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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

Lab Bench to Commercialization grant recipients announced

Research News

Mar 11 2021

The recent synthesis of one-dimensional van der Waals heterostructures, a type of heterostructure made by layering two-dimensional materials that are one atom thick, may lead to new, miniaturized electronics that are currently not possible, according to a team of Penn State and University of Tokyo researchers.  

Mar 2 2021

Novel transistor planned as low-energy alternative to traditional silicon transistors

By Gabrielle Stewart

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

The Embodiment of Water Insecurity – Part III in the Water, Public Health, and the Environment Series

Water is imperative for health, nutrition, and overall well-being. Yet, 884 million people worldwide lack basic access to improved drinking water sources. While progress has been made on this front, this talk will address the many ways water insecurity manifests and is experienced across the world and in the US. Further it will describe how water insecurity becomes embodied and affects a range of human health outcomes, beyond just water-borne illnesses. 

How 3D Printing Technology Developed for Mars can Address the Housing Crisis on Earth - Part IV in the Additive Materials & Manufacturing Series

World population growth and fast urbanization are such that we will need to build over the next twenty years as many houses as we have built in the past two thousand years. The talk will describe how innovative design and construction technologies developed to overcome this situation on Earth were used to design a habitat to support the human exploration of Mars. It will also show how the lessons learned from this Martian effort may impact the way we design and make buildings on Earth. 

From 10:00 – 10:15 stop by breakout room #1 to chat about: “How the Nanofab/2DCC REU program adjusted for COVID in 2020” with Kathy Gehoski and breakout room #2 to chat about “Getting a puppy to keep you company during COVID - bring your pet” with Donna Lucas.

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...