Smart Materials Integration Laboratory

The Smart Materials Integration Laboratory is designed to allow Penn State University scientists to create a new generation of smart integrated components that combine electrical, mechanical and optical functions. "Smart" materials sense a change in the environment and respond to that change in a useful way. The laboratory will enable the integration and miniaturization of "smart" materials and the fabrication of components that go beyond conventional semiconductor-based materials. This is done by utilizing both semiconductor and low temperature co-fire ceramic technologies.

The Laboratory Enables

  • Thin film deposition and patterning
  • Thick film patterning and lay-up facilities (including direct write and ceramic tape technologies)
  • Electrical and optical characterization facilities to study the properties of smart materials.

The laboratory includes a class 100 cleanroom, photolithography and patterning capabilities, a 3 target magnetron sputtering tool, a complete suite of tools for low temperature co-fire ceramic technology, a micropen for direct writing of complex circuitry, a nonlinear near field scanning optical microscope, a probe station, and some electrical characterization equipment.

The laboratory was primarily supported by a generous grant from the W. M. Keck Foundation, along with a major equipment donation from Motorola, Inc., and support from Penn State University.

Vision Statement

To realize a new generation of integrated devices that combine diverse functionalities on a smart material chip.

  • Smart piezoelectric sensors and actuators
  • Miniature biomedical devices for surgery and blood tests
  • All-optical circuits than can process light at >GigaHertz
  • Tunable dielectrics for microwave communication
  • Photostrictive robots on a chip

Current Research Areas

Equipment Listing

Other Dielectric Characterization Facilities

See: MCL website

Using Our Facilities

SMIL Contact Info

Susan Trolier-McKinstry