Princeton University is one of the premier locations world-wide for materials science and education due to its unique integration of long-term, curiosity-driven research and high-impact innovation and engagement with industry.

At the center of this work is the Princeton Materials Institute (PMI). Research at the Institute pushes the boundaries of not only the performance of new materials but the fundamental knowledge that underlies future advances. We integrate academia and industry and educate the next generation of leaders in the field. We facilitate this work with world-class facilities for imaging and fabrication and deep expertise in characterizing and manipulating materials at molecular and atomic scales.

Whether you are a prospective graduate student or an industry partner; an entrepreneur or a researcher within Princeton needing support for a project, we are here to help.

Over 80 affiliated faculty members and dozens of industry partners rely not only on our core facilities and expertise, but on our track record of convening leaders, sparking collaborations, and managing complex grants and projects.

Research Excellence: Creativity at Boundaries

Research in the Princeton Materials Institute can be broadly categorized as falling into five main scientific directions:

  • Advanced Manufacturing and Integration for Scalable Structures
  • Living and Soft Materials
  • Natural and Engineered Materials for Energy, Environment, and Sustainability
  • Optical Materials and Light Matter Interactions
  • Quantum Materials Science

A guiding principle is to not only to deepen our strengths in traditional areas of materials science and photonics, but also to pursue emerging opportunities at the intersection between traditional fields. One exciting intersection is that between the communities of "hard materials," such as semiconductors, and that of “soft materials," such as those of organic or biological materials and soft condensed matter. 

Teaching Excellence: Preparing Leaders

The Institute offers a formal undergraduate program leading to a Certificate in Materials Science and Engineering, in which students take a combination of core courses within the Institute accompanied by electives offered by departments and participate in research with Princeton Materials Institute faculty. At the graduate level, we offer a Joint PhD Program in cooperation with academic departments, such as the engineering departments, chemistry, physics, and molecular biology. This model of basing graduate education in a variety of departments is a key part of the multidisciplinary approach behind Princeton's success in materials science.

The Institute also conducts extensive educational outreach programs on several levels.

Research is supported by a wide range of government agencies (State and Federal), industries, and foundations. Programs of special note at the Institute include the Princeton Center for Complex Materials (PCCM), funded by the National Science Foundation Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (NSF-MRSEC) program.

For more information, please contact the Institute's Director, Richard A. Register.