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A future of helpful engineered ‘living’ machines?

Della Roy remembered for groundbreaking materials research and as a pioneer for women in science

Kirigami-style nanostructure fabrication may open new world of micro and nanostructures

Stewart Kurtz remembered for his impact on materials research at Penn State

Inexpensive tin packs a big punch for the future of supercapacitors

Research News

Mar 26 2021

By Jamie Oberdick

Using a technique that mimics the ancient Japanese art of kirigami, a team of researchers may offer an easier way to fabricate complex 3D nanostructures for use in electronics, manufacturing and health care.

Mar 23 2021

By Gail McCormick

Two faculty members have been selected to receive Lab Bench to Commercialization (LB2C) grants from the Eberly College of Science in 2021. The competitive program provides funding for researchers in the college, enabling them to enhance the commercial potential of ongoing research and prepare them to translate their intellectual property to the marketplace.

2021 Pitch Competition

May 13, 2021

Graduate Students will pitch their research in 2 minutes or less in a virtual setting!

Sponsored by PPG Industries, the Millennium Café Pitch Competition is an opportunity to pitch your research in TWO minutes or less using no more than four supporting slides.  Graduate students will briefly convey their research to a curious and technically diverse audience in hopes of taking home CASH PRIZES and developing new COLLABORATIONS.

Details and Registration

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.

Millennium Café

Emerging in situ + Nanoscale Characterization Capabilities @ the MCL

Ever advanced analytical capabilities are required for the Materials Characterization Laboratory to support the research from >45 PSU departments each year. In this talk we will briefly introduce a few capabilities on the horizon for the MCL: nanoscale infrared spectroscopy - Bruker nanoIR, TEM environmental gas cell- Protochips Atmosphere, and novel surface analysis capabilities.

Mapping Cellular and Biomolecular Heterogeneity in the Tumor Microenvironment via Imaging ToF-SIMS

New approaches are required to understand the spatial heterogeneity within a tumor microenvironment (TME) if we are to elucidate information regarding the reprogramming mechanisms leading to immunosuppression and tumor progression. I will briefly discuss a new ToF-SIMS methodology for comprehensive lipidomic and metabolomic profiling of different types of individual cells on frozen-hydrated tissue sections. This new approach makes it is possible to integrate the spatial multi-omics profiling (metabolites, lipids and proteins) in the same tissue at single cell level, leading to new insights into the role of lipid reprogramming and metabolic response in normal regulation or pathogenic discoordination of cell-cell interactions in a variety of tissue microenvironments.

From 10:00 – 10:15 stop by breakout room #1 to chat about: “2021 PPG Elevator Pitch Competition” with Dave Fecko.

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 →


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.

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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

Humanitarian Materials
Humanitarian Materials Engineering

Socially responsible engineering in the developing regions of the world

Materials-Related Institutes, Facilities, & Centers




Energy Institute





AREC-USA at Penn State



BEST Center



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...