All News Stories

05/17/2022

By Jamie Oberdick

The ability of piezoelectric materials to convert mechanical energy into electrical energy and vice versa makes them useful for various applications from robotics to communication to sensors. A new design strategy for creating ultrahigh-performing piezoelectric ceramics opens the door to even more beneficial uses for these materials, according to a team of researchers from Penn State and Michigan Technological University.  

05/13/2022

By Sarah Small

As the executive director of the Global Building Network and associate professor of engineering design and architectural engineering at Penn State, Esther Obonyo applies best research practices to explore what makes environmentally sustainable and climate change resilient structures, from crushing bricks in the lab to visiting Tanzania for field research. Now, she is employing another technique that she says is critical and often lacking or secondary: listening.  

05/06/2022

Mauricio Terrones, Verne M. Wilaman Professor of Physics and professor of chemistry and of materials science and engineering, has been named an Evan Pugh University Professor, the highest honor that Penn State bestows on a faculty member.

05/06/2022

By Jamie Oberdick

A novel theory of cross phenomena could be applied to predict whether a new material would be effective for use in various applications from improved medical ultrasounds to more efficient refrigerators, according to a Penn State researcher.   

05/02/2022

Penn State professors Clive Randall and T.C. Mike Chung have been named 2021 fellows of the National Academy of Inventors (NAI).

The distinction honors academic inventors “who have demonstrated a prolific spirit of innovation in creating or facilitating outstanding inventions that have made a tangible impact on quality of life, economic development and the welfare of society,” according to NAI.

04/26/2022

More than 12 million tons of glass are produced annually in the United States, but only 25% of glass is recycled and non-soda lime silicate glass compositions used in smartphones and other electronic devices cannot be recycled at all. Penn State recently received funding for the project, “Enabling Improved Glass Recycling Technology and Modeling Tools,” to help promote higher recycling rates in Pennsylvania.

04/26/2022

Tuning exact ratios of two metals in a catalyst may enable new directions in catalysis science

By Mariah Chuprinski

In the last 20 years, there have been efforts to reduce fossil fuel use in plastics manufacturing, and, according to Penn State researchers, efficient, customizable catalytic reactions — where two metals are combined using a catalyst, or molecule that remains unchanged during a reaction — are an attractive alternative.

04/20/2022

$3 million grant from National Institutes of Health supports heart device development

By Zach Sweger

Development of an implantable artificial heart that operates wirelessly and reliably for 10 years is the goal of a new Penn State College of Medicine project that received more than $3 million from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, part of the National Institutes of Health. The device could be a potential solution to the lack of available hearts for people with heart failure who need transplants.

04/14/2022

By Matthew Carroll

Magnetism, one of the oldest technologies known to humans, is at the forefront of new-age materials that could enable next-generation lossless electronics and quantum computers. Researchers led by Penn State and the University of California, San Diego have discovered a new ‘knob’ to control the magnetic behavior of one promising quantum material, and the findings could pave the way toward novel, efficient and ultra-fast devices.

04/13/2022

Grants to help fund variety of interdisciplinary high-impact, materials-focused research

By Jamie Oberdick

The Penn State Materials Research Institute (MRI) has announced the 2022 recipients of seed grants that will enable University faculty to establish new collaborations with partners outside their own units for the exploration of transformative ideas for high-impact materials science and engineering.

04/12/2022

By A'ndrea Elyse Messer

Given enough time and energy, the body will heal, but when doctors or engineers intervene, the processes do not always proceed as planned because chemicals that control and facilitate the healing process are missing. Now, an international team of engineers is bioprinting bone along with two growth factor encoding genes that help incorporate the cells and heal defects in the skulls of rats.

04/11/2022

Finely controlled approach enables ‘exceptional’ devices; has implications for future optoelectronics, researchers say

By Ashley J. WennersHerron and Alan Beck

04/08/2022

Penn State leaders, industry partners share the importance of NSF-supported education and innovation with federal officials

By Amy Gruzesky

Penn State officials met today (April 8) with U.S. Rep. Matthew Cartwright, National Science Foundation Director Sethuraman Panchanathan, principles from Schott North America Inc., and regional stakeholders to discuss the impact and statewide reach of NSF-supported research, education and entrepreneurship, as well as technology industry partnerships with Penn State that have taken place regionally.

04/04/2022

Penn State and University of Dayton will co-lead two advanced studies institutes over the next two summers to encourage student interest and skill building

By Mariah Chuprinski

03/21/2022

Timothy Simpson is the proud owner of a custom wristwatch, one of only a few made entirely in the United States these days. Created by Vortic Watch Company, a firm owned by Penn State alumnus R.T. Custer, the piece is a beautiful 1908 pocket watch made in Waltham, Massachusetts, that is encased in a 3D-printed titanium outer shell and fitted with a custom leather strap.

03/21/2022

A wireless, biodegradable sensor could offer doctors a way to monitor changes in brain chemistry without requiring a second operation to remove the implant, according to an international team of researchers.

In a minimally invasive procedure on mice, the researchers inserted a wireless, biodegradable device into the deep brain region of a mouse. The device collected data on levels of dopamine, an important neurotransmitter, and other properties of the brain, such as pH levels, temperature and electrophysiology before harmlessly dissolving back into the body.

03/21/2022

Process can accelerate development of wearable technology, researchers say

By Mariah Chuprinski

An international collaboration led by Penn State researchers has developed a new tool to reduce the time and resources involved in determining which materials can be best applied in wearable technology, including biomedical devices. 

03/15/2022

By Samantha Chavanic

In 2015, all United Nations member states adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development — a blueprint outlining 17 Sustainable Development Goals focused on peace and prosperity around the world.

