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Materials Science & Engineering Research

Katherine Jinkins standing in lab

Electronic and quantum materials

The discovery and advancement of new electronic, optical, magnetic, energy, and quantum materials are occurring at a rapid pace, enabling breakthroughs that are transforming our society and resulting in cell phones and computers that are ever more powerful, emission-free electric vehicles with longer ranges, and more efficient and more economical photovoltaic solar cells for powering the electric grid. We are leading the development of new semiconductors for energy-efficient “beyond silicon” computing, magnetic and ferroelectric materials for nonvolatile computer memory and energy harvesting, color centers for quantum information, topological materials for quantum information and energy-efficient interconnects, wearable sensors, and high-power electrode materials for secondary ion batteries. We are uncovering new syntheses and new materials properties pertaining to massively parallel semiconducting carbon nanotube arrays, atomically thin two-dimensional (2D) materials, multiferroic materials, topological materials, and new superconductors.


Core faculty

Affiliated faculty

Centers, Consortia and Institutes

Research Centers, Facilities and Initiatives

UW-Madison has some of the world’s most extensive and advanced resources to support materials research. To promote interaction among faculty and students with materials interests, the engineering campus hosts many laboratories for research areas such as electron microscopy, crystallography, electronic materials, fatigue and fracture, nuclear materials, polymer science, powder metallurgy, radiation damage, rheology, crystal growth and purification, superconductivity, cryogenics, and surface properties.

Facilities and expertise required to design and fabricate special research equipment is available on the engineering campus. In addition to materials research laboratories in engineering and physical science departments, the Wisconsin Centers for Nanoscale Technology offers state-of-the-art general-purpose laboratories, materials preparation facilities, and commonly used apparatus, such as electron microscopes and x-ray diffractometers.

Campus-wide facilities include computing centers, heavy ion and electron accelerators, and a nuclear reactor with facilities for neutron diffraction. Students and faculty also use the Physical Sciences Laboratory. 

Check out what’s happening in the Advanced Materials Industrial Consortium, which gives our commercial partners the opportunity to collaborate with students and faculty in advanced materials research across the UW-Madison campus.