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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

Investigational cancer compound receives FDA approval to begin human trials

Grant focuses on 'hydrogen sponge' for use in fuel-cell vehicles

Research News

Jul 5 2017

Squid-inspired proteins can act as programmable assemblers of 2D materials, like graphene oxide, to form hybrid materials with minute spacing between layers suitable for high-efficiency devices including flexible electronics, energy storage systems and mechanical actuators, according to an interdisciplinary team of Penn State researchers.

Jun 29 2017

An investigational compound developed by Penn State researchers that targets and destroys cancer cells while leaving healthy cells unharmed has been approved for phase one clinical human trials by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Jun 16 2017

Finding practical hydrogen storage technologies for vehicles powered by fuel cells is the focus of a $682,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Energy, awarded to Mike Chung, professor of materials science and engineering, Penn State.

Upcoming Events

Oct 17 2017

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

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

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 > > >

Register Today!

Millennium Cafe

Crushing Molecules to Crystals of Carbon Nanothreads

Organic chemists are very good at synthesizing small carbon molecules, millions to date, but the number of completely crystalline and especially single crystal carbon “extended solids” such as diamond, graphite, and carbon nanotubes with bonding in multiple dimensions is very limited. Still, these few examples attract great attention because they often have superlative properties, such as high electron mobility, extremely high strength, and sometimes even superconductivity, so it is interesting to synthesize new ones.  I will show how the small molecule benzene can be crushed under pressure to form crystals of carbon nanothreads, a new low dimensional carbon nanomaterial akin to “flexible diamond” that may uniquely combine extreme strength with flexibility, insensitivity to defects, and resilience.

Plant-Herbivore Interactions and the Chemicals that Mediate Them

With a deep history of plant-animal interactions, it’s no surprise we find relationships that span from mutualisms to all out warfare. A brief overview of the chemical relationships that have been established between herbivores and their hosts will be discussed with a focus on behavior and chemical ecology.

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

Materials for Humanity
Humanitarian Materials Engineering

Socially responsible engineering in the developing regions of the world

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.
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