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Center for Lignocellulose Structure and Formation funding renewed

Self-heating, fast-charging battery makes electric vehicles climate-immune

Sintering Atomically Thin Materials with Ceramics Now Possible

Camouflaged Nanoparticles Used to Deliver Killer Protein to Cancer

Mechanotargeting of Cancer Cells

Research News

Jul 6 2018

Californians do not purchase electric vehicles because they are cool, they buy EVs because they live in a warm climate. Conventional lithium-ion batteries cannot be rapidly charged at temperatures below 50 degrees Fahrenheit, but now a team of Penn State engineers has created a battery that can self-heat, allowing rapid charging regardless of the outside chill.

Jun 26 2018

By Walt Mills

For the first time, researchers have created a nanocomposite of ceramics with a two-dimensional material that opens the door to new designs of nanocomposites with a variety of applications, such as solid-state batteries thermoelectrics, varistors, catalysts, chemical sensors and much more.

Upcoming 2018 Events

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

History of Materials at Penn State

Focus on Materials Magazine

In the latest issue of Focus on Materials, the boundaries between materials science, engineering, and the life sciences are blurring. We offer a glimpse into the fascinating world of “convergence,” where the future of healthcare lies.

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Millennium Cafe

Extending the Chemical Vision in Life Science by Cluster Time-of-Flight Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry Imaging (ToF-SIMS)

Understanding the function of bio-systems (e.g., cells and tissues) and their interaction with exogenous compounds requires the ability to visualize spatial distribution of the biomolecules (e.g., lipids, small metabolites) and compounds at subcellular resolution. However, the routine laboratory assays are largely done by bulk analysis on extraction from dissociated cells and tissues, in which the spatial distribution is lost. We have been developing cluster ToF-SIMS to map the chemistry on the frozen-hydrated biological samples with high resolution (< 1µm) and mass range up to m/z 5000. This recent development opens new opportunities for multi-omics, cell heterogeneity and disease mark and target, leading to the further understanding of disease progress and new treatment development.

Shifting Landscapes: Collaborative Archaeology in Southwest Madagascar

Since 2011 the Morombe Archaeological Project has undertaken archaeological survey, excavation and oral history recording in the Velondriake Marine Protected Area of southwest Madagascar. The project’s aims are to investigate diachronic human-environment dynamics and refine our understanding of the region’s settlement history by leveraging multiple scientific techniques and the collective historical and socio-ecological knowledge base of Velondriake’s living communities. In this presentation I describe the outcomes of the project’s approach to integrate diverse community members and collective knowledge in all aspects of the research and promote this approach as necessary for understanding the region’s rapidly shifting landscapes.

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

A SLIPS coating on a glass substrate
Bio-inspired Engineering

The bio-inspired invention, called slippery liquid-infused porous surfaces, or SLIPS

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...