Advances in nanoscience and engineering, analytical tools and computation offer tremendous opportunities to design the function of materials and chemical processes. The department is ideally positioned to be a major contributor in this area. The existing strengths in knowledge-based synthesis and manufacturing of nanomaterials, especially solar nanomaterials, via aerosol, liquid-phase self-assembly and laser-induces self-organization routes, materials characterization and multiscale modeling and simulations have already resulted in high impact research in energy materials. Research is also underway with a focus on experimental and theoretical/computational research aimed at novel synthesis/manufacturing routes, photon/electron/ion/phonon transport in novel materials, multiscale biological and synthetic materials and materials for energy storage/release as well as acquisition of instrumentation for time- and space- resolved measurements that will enable the determination of processing-structure-function relationships. Another active area of research is in environmental nanotechnology with an emphasis on the synthesis and fabrication of advanced materials, devices, and system development for use in the environmental protection and preservation. The group is also actively involved in application areas of medicine (nano-medicine) and smart and precision agriculture.