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Brain-inspired computing could tackle big problems in a small way

Researchers develop novel process to fabricate battery materials
Method has potential waste reduction benefits

Where curiosity leads: The search for a styrofoam replacement leads to biomaterials with broader impact

Barn owls may hold key to navigation and location

Research News

Aug 23 2019

Registration is Open

Aug 20 2019

By discovering a way to combine lithium salts with ceramics, researchers in the Penn State College of Engineering and the Penn State Materials Research Institute may have created a new class of materials for longer-lasting batteries. According to researchers, the composite nature of the batteries could make recycling easier, reducing landfill waste.

Aug 9 2019

Every scientific discovery has one thing in common: It started with a question. But, as Penn State materials scientist Jeffrey Catchmark will attest, sometimes the most ingenious answers come from questions you didn’t even know to ask.

Catchmark is developing new biomaterials by manipulating compounds found in nature. His research with biomaterials began with a single question: Is there an eco-friendly alternative to styrofoam?

Upcoming 2019 Events

Materials Day: Mind the Gap
10 a.m. MSC 3rd Floor Commons
The Millennium Café

History of Materials at Penn State

Millennium Café

“Water On, In, and Around the Brain”

Our brains are surrounded by cerebrospinal fluid, which has an important role in transporting waste out of the brain. Failures in this waste transport process contribute to the development of neurodegenerative diseases but the dynamics of this process are poorly understood. I will talk about recent work looking at the micro-scale drivers of cerebrospinal fluid circulation, and the impact of blocking outflow pathways on waste transport.

“The Air we Breathe: Atmospheric Particulate Impacts on Climate and Human Health”

Aerosol particles impact the climate system through their interactions with light and clouds while also impacting human health by causing inflammation in the lungs. The Freedman group focuses on laboratory studies of aerosol physical and chemical properties, and in recent years, we have begun incorporating materials chemistry into our studies of ice nucleation and phase transitions under confinement. I am looking for ways in which our research may be applied more broadly in materials science and for applications to human health.

The Millennium Café is held every Tuesday @ 10:00 in the 3rd floor Café Commons of the Millennium Science Complex. Stop by for freshly brewed science & coffee.

Focus on Materials Magazine

Quantum at Penn State - An overview of quantum information science, quantum materials, and quantum sensing.

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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

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...