Materials Research Institute | An integrated research facilities turns product to prototype Skip to main content

Extracellular vesicles could be personalized drug delivery vehicles

The Fine-Tuning of Two-Dimensional Materials

Scalable Two-Dimensional Materials Advance Future-Gen Electronics

Four-dimensional physics in two dimensions

Study Shines New Light on How Salmonella "Die" at Low Temperatures

Research News

Feb 13 2018

By Walt Mills

Since the discovery of the remarkable properties of graphene, scientists have increasingly focused research on the many other two-dimensional materials possible, both those found in nature and concocted in the lab. However, growing high quality, crystalline 2D materials at scale has proven a significant challenge. 

Feb 6 2018

By Walt Mills

The most economical way to kill the bacteria that cause common food-borne illnesses – mostly caused by Salmonella enterica – is heat, but the mechanisms that kill Salmonella at lower temperatures were not fully understood until now, according to a team of researchers.

 Bacteria can develop ways to cope with heat shock, so it is important to develop a complete understanding of how heat kills them.

Jan 22 2018

Combining two different polymer forms can switch manufacturing of silicone parts from molding, casting and spin coating of simple forms to 3-D printing of complex geometries with better mechanical characteristics and better biological adhesion, according to a team of Penn State researchers.

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

2DCC-MIP Webinar
Graphene and Beyond 2018
13 - 24
The Penn State Microscopy School
Four-Probe Resistivity and Hall Voltage Measurements
Quantuam Espresso
10 a.m. MSC 3rd Floor Commons
The Millennium Cafe
MCL: Raman Crystallography Workshop

History of Materials at Penn State

Millennium Cafe

How Small Animals Move on Land and in Air: Revealing Principles of Insect Locomotion at the Interface of Biomechanics, Neuroscience, and Robotics

Animals move with remarkable agility and robustness, which is unparalleled by current physical (robot) systems. Major conceptual breakthroughs are needed to synthesize an engineering ‘blueprint’ of animal locomotion. Emphasizing the senses of touch and vision, I will draw on control tasks in running and flying insects to describe how animals implement feedback control. Throughout I will highlight opportunities for multidisciplinary collaborations at the intersection of material science, biomechanics, neurogenetics, mathematics and robotics.

The Myth of the Scientific Method: Using Research Projects to Teach STEM in K-12

A traditional science classroom spends the first few weeks teaching students how scientists do their work and the rest of the class telling them what scientists already know. Current reforms in STEM education promote engaging students in the practices of researchers to make sense of disciplinary content. Since most K-12 teachers have little experience in research, this creates a serious challenge. However, teacher professional development workshops based on authentic research projects can build teachers capacity to teach in this way, and can serve as effective broader impacts programs for federally funded research grants.

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

Complex metal parts made by additive manufacturing
Additive Manufacturing

"When it comes to U.S. manufacturing, we've lost our swagger, but additive manufacturing will get it back."

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...