03/09/2022

Novel Zentropy theory seeks an all-encompassing answer to a materials design issue  

By Jamie Oberdick

A challenge in materials design is that in both natural and manmade materials, volume sometimes decreases, or increases, with increasing temperature. While there are mechanical explanations for this phenomenon for some specific materials, a general understanding of why this sometimes happens remains lacking.  

However, a team of Penn State researchers has come up with a theory to explain and then predict it: Zentropy.   

02/14/2022

By Gabrielle Stewart

Metamaterials, made up of small, repeated structures engineered to produce desired interactions with light or sound waves, can improve optical devices used in telecommunications, imaging and more. But the functionality of the devices can be limited by the corresponding design space, according to Lei Kang, assistant research professor of electrical engineering at Penn State.

02/07/2022

By Sarah Small

By reconfiguring neural networks in artificial intelligence (AI) devices, a multi-institute team that included Penn State researchers facilitated AI systems to continually learn and adapt new data and tasks in ways that were not possible or practical before. The approach combines a novel algorithm with perovskite nickelate — a material so sensitive to subatomic changes, they can change its electrical properties — to overcome two of the main limitations of AI: catastrophic forgetting and high energy consumption. 

02/04/2022

Experimental solution provides first observation of previously theoretical light absorption

By Ashley J. WennersHerron

By demonstrating exceptional control of an open optical system, an international research team has provided a path to experimentally measure and test exotic phenomena and gain insights into new physics with exquisite sensitivity. 

02/03/2022

Self-powered sensors are key to more accurate, continuous health monitoring

By Mariah Chuprinski

Monitoring vitals and diagnosing ailments can be clunky, painful and inconvenient. But researchers like Huanyu “Larry” Cheng, Dorothy Quiggle Career Development Assistant Professor of Engineering Science and Mechanics at Penn State, are working to improve health monitoring by creating wearable sensors that collect data for clinicians while limiting discomfort for patients. 

02/02/2022

By Sarah Small

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that someone in the United States has a stroke every 40 seconds. Hundreds of thousands of people each year are living with the long-term impacts caused by strokes — including partial paralysis, cognitive difficulties and persistent pain — with no consistently effective treatment options for improving their neurological conditions. 

01/31/2022

By Jamie Oberdick

A novel and better approach at detecting non-uniformities in the optical properties of two-dimensional (2D) materials could potentially open the door to new uses for these materials, such as the application of 2D materials for drug detection, according to a team of researchers.

01/25/2022

By Jamie Oberdick

Compared to their traditional battery counterparts, solid-state batteries have higher energy potential and are safer, making them key to advancing electric vehicle development and use. Penn State researchers have proposed an improved method of solid-state battery production that enables multi-material integration for better batteries — cold sintering.  

01/25/2022

By Matthew Carroll

The energy systems that power our lives also produce wasted heat — like heat that radiates off hot water pipes in buildings and exhaust pipes on vehicles. A new flexible thermoelectric generator can wrap around pipes and other hot surfaces and convert wasted heat into electricity more efficiently than previously possible, according to scientists at Penn State and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.

01/25/2022

Penn State has been awarded a $3.4 million contract from the REMADE Institute, a public-private partnership established by the United States Department of Energy, to fund research targeting the inefficient methods currently used to process and upcycle mixed plastic waste. The project is one of 22 projects recently funded by REMADE. The project will receive $1.7 million in federal funds with an additional $1.7 million in cost-share by the project partners.

01/19/2022

University ranks 22nd nationally in total research expenditures

By David Pacchioli

Penn State’s research enterprise ranks 22nd in the country in total research expenditures, according to the latest National Science Foundation rankings of Higher Education Research and Development (HERD) research expenditures, released in January 2022.   

01/11/2022

Pennsylvania has a long history of mining and metallurgical activities dating to the Industrial Revolution that helped fuel the economy of the commonwealth and the nation. Coal markets have waned recently due to the transition away from coal to other energy sources, leading to many economically distressed areas in the state. New findings by a team led by Penn State researchers suggest potential economic opportunities from the domestic production of critical minerals. The team evaluated cobalt and manganese from the byproducts of mining and metallurgy from past industrial activities.

01/05/2022

By Jamie Oberdick

Important optimization algorithms that are designed to solve large-scale problems such as airline schedules and supply chain logistics may soon get a boost from 2D materials that will enable the algorithms to better solve the problems and use less energy, according to Penn State researchers.  

01/05/2022

Super-capacity, cellulose-based material may enable high-dose targeted treatments

By Ashley J. WennersHerron

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Standard chemotherapies may efficiently kill cancer cells, but they also pose significant risks to healthy cells, resulting in secondary illness and a diminished quality of life for patients. To prevent the previously unavoidable damage, researchers, led by Penn State, have developed a new class of nanomaterials engineered to capture chemotherapy drugs before they interact with healthy tissue.

01/05/2022

By Mariah Chuprinski

A new software tool can accelerate materials science research by cutting out tedious background research on material properties. Penn State and Sandia National Laboratories researchers recently debuted propSym, an open-source software on the programming platform MATLAB, to calculate the fundamental constants needed to describe the physical properties of solids, such as metals, ceramics or composites.

01/05/2022

By Jamie Oberdick

Rapid, accessible and highly accurate detection of addictive substances such as opiates and cocaine is vital to reducing the adverse personal and societal impacts of addiction, something current drug detection systems can take too long to provide. However, on-site, real-time monitoring of abused drugs in a patient’s system could alert clinicians before dangerous levels are reached, and such an approach may not be far away.