“The goal of the Center is to design and create new materials with unprecedented properties and functions, starting with nanometer-scale building blocks,” says Thomas Mallouk, DuPont Professor of Materials Chemistry and Physics at Penn State and Director of the MRSEC.
Nationally, there are 27 such centers supported by NSF, each with a different technical focus. Universities compete for MRSEC funding every three years. In the current competition, Penn State and 13 other universities were selected for funding from among 100 universities that had submitted proposals.
“Penn State has a long history of excellence in materials research.” Mallouk says. “With over 200 faculty who are active in the field, Penn State has the depth of expertise and the outstanding facilities that are needed to make headway on a range of important problems. In this Center, we do not work on problems that could be solved by one or two of us. We go after the big ones that really require an interdisciplinary team with complementary skills.”
The Penn State MRSEC involves 42 faculty and over 50 students from eleven academic departments and institutes at Penn State, as well as collaborators from six other universities. The research of the faculty and students is integrated with a broad educational outreach program that involves the Franklin Institute, a science museum in Philadelphia. MRSEC researchers have collaborations with several national laboratories and also extensive international collaborations. The MRSEC is also affiliated with companies that are seeking to commercialize the results of the Center’s research. An essential component of MRSEC projects, especially those that translate to nanotechnology and energy technologies, has been ongoing support provided by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania through the Ben Franklin Technology Development Authority of the Department of Community and Economic Development.
During the next six years, the Penn State MRSEC will continue its research in four areas – nanoscale motors, nanowires, optical metamaterials, and multiferroics – and will support a range of seed projects in organic solar cells, fuel cells, and novel electronic materials. “Our focus is on basic science and engineering research,” says Mallouk. “In each project, there are interesting possibilities for practical applications, some in the near term and some longer term. Some of the long-term ideas are remotely powered micro-scalpels for minimally invasive surgery, nanowire transistors that compute using the spin of electrons instead of their charge, hybrid optical-electronic circuits, perfect lenses, plastic solar cells, and magnetic memories that are fully integrated into silicon chips.” MRSEC research has already led to new commercial reagents for nanoscale lithography and to new kinds of optical filters, optical fibers, and light-trapping solar cells.
The Materials Research Institute promotes the interests of more than 200 materials faculty at Penn State. The Millennium Science Complex, a new facility for materials and life sciences beginning construction this fall, will foster collaborations in the developing convergence of materials and biomedical engineering.
Starting school boosts development
11.05.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Bildungsforschung
New Master’s programme: University of Kaiserslautern educates experts in quantum technology
15.03.2017 | Technische Universität Kaiserslautern
Physicists have developed a new technique that uses electrical voltages to control the electron spin on a chip. The newly-developed method provides protection from spin decay, meaning that the contained information can be maintained and transmitted over comparatively large distances, as has been demonstrated by a team from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute. The results have been published in Physical Review X.
For several years, researchers have been trying to use the spin of an electron to store and transmit information. The spin of each electron is always coupled...
What is the mass of a proton? Scientists from Germany and Japan successfully did an important step towards the most exact knowledge of this fundamental constant. By means of precision measurements on a single proton, they could improve the precision by a factor of three and also correct the existing value.
To determine the mass of a single proton still more accurate – a group of physicists led by Klaus Blaum and Sven Sturm of the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear...
The research team of Prof. Dr. Oliver Einsle at the University of Freiburg's Institute of Biochemistry has long been exploring the functioning of nitrogenase....
A one trillion tonne iceberg - one of the biggest ever recorded -- has calved away from the Larsen C Ice Shelf in Antarctica, after a rift in the ice,...
Physics supports biology: Researchers from PTB have developed a model system to investigate friction phenomena with atomic precision
Friction: what you want from car brakes, otherwise rather a nuisance. In any case, it is useful to know as precisely as possible how friction phenomena arise –...
21.07.2017 | Event News
19.07.2017 | Event News
12.07.2017 | Event News
21.07.2017 | Earth Sciences
21.07.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering
21.07.2017 | Physics and Astronomy