Materials Research Institute

the pennsylvania state university

The Materials Research Institute

MRI provides leadership both at Penn State and in the materials community worldwide, coordinating materials-related activities, maintaining core and shared facilities, training students, and fostering collegial exchanges of expertise.

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Upcoming Events


Researchers Spotlight

Noted Scientist Bernd Kabius

Noted Scientist Recruited to Make Impact in Electron Microscopy

Bernd Kabius has an intimate knowledge of the new transmission electron microscope recently acquired by the Materials Research Institute. He helped create it. More specifically, he was part of the team that developed the double aberration corrected TEM, an instrument similar to the new FEI Titan housed in a quiet lab.
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Exchange Ideas & Challenges

The Millennium Café Weekly Collaboration

The Millennium Café is a weekly dialogue catalyzed by coffee, snacks and two diverse research presentations (<10 min) involving students, faculty, and staff. The Café is free for students, faculty, staff, and the public.

Please Join Us!
Every Tuesday at 10:00 a.m.

August 5: Café is Closed

August 4-8 is the annual MSC Bldg. maintenance week. As such, there will be no Millennium Café on 8/5. The Cafe resumes in full force on August 12.

Information about MSC core facilities during maintenance week
Materials Characterization Lab
Closed 7am-5pm on Thursday 8/7 - FULLY OPERATIONAL the rest of week (8/4, 8/5, 8/6, and 8/8)

Huck Microscopy & Cytometry
Closed 5pm on 8/6 through 10am on 8/7 - FULLY OPERATIONAL the rest of week (8/4, 8/5, 8/6, and 8/8)

Nanofabrication Laboratory
Closed 8/4 – 8/8

Details & Past Cafés

Materials Research News & Press Releases

The atomic layers of the topological insulator bismuth selenideThe Birth of Topological Spintronics

June 23, 2014 - The discovery of a new material combination that could lead to a more efficient approach to computer memory and logic will be described in the journal Nature on July 24, 2014.

"This is a really exciting development for the field because it is the first promising indication that we actually may be able to build a practical technology with these topological insulator materials, which many condensed-matter physicists have been studying with spintronics applications as the motivation," said co-principal-investigator Nitin Samarth.


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Super-Stretchable Yarn Is Made of Graphene Super-Stretchable Yarn Is Made of Graphene

Researchers at Penn State and Shinshu University in Japan have developed a simple, scalable method of making graphene oxide (GO) fibers that are strong, stretchable and can be easily scrolled into yarns with strengths approaching that of Kevlar.
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Customer Testimonials

The Nanofab at Penn State was instrumental in getting a customer program started for us. The technical staff quickly developed a material that met our design criteria which has enabled us to launch a prototype run for a novel MEMS device. Moving forward with the project, I have been impressed with the level of customer service and how quickly I was able to get trained in the Nanofab as a commercial lab user. The engagement here was differentiating for us and the staff support has allowed us to maintain our milestone timeline. The Penn State Nanofab has been a great technology partner. We look forward to completing this project successfully and expect to work on new projects together in the future.
Matt Apanius
As a small business resources are often limited, MCL worked with our engineers to produce micro featured gears for one of our medical devices. The bench top gear data was leveraged to support a successfully awarded Phase II NSF grant.
Maureen L. Mulvihill, PhD, President & CEO, Actuated Medical Inc (Bellefonte, PA)

Focus on Materials

The Millennium Café Weekly Collaboration

Winter/Spring Issue:

Focus on Materials is the research bulletin of the Materials Research Institute and the faculty, students, and industrial partners engaged in materials research at Penn State. In this publication, you will find a range of informative stories on developments in electronic, optical and bio/medical materials, as well as energy, nanotechnology, and the environment.

View Current & Past Issues