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Flexible, Highly Efficient Multimodal Energy Harvesting

Themed Chemical Society Review issue 2D nanomaterials: graphene and transition metal dichalcogenides

A new mix-and-match toolkit allows researchers to create a library of complex nanoparticles

A Simple Method Etches Patterns at the Atomic Scale

Microengineered Slippery Rough Surface for Water Harvesting in Air

Research News

Mar 30 2018

By Walt Mills

A slippery rough surface (SRS) inspired by both pitcher plants and rice leaves outperforms state-of-the-art liquid-repellent surfaces in water harvesting applications, according to a team of researchers at Penn State and University of Texas at Dallas.

The team reports their work online today in Science Advances, an open-access journal published by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).

Mar 21 2018

By Walt Mills

Development of a theoretical basis for ultrahigh piezoelectricity in ferroelectric materials led to a new material with twice the piezo response of any existing commercial ferroelectric ceramics, according to an international team of researchers from Penn State, China and Australia.

Mar 15 2018

Lightning and volcanos both produce glass, and humans have been making glass from silicon dioxide since prehistory. Industrialization brought us boron-based glasses, polymer glasses and metallic glasses, but now an international team of researchers has developed a new family of glass based on metals and organic compounds that stacks up to the original silica in glass-forming ability.

Glass-forming ability is the ability of a liquid to avoid crystallization during cooling.

NEW Seed Grant Opportunity

Convergence of Materials and Life Sciences – NIH and Imaging Focused Seed Grants 2018-2019:  Learn more about it...

Upcoming 2018 Events

13 - 24
The Penn State Microscopy School
10 a.m. MSC 3rd Floor Commons
The Millennium Cafe
Quantum Espresso
Optical Microscopy in Materials Science
24 - 25
Materials Day

History of Materials at Penn State

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.

2018 Millennium Cafe Pitch Competition

May 22, 2018

In the spirit of the Millennium Café, the 4th Annual Elevator Pitch Competition sponsored by PPG will be held on Tuesday morning for those who were accepted to participate in this competition.


Details of the competition here

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

High-res Image from the TEM
In Situ Characterization

Flurry of innovations in new components that can be placed inside the TEM

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...