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Research at the MRL is at the vanguard of materials discovery, synthesis, fabrication and understanding. The MRL facilities empower researchers to make highly functional materials and devices and to discover properties never before observed. The MRL research groups focus on solving the world’s greatest challenges. The MRL community fosters the next generation of scientific researchers. As a result, the MRL is one of the top materials research centers in the world.


BP International Centre for Advanced Materials (BP-ICAM)

In a partnership with BP, the University of Manchester, the University of Cambridge, Imperial College London, and the University of Illinois, BP-ICAM aims to further understanding and use of advanced materials in the oil and gas industry.

Learn more about BP-ICAM

Illinois Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (MRSEC)

Funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF grant DMR-1720633), the Illinois MRSEC performs fundamental, innovative materials research that has applications to societal needs, and supports interdisciplinary education and training of students in materials design, understanding, and application. IRG1 focuses on the study of metallic antiferromagnetic materials, and IRG2 focuses on the study of active interfaces between highly deformable nanomaterials.

Learn more about Illinois MRSEC

Illinois Quantum Information Science and Technology Center (IQUIST)

The Illinois Quantum Information Science and Technology Center (IQUIST) brings together physicists, electrical engineers, computer scientists, mathematicians, entrepreneurs, and other experts to accelerate growing efforts in quantum information science (QIS). The IQUIST team encompasses the development of quantum computing, simulation, and sensing from the exploration of fundamental science while implementing novel quantum algorithms and state-of-the-art equipment for the fabrication of quantum materials and devices. The Urbana campus is primed to take a leadership role in the coming quantum information revolution as IQUIST develops QIS-focused educational programs for the next-generation quantum workforce.

Learn more about IQUIST

Programming Function via Soft Materials (PFvSM)

The Department of Energy-supported PFvSM team (DOE grant DE-FG02-07ER46471) aims to understand and exploit the fundamental interactions of soft materials with energy in diverse forms—including light, thermochemical gradients, and mechanical fields—to create structures with spatially and temporally varied shapes, physical properties, and functionalities.

Learn more about PFvSM

Energy Frontier Research Centers (EFRCs)

The Department of Energy's Office of Basic Energy Sciences initiated the EFRC program in 2009 to bring together multi-investigator, multi-disciplinary teams to enable, encourage, and accelerate transformative scientific advances for the most challenging topics in materials sciences, chemical sciences, geosciences, and biosciences. EFRCs conduct fundamental research focused on one or more “grand challenges", “transformative opportunities", and “basic research needs” identified in major strategic planning efforts by BES and the scientific community. MRL faculty participate in multiple EFRC teams, including Light-Material Interactions in Energy Conversion (LMI) led by Caltech, and the Center for Emergent Superconductivity (CES) with headquarters at BNL.

Learn more about the EFRC program