The NSEC is managed by an executive committee consisting of Professors Padma Gopalan (Director & Thrust 1), Paul Nealey (Thrust 1, Founding Director),  Nick Abbott (Thrust 2), Sam Gellman (Thrust 2), Juan de Pablo (Thrust 3), David Schwartz (Thrust 3), Bob Hamers (Thrust 4, Associate Director), Joel Pedersen (Thrust 4), Dominique Brossard (Societal Implications), Jon McCarthy (Facilities), John Moore (Education & Outreach), and Andrew Greenberg (Education & Outreach). The research is carried out by Thrust groups on a rolling horizon basis and smaller seed groups on a limited-term (2 – 3 year) basis.

Thrust One explores and develops new materials and processes for advanced lithography, in which self-assembling block copolymers are directed to adopt morphologies that advance the performance of nanomanufacturing processes.

Thrust Two explores directed assembly at the nanoscale through the synthesis of biologically-inspired organic nanostructures in which functional side-chains display unique ordering, in terms of both sequence along a backbone and three-dimensional arrangement in space.

Thrust Three explores and harnesses non-equilibrium processes, including the use of external fields, for manipulating the assembly of nanoscale objects, including particles and macromolecules.

Thrust Four elucidates the toxicity of nanomaterials and their environmental fate.

The Societal Implications Group is conducting research aiming at understanding how the public is getting engaged with nanorelated content online, and how this content influence knowledge and attitudes.