Materials Research Institute | Our integrated research laboratories turn concepts into prototypes Skip to main content

Engineers find imaging technique could become treatment for deep vein thrombosis

What makes plant cell walls both strong and extensible?

Penn State research teams awarded seed grants to advance biodevices

Black hairstyles will inspire innovative building materials in new research

Computers help researchers find materials to turn solar power into hydrogen

Research News

Jul 14 2021

Felecia Davis brings her work using responsive textiles to the multi-university team that is working to translate Black hairstyle techniques for use in architectural practice

Natural Black hair texture and styling practices – such a braiding, locking and crocheting – will help inspire and generate novel building materials and architecture structures using computational design processes in new research funded by the prestigious Graham Foundation.

Jun 25 2021

Finding materials that boost hydrogen production is a step toward competing economically with carbon-based fuels

By Matt Swayne

Using solar energy to inexpensively harvest hydrogen from water could help replace carbon-based fuel sources and shrink the world’s carbon footprint. However, finding materials that could boost hydrogen production so that it could compete economically with carbon-based fuels has been, as yet, an insurmountable challenge.

Jun 24 2021

Force field is used to create better simulations to enable more efficient, effective research

By Jamie Oberdick

Pioneers of Materials

360 Virtual Tour of Our Labs

From anywhere, from any device, visit some of our labs virtually. Walk through the Nanofab Lab, the MCL X-ray Diffraction Lab, and the NanoSEM Lab.

MRI Labs Open

Penn State is cautiously reopening its research labs and MRI is inviting industry and other universities who may not have reopened to make use of our Nanofabrication Facility, our Materials Characterization Laboratory, and the Materials Computation Center.

Please visit our website for information regarding these laboratories' capabilities and for contact information for the appropriate expert staff. For further information on MRI's and Penn State's response to the COVID-19 crisis.  Read full details here →

ATTENTION:

Per the Department of the State, the arrival of all visitors, visiting scholars, and post-docs who were expected to arrive prior to August 1, 2020 will be asked to reschedule their visits until further notice.

Focus on Materials Magazine

SENSORS: We are living in a world where sensors are ubiquitous and growing exponentially. The much talked about internet of things (IoT), in which sensors talk to humans and to other machines, is based on millions, even billions of different types of reliable and cost-effective sensors.
At Penn State, sensor research is in a kind of renaissance. In fact, this is the first Focus on Materials to have a theme issue on sensors in 15 years.

To receive a FREE printed issue, subscribe to "Printed Materials" and add/update your mailing address.

Sign Up for Print Focus Magazine

View the ONLINE ISSUE HERE

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.

Request a Tour of the MSC

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

Next generation solid-state refrigeration
Thermally Functional Materials

Electrocaloric effect (ECE) based cooling technology

Materials-Related Institutes, Facilities, & Centers

2DLM

ATOMIC

CIMP-3D

Energy Institute

HESE

CNS MRSEC

CDP

SOE

AREC-USA at Penn State

3DFeM

ASSIST

BEST Center

CEHMS

LiMC2

Industry and University Collaboration

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