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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

Penn State Food Scientist Turns Avocado Pits Into Natural Food Coloring

Low cost, scalable water-splitting fuels the future hydrogen economy

Research News

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.

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.

Millennium Cafe

Cold Sintering: Extremely Low Temperature Processing for Ceramics and Related Composites

Sintering entails converting a particulate compact in the form of ceramics, metals and polymers into a dense and robust solid.  Generally speaking most ceramics are sintered at high temperatures, typically 50%-75% of the melting point. Using the cold sintering process, many ceramics can be densified at much lower temperatures than previously thought possible (25-300 °C). This talk will discuss the history, current understanding, opportunities and challenges of cold sintering process.

A Little Weed is a Good Thing: How a Simple Plant Can Help Provide Food, Energy, and Clean Water for 11 Billion People

There is an urgent need to develop innovative, sustainable strategies to provide food, energy, and water for our burgeoning human population.  The ubiquitous and highly prolific aquatic plant, duckweed (Lemnoideae), hyperaccumulates nutrients from its environment, simultaneously cleaning water and synthesizing either starch- or protein-rich biomass that can be harvested for a range of applications, including: simple biofuels; advanced chemicals; fertilizers; fodder for meat and dairy animals; and human food.  To fully realize the potential of this ecological approach and bring it to market, collaboration across a myriad of technical, economic, and social disciplines is critical – we hope you will join us!

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...