Ceramics

Ceramics have been used by humans for more than 30,000 years with new discoveries and uses found every day.  This broad and dynamic material can be classified as traditional: clay products, silicate glass, and cement, or as advanced referring to ceramics consisting of carbides (SiC), pure oxides (Al2O3), nitrides (Si3N4), non-silicate glasses and many others. Ceramics may also be used in association with metals or polymers to create compounds and composite materials.

It would almost be easier to name areas where ceramics have not had an impact as the use of the material is so far reaching. Ceramics research has enabled space exploration through the development of heat refracting tiles, thermal barriers, and advanced communications tools. Ceramic tiles, lenses, transducers, filters, and sensors can be found in a wide array of consumer goods, automotive products, medical and industrial applications. In just the past century, ceramics research has enabled every major communications breakthrough from radio and television, to the portable mobile devices we enjoy today.

Ceramics Research at Penn State

Penn State enjoys a reputation of having some of the best minds in ceramics research known to the field today. New methods of processing advanced ceramic materials are being discovered by Penn State scientists for use in lasers, optical communications, implants, spark plugs, and microelectronics. These methods include templated grain growth, microwave sintering, nanometer to micrometer synthesis and processing in water, and micro and nanoscale high pressure techniques. 

    Research Experts

James Adair James Adair
Professor of Materials Science and Engineering
Department of Materials Science and Engineering
407 Steidle Building
(814) 863-6047
jha3@psu.edu
Long-Qing  Chen Long-Qing Chen
Hamer Professor of Materials Science and Engineering,
Department of Materials Science and Engineering
N-229 Millennium Science Complex
(814) 863-8101
lqc3@psu.edu
John Mauro John Mauro
Professor of Materials Science and Engineering
Department of Materials Science and Engineering
333 Steidle Building
814-865-2130
jcm426@psu.edu
Gary Messing Gary Messing
Distinguished Professor of Ceramic Science and Engineering
Department of Materials Science and Engineering
307 Steidle
(814) 865-2262
messing@matse.psu.edu
Clive  Randall Clive Randall
Director, Materials Research Institute
Department of Materials Science and Engineering
N-221 Millennium Science Complex
814-863-1328
car4@psu.edu
Susan Trolier-McKinstry Susan Trolier-McKinstry
Steward S. Flaschen Professor of Materials Science and Engineering and Electrical Engineering
N-227 Millennium Science Complex
(814) 863-8348
trolier-mckinstry@matse.psu.edu