The Institute for Molecular and Nanoscale Innovation (IMNI) is devoted to the study of matter at the molecular and nanoscale level. This research could be appled to a wide variety of products and services, ranging from sunscreen to improved drug delivery to solar cells.
The Institute for Molecular and Nanoscale Innovation (IMNI) has three core research groups. Below is a brief description of each group's mission and information for each director.

The Center for Advanced Materials Research

The goal of the center is to coordinate and facilitate research and education in materials sciences across the campus, as well as to foster inter-institutional scholarship and study of modern materials by advanced experimental and theoretical tools. The Center is presently anchored within several engineering disciplines, and the Departments of Physics and Chemistry at Brown, with developing links to biology and biomedical sciences.

The director is William Curtin, the Elisha Benjamin Andrews Professor in the Division of Engineering. Curtin has been a faculty member in the Solid Mechanics group of the Division of Engineering since 1998. The major theme of his research is the modeling of mechanical behavior of materials, with special emphases on fracture and multi-scale modeling.

The Center for Nanoscience and Soft Matter

This center brings together condensed matter physicists, engineers, and chemists to muster a powerful set of tools to create new forms of matter that will help create the next generation of nanotechnologies. A special emphasis in the center is on soft matter structures whose assembly, morphology and properties are governed by non-covalent interactions.

The director is Gang Xiao, professor in the Department of Physics and the Division of Engineering. He joined the Brown faculty in 1989. Xiao works in experimental condensed matter physics. He and his group developed a method to visualize the flow of electrical current through very small wires by measuring the magnetic field created by the current flow. The technique is being applied to the design and quality control of integrated circuits and is the technical basis of a start-up company, Micro Magnetics, Inc.

The NanoHealth Working Group

The group combines nanotechnologists in the physical sciences with medical researchers and human health practitioners. It also is home to Brown's efforts on the environmental, societal, and ethical implications of nanotechnology.

The research scope includes biological applications (such as nanomedicine in the form of drug delivery and implant design), as well as biological implications (health impacts and the design and formulation of safe or "green" nanomaterials). These topics share a common science — the interaction of synthetic nanostructures with living systems.

The director is Agnes Kane, professor and chair of the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at Brown. Kane's research focuses on the potential health effects of environmental and occupational exposure to asbestos fibers, mixed dusts, and nanomaterials.