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Institute of Functional Nano & Soft Materials (FUNSOM), originally named the Functional Nano & Soft Materials Laboratory, 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).

FUNSOM takes functional nano & soft materials as its objects of investigations and focuses on research and development in the areas of optoelectronics, new energy, green environment and biomedicine. There are currently five major research directions: carbon/silicon nanomaterials and devices, organic optoelectronic materials and devices, nanobiotechnology & nanomedicine, structured functional surfaces & interfaces, and materials simulation & materials genome. The founding of FUNSOM opens a new chapter in the development of Material Science, Chemistry, Nanoscience and corresponding interdisciplines of Soochow University. Indexed from the data updated in May, 2017 from research citations by Thomson Reuters ESI (Essential Science Indicators), the Materials Science and Chemistry disciplines of Soochow University have been listed in the global top 1‰. FUNSOM always adheres to its education principle, and to the mission of FUNSOM: internationalization and the interdisciplinary spirit.

In Nov. 2016, Nature titled an article 'Innovative pioneers of higher education in China' to affirm the talent training in FUNSOM.

At present, there are 34 principal investigators (PIs) who possess a wealth of overseas research or working experience, conducting interdisciplinary and innovative research in FUNSOM. Many of our PIs work extensively with scientific colleagues both nationally and internationally, establishing extensive cooperative relationships with a number of organizations all over the world. Meanwhile, hundreds of forign experts, scholars and professors from various institutions have been paying regular visits to FNSOM for academic exchange and collaboration.

Researchers at FUNSOM have published over 1000 papers in high-impact journals including Science, Nat. Chem., Nat. Chem. Bio., Nat. Commun., Adv. Mater., J. Am. Chem. Soc., Angew. Chem. Int. Edit. and others, contributing to the development of a range of basic theories and methodologies as well as numerous creative achievements. To date, FUNSOM has received over 450M RMB ($65M) in competitive national funding from the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC), Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) and other national agencies, and has also received numerous awards at the national and provincial level.

Adv. Mater. published a special issue on FUNSOM about the outstanding research achievements and progress in the field of nanotechnology.  Adv. Mater., 2016, 28(47), 10343

FUNSOM is dedicated to academic innovation, technology development, and cultivation of talents. This institute will be developed into both a high-level academic research platform and high-level technology transition platform; it will enhance interdisciplinary research in chemistry, physics, materials science, electronic engineering and biomedical sciences, and cultivate young talent with an interdisciplinary science and technology background.

Edited by Groot