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The Functional Nano & Soft Materials Laboratory (FUNSOM) was founded at Soochow University on June 9th, 2008, and is led by the founding Director, Prof. Shuit-Tong Lee, an Academician of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS). In April 2010, it was renamed as Institute of Functional Nano & Soft Materials (FUNSOM). On the basis of FUNSOM, the College of Nano Science and Technology (CNST) was founded in December 2010, and was soon approved as one of the 17 National Pilot Colleges by the Ministry of Education.

At present there are 39 principal investigators conducting interdisciplinary and innovative research in different areas of nano-science and technology, including nano-optoelectronics, nano-energy, nano-biotechnology, and nanoscale interface sciences. To date FUNSOM has received over 570M RMB ($88M) in competitive National funding from NSFC, MOST and other National agencies.

FUNSOM takes functional nano and soft materials as its objects of investigation and focuses on research and development in the areas of optoelectronics, new energy, green environment, and biomedicine. There are currently five major research directions: functional nanomaterials, organic optoelectronic devices, nanobiotechnology & nanomedicine, structured functional surfaces & interface, and materials simulation & materials genome. The founding of FUNSOM opened a new chapter in the development of Materials Science & Engineering, Chemistry, Physics, Electronics, Biology, Medicine, and corresponding interdisciplines of Soochow University. Indexed from research citations data by Thomson Reuters ESI (Essential Science Indicators), updated in May 2017, the Materials Science and Chemistry disciplines of Soochow University have been listed in the global top 1‰.

FUNSOM is dedicated to academic innovation, technology development, and cultivation of talents. This institute will be developed into a high-level academic research platform to enhance interdisciplinary research in Materials Science & Engineering, Chemistry, Physics, Electronics, Biology and Medicine, and will also cultivate young talents with an interdisciplinary science and technology background. It will also push forward the industrialization of nano and soft materials technologies, develop more high-tech based economic growth point, and make continuous contribution to the development of local economy.

Edited by Juan Yang