New family of ferroelectric materials raises possibilities
for improved information and energy storage
A new family of materials that could result in improved digital information storage and uses less energy may be possible thanks to a team of Penn State researchers who demonstrated ferroelectricity in magnesium-substituted zinc oxide.
Ferroelectric materials possess a spontaneous electric polarization as the result of shifts of negative and positive charges within the material that can be reoriented via the application of an external electric field. They can be affected by physical force, which is why they are useful for push-button ignitors such as those found in gas grills. They can also be used for data storage and memory, because they remain in one polarized state without additional power and so are low-energy digital storage solutions. Read more
Students benefit from MatSE’s strong relationships with industry, academic partners, and national laboratories. MatSE students have access to a variety of resources for short-term career development opportunities and for full-time employment after graduation. Read more
Fall is here, and it is wonderful to be back on campus after about a year and a half of working from home. We are continuing to wear masks indoors but pleased that we have been conducting in-person instruction, research, and other activities since mid-summer. However, some key activities such as advisory board meetings and our colloquium series are being delivered online.Read more
Roman Engel-Herbert has been appointed as the new director of the Paul Drude Institute for Solid State Electronics at the Humboldt University of Berlin.
Prior to his appointment, Engel-Herbert served as a faculty member in MatSE at Penn State since 2010. He was an associate professor of materials science and engineering and physics. The multidisciplinary nature of Engel-Herbert’s application-oriented research focuses on the synthesis of new materials using molecular beam epitaxy will continue at the Institute. Read more
Developing new ultrathin metal electrodes has allowed researchers to create semitransparent perovskite solar cells that are highly efficient and can be coupled with traditional silicon cells to greatly boost the performance of both devices, said an international team of scientists. The research represents a step toward developing completely transparent solar cells. Read more
A Penn State scientist studying crystal structures has developed a new mathematical formula that may solve a decades-old problem in understanding spacetime, the fabric of the universe proposed in Einstein’s theories of relativity.Read more
Finding materials that boost hydrogen production is a step
toward competing economically with carbon-based fuels
Using solar energy to inexpensively harvest hydrogen from water could help replace carbon-based fuel sources and shrink the world’s carbon footprint. However, finding materials that could boost hydrogen production so that it could compete economically with carbon-based fuels has been, as yet, an insurmountable challenge. Read more
Force field is used to create better simulations to enable more efficient, effective research
More than 1,600 researchers in six of the world’s seven continents have requested parameters for a ReaxFF reactive force field developed by a Penn State researcher and used as a valuable research tool in fields as varied as biomaterials, polymers, batteries and 3D printing. Read more
Each year at the end of the summer semester, MatSE holds the annual poster session for MatSE accelerated master’s students. The event fulfills the degree requirement for a poster presentation. Read more
Polyethylene Product Development Manager, ExxonMobil Chemical and served on the MatSE Executive Advisory Board 2016-21
In a nutshell, my job today entails creating new polyethylene catalyst, process, and product technologies to meet the ever increasing market demands for performance.
Why I chose Penn State: When looking for universities in the mid-1980s, Penn State was one of the few that offered a true polymer science degree. After visiting the campus and speaking with Bronco Gordon, who was a faculty member at the time, I was hooked! Read more
In 2022, MatSE will celebrate 115 years of materials at Penn State, and ae are in search of stories, photographs, and videos.
It is the people, discoveries, advancements and love of materials and Penn State that has made our beloved department achieve the successes it has throughout the decades. With help from alumni, former faculty and staff, our hope is to look back at our storied history as we prepare for what the future holds for a brave new world of materials education and research. Share here
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