up the Nanotech Research group. Now in our  15th year at WFU, the group has produced ~ 30 advanced degrees, raised > $24M in research funds, published > 300 papers, filed > 30 patents + divisionals and built two laboratories.

The Future

From its "messy beginnings" it seems as though this "nanotechnology thing" has pushed forward, developed, and aged. Today there are subfields in NANO: lithographic systems, nanomaterials, plasmonics, and more. Many schools now offer degrees in nanotechnology and nanoengineering. Yet, its core remains: the exotic and emergent phenomena surrounding systems of reduced dimension. This provides not only a glimpse at the future of mankind’s most awesome technologies, but also an insight into the quantum rules that make our world work. There is still a lot to do...

Physics Lineage-just for fun

Dr. Carroll received his PhD. from Dr. Doering at Wesleyan University in Middletown CT. So were did Dr. Doering study?

Dr. Dale Doering studied with Dr. J. Thomas Dickinson (Washington State)

Dr. Dickinson studied with Dr. Jens Zorn (University of Michigan)

Dr. Zorn studied with Dr. Vernon W Hughes (Yale University)

Dr. Hughes studied with Dr. I.I. Rabi (Columbia University, Nobel 1944)

Dr. Rabi studied with Dr. Albert Potter Wills (Columbia University)

Dr. Wills studied with Dr. Arthur Gordon Webster (Clark University, founder of the APS)

Dr. Webster studied with Dr. Hermann von Helmholtz (Berlin)

So I guess you could say we are the great great ---great--- great great grandchildren of Dr. Helmholtz.  Isn't google amazing!


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