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Conformal metasurface coating eliminates crosstalk and shrinks waveguides

Toward a Smart Graphene Membrane to Desalinate Water 

Energy Storage Solution Combines Polymers and Nanosheets

The Millennium Cafe Pitch Competition, designed to help scientists better communicate the complexity of their work, was featured on WPSU's SciTech Now

2D layered devices can self-assemble with precision

Research News

Aug 31 2017

The properties of materials can behave in funny ways. Tweak one aspect to make a device smaller or less leaky, for example, and something else might change in an undesirable way, so that engineers play a game of balancing one characteristic against another. Now a team of Penn State electrical engineers have a way to simultaneously control diverse optical properties of dielectric waveguides by using a two-layer coating, each layer with a near zero thickness and weight.

Aug 30 2017

An international team of researchers, including scientists from Shinshu University (Japan) and the director of Penn State’s ATOMIC Center, has developed a graphene-based coating for desalination membranes that is more robust and scalable than current nanofiltration membrane technologies. The result could be a sturdy and practical membrane for clean water solutions as well as protein separation, wastewater treatment and pharmaceutical and food industry applications.

Jul 31 2017

A new, lightweight composite material for energy storage in flexible electronics, electric vehicles and aerospace applications has been experimentally shown to store energy at operating temperatures well above current commercial polymers, according to a team of Penn State scientists. This polymer-based, ultrathin material can be produced using techniques already used in industry.

Upcoming Events 2017

Every Week 10 a.m.
The Millennium Cafe

An opportunity to spend time "outside the box" developing new ideas and leveraging the collective expertise.

Materials Day 2017

Materials Day 2017 will dig deep into a number of the emerging "Hot Topics in Materials" research.

Convergence of TEM Methods for Materials and Life Sciences

For researchers who are working in both life sciences and materials sciences to discuss common methods and instrumentation.

15 - 16
Electron Probe MicroAnalysis (EPMA) Workshop

An introduction to the capabilities of EPMA along with applications and analysis.

Materials Day 2017 - October 17-18

October 17-18 is Materials Day!  Featuring experts from government, industry, and academia in informal break-out sessions across two days, Materials Day 2017 will tackle topics that matter, from advanced, sustainable manufacturing to materials for next generation healthcare. Be sure to mark your calendar!

Details about this event > > >

Click HERE to Register!

Focus on Materials Fall 2017 Issue

Advancing Manufacturing

Discovery in materials science can be through new structures, new properties, new composites, and new understanding of materials from properties to the synthetic pathways. The ability to take this knowledge and scale to large-scale processes and production enables the discovery to have a viable societal impact, provide new products and new devices, and to develop new competitive business.

View online issue


Millennium Cafe

Roots of the Second Green Revolution

The world needs crops with better root systems that can produce food with less water and fertilizer. Understanding how to optimize root structure and function entails complex computational, mathematical and biophysical challenges.

From there to here…Atomic Things are Everywhere

Recent advances in cryo-EM have brought us into a new era where atomic structures are feasible.  Successful cryo-EM consists of three components: sample preparation, data collection, and processing.  Penn State has invested in a state of the art temperature and humidity controlled prep room to prepare samples and acquired a new Titan Krios microscope that collects atomic resolution data.  We are equipped with the computer resources to process cryo-EM data into high resolution maps.  So what do you need to get an atomic resolution map? Can you take advantage of this revolutionary new technique?  Will your sample work? This talk will present the criteria for a good input sample required for an atomic resolution 3D structure.

The Materials Research Institute

A Culture of Interdisciplinary Research

Penn State’s investment in its interdisciplinary research institutes, including the Materials Research Institute (MRI), has created a culture of strong collaborations across disciplines. At Penn State, many researchers have the support of both their academic departments and the university-wide institutes, such as MRI. By encouraging crosscutting research, MRI and its sister institutes open up traditional silos of knowledge to the stimulus of other viewpoints and new ideas. This mingling of disciplines, often called “convergence,” brings together the physical and life sciences with engineering and computation to solve the most complex problems facing society today and in the future.

Four Lab Solution: Theory, Synthesis, Fabrication, Characterization

NSF MIP Materials Innovation Platform
2D Crystal Consortium (2DCC)

The 2DCC-MIP is focused on advancing the synthesis of 2D materials within the context of a national user facility.

The Materials Characterization Lab
Materials Characterization Lab

The Materials Characterization Lab (MCL) is a fully-staffed, open access, analytical research facility charged with enabling research and educating the next generation of highly qualified researchers.

The Materials Computation Center
Materials Computation Center

Our primary goal is to support internal and external users working in computer-based simulations of materials across the various length and time scales.

The Nanofabrication Lab
Nanofabrication Lab

Our staff scientists and engineers will enable users to transition fundamental research in nanomaterials to innovation-driven multicomponent integrated devices and systems.

New Capabilities & Emerging Materials Research

Electrocaloric Materials Thermally Functional Materials
Thermally Functional Materials

Electrocaloric effect (ECE) based cooling technology

Materials-Related Institutes, Facilities, & Centers





Energy Institute




Institute for Cyberscience


Industry and University Collaboration

Every organization has different priorities and resources. Directors of the MRI facilities recognizes this and help your company leverage our labs in various ways.
Find out more...