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Designed to Adapt: Living materials are the future of sustainable building

New granular hydrogel bioink could expand possibilities for tissue bioprinting

Unique ferroelectric microstructure revealed for first time

Compost to computer: Bio-based materials used to salvage rare earth elements

Centralized facilities power early CAREER researcher’s biomaterial work

Researchers to develop scaffolding for nerve regeneration with $2.14M NIH grant

Research News

Sep 9 2022

By Jamie Oberdick

A team of researchers have observed and reported for the first time the unique microstructure of a novel ferroelectric material, enabling the development of lead-free piezoelectric materials for electronics, sensors, and energy storage that are safer for human use. This work was led by the Alem Group at Penn State and in collaboration with research teams at Rutgers University and the University of California, Merced.

Aug 26 2022

Penn State researcher was recognized as 'Rising Star' for the work

By Sarah Small

Pioneers of Materials

360 Virtual Tour of Our Labs

From anywhere, from any device, visit some of our labs virtually. Walk through the Nanofab Lab, the MCL X-ray Diffraction Lab, and the NanoSEM Lab.

Millennium Café

Memories in Matter

While we are all familiar with information preserved on hard disks, DVDs, or paper, a vast array of the materials around us can store and recall memories—sometimes in surprising ways.  From my lab's research, I will show a few ways that soft solids and fluidic systems can form detailed memories when they are deformed. Examining a system's capacity to remember reveals surprising connections among disparate forms of living and nonliving matter—and suggests possibilities for making materials more programmable, adaptable, and traceable.

The PSU Water Initiative: Help Us, Help You, Help Them

Sixty years ago, President Kennedy alluded to the interdisciplinarity of water challenges and associated solutions when he said, “Anyone who can solve the problems of water will be worthy of two Nobel prizes - one for peace and one for science.”  These challenges have grown increasingly acute with the pressures of a burgeoning human population and manifesting climate change, with many needed innovations to be found across disciplines.  This talk will highlight the Penn State Water Initiative, which was launched to foster interdisciplinary water-related research and amplify the university’s impact in helping to solve some of the world’s most pressing water challenges.

Materials Day 2022

Materials Day is designed to share Penn State’s extensive materials research expertise and highlight the state-of-the-art infrastructure designed to support internal, industrial, and government research partnerships. The Materials Research Institute organizes this annual event to enable you and your organization to experience all that Penn State has to offer in the materials research space. Materials Day is also designed for industry to interact with our graduate students and postdoctoral students as a means of engaging in potential career opportunities. Attending this event will provide you and your organization valuable information and opportunities within the materials research community at Penn State. Registration is open!
Details and Registration

Focus on Materials Magazine

MATERIALS CONNECTIONS: MRI's Role in Building a 'One Penn State'
Materials research at Penn State stretches across campuses, institutes, and just about every corner of the University.

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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

Next generation solid-state refrigeration
Thermally Functional Materials

Electrocaloric effect (ECE) based cooling technology

Materials-Related Institutes, Facilities, & Centers








AREC-USA at Penn State



BEST Center




Industry and University Collaboration

Every organization has different priorities and resources. Directors of the MRI facilities recognize this and help your company leverage our labs in various ways.
Find out more...