Research Groups

It's an exciting time for materials science at Penn State. We invest in our interdisciplinary research and believe in a strong collaborative culture across disciplines. Our researchers have the support of both academic departments and university-wide institutes. By encouraging crosscutting research to 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.

Visit our research group websites listed below to see what great things are happening within MatSE:

Penn State Glass Research:
Penn State Glass Research group encompasses all aspects of glass science and technology, including theory, modeling and simulation, physics and chemistry, bulk and surface characterization, compositional design and optimization, and more.

Alem Research Group:
Alem group research is focused on the how advanced electron microscopy techniques can be utilized to further understand and address the existing challenges in novel nanostructures and devices. 

Beese Research Group:
The Beese group researches the mechanical behavior of materials, and in particular, how the mechanical behavior of a material is dictated by its microstructure. 

Chen Research Group:
Main research interest is in the fundamental understanding of the thermodynamics and kinetics of phase transformations and mesoscale microstructure evolution in bulk solid and thin films using computer simulations.

Ismaila Dabo Research Group:
The group develops and uses computational methods to understand, predict and improve the performance of materials for energy conversion and storage. The group's research stands at the frontier between materials science, physical chemistry, applied mathematics, and computer science.  It is driven by collaboration with experiment. Its ultimate goal is to break down the complexity of materials problems and guide the development of future energy materials and technologies.

DebRoy Research Group:
Research focusis computational materials processing, particularly the application of numerical transport phenomena and optimization in welding and additive manufacturing. The group's models compute the most important factors that affect metallurgical product quality such as temperature and velocity fields, cooling rates, and solidification parameters.

Gopalan Research Group:
The Gopalan group probes the symmetry, atomic scale structure, and a range of optical and electronic properties of materials through Ultrafast Lasers and Xrays. The group has two main areas of materials focus: Complex Oxides and Semiconductors. Underlying both of these, is our fundamental explorations in discovering new Symmetries in nature. The group is primarily a Materials Characterization Group (optical, electronic, structural, thermal properties), who work closely with theory and synthesis groups in team projects, where students have an opportunity to learn multiple skills.  

Hickey Research Group:
The Hickey group focuses on hybrid inorganic/polymeric materials synthesis, self-assembly, and property characterization. The group is developing materials fabrication guidelines for controlling well-organized nanostructures with potential applications related to energy, optical, structural, and catalytic technologies.

Kim Group:
Electrochemistry for sustainable technology: The Kim group's research is motivated by the need for sustainable technology development for our modern society. The primary focus of their research lies in understanding and developing electrochemical processes to meet these needs.

Phases Research Lab:
Recent studies include concentrate on aluminum alloys, magnesium alloys, Ni-base superalloys, ion transport membranes, and ferroelectrics. The primary emphasis is on fundamentals of phase stability, defect chemistry, and their applications in understanding and predicting relationships among materials chemistry, processing, and properties.

Polymer Nanostructures Lab:
Our research focuses on novel nanometer-structured polymers and nanocomposites, as they lead to the next generation of materials, enable new applications, and unravel the relevant science in the field. 

Mohney Group:
The research group investigates electronic and photonic materials, particularly metals and semiconductors for use in electronic and optoelectronic devices.

Priya research Group:
The Priya group's research is focused on developing bio-inspired materials, understanding the complex nature of properties in these materials, and once this understanding has been achieved, utilizing them to invent unique applications. Thus, the group is very interdisciplinary, consisting of materials scientists, physicists, mechanical engineers, robotics, and electrical engineers. This allows the group to conduct integrated research addressing several aspects at the material, component, and system level.

Redwing Research Group:
The Redwing group's research is focused on semiconductor thin film and nanostructure fabrication with a special emphasis on the development of chemical vapor deposition-based techniques. This work is aimed at understanding the fundamental mechanisms that control the materials deposition process and the development of new materials and structures for applications in nanoelectronics, sensing, solar energy conversion and solid state lighting.

The J.A.Robinson Research Group: 
The group’s interests span a wide range of electronic materials capable of integration into many different technologies. However, low-dimensional materials for electronic and optoelectronic applications have become a prime focus.

Sinnott Research Group:
Principal research areas consist of two-dimensional and nano-structured materials, gas adsorption and separation in porous solid materials, and mechanical properties of condensed matters.

Susan Trolier-McKinstry Research Group:
The Trolier-McKinstry group research primarily revolves around thin film dielectric and piezoelectric materials. The group works both to probe the fundamental mechanisms that control the magnitude of the achievable properties and to integrate new materials into devices.