Nanotechnology Research Centre


We advance nanoscience into biomedicine, energy, materials and scientific instrumentation innovations. Our nanobiology and developmental microscopy capability platforms underpin the pursuit of breakthroughs in these sectors. We strategically cultivate foundational expertise across science fields such as chemistry, biology, physics, and material science, and excel at engineering new nano-scale instrumentation.

Services and information


Nanotechnology collaboration hub (Edmonton)

  • Electron Microscopy Lab: This facility is home to three transmission electron microscopes (TEMs), three scanning electron microscopes (SEMs), and two focused ion beam (FIB) microscopes. All microscopes are situated in specially-designed characterization suites that minimize environmental disturbances and ensure optimal performance.
  • Innovation Centre: Our experienced team of technology advisors has been assisting start-ups and established companies with their nanotechnology ventures for more than a decade, as well as providing a supportive teaching environment by providing the latest instrumentation and technical expertise. For more information, contact Andrew Myles at 780-641-1758.

Research projects

  • NRC-UAlberta Nanotechnology Initiative: Building on nearly two decades of collaboration, the NRC and the UAlberta have launched a new Nanotechnology Initiative to expand Canadian nanotechnology capacity and foster breakthrough research aligned to strategic priorities.

Technical and advisory services

  • Advanced materials
    • Epoxy and composites: Long-lasting polymer nano-composite offers superior mechanical properties at reduced manufacturing costs.
    • Composite lubricants: High-temperature resistant lubricant using nano-additives has been adopted by industry.
    • Membranes: Electro-spinning equipment has produced membranes that may be applicable to water purification.
  • Sensors and devices
    • Molecular junction: Audio clipping devices, which use organic-based circuits, are the world's first commercial application of molecular electronics.
    • Pathogen detection/air quality: NRC industrial research collaborations include amino detectors for food processing and spoilage.
    • Micro electro-mechanical systems (MEMS): Design and fabrication of sensors for the aeronautic, biotechnology, and oil and gas industries.
  • Nano-biology
    • Antigen immunology: Skin immunology, bioactive compounds for skin regeneration, elasticity, permeability, and resistance to infection, and allergic inflammation and treatment.

Technology licensing

Why work with us

We operate one of Canada’s most advanced electron microscopy facilities, featuring custom-application development skills and analytical capabilities surpassing those of commercial units. Internationally-recognized scientists, working together with expert engineers and technicians, devise novel techniques and custom hardware to solve the toughest characterization challenges, and build leading-edge nanoscale instrumentation for R&D and commercial applications.

We help our stakeholders design, produce, test and mature nano-enabled technologies related to:

  • Controlled drug delivery solutions
  • Diagnostics & bio-chemical sensing portable platforms
  • Imaging of soft materials and in-solution
  • Inhibitor design & immuno-modulation technology
  • In-situ & multi-modal microscopy
  • Ion and electron microscopy
  • Multiprobe Scanning Tunnelling/Atomic Force Microscopy sensors
  • Room-temperature molecular manufacturing
  • Scanning Probe Microscopy lithography & FIB-based microfabrication
  • Synthetic biology and DNA/RNA transfection

Thanks to our extensive networks, we can facilitate and host new collaborations and connections with key nanoscience/technology stakeholders, including:

  • Industry organizations
  • Universities, particularly the University of Alberta
  • Government departments and agencies
  • National and international research centres