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    Material Science & Technology




The Materials Science and Technology Division conducts basic and applied research in functional and structural materials and engages in exploratory and advanced development to generate new Navy technologies and defense capabilities. 

These efforts are performed by multidisciplinary teams of materials scientists, physicists, chemists, and engineers working at the atomic, nano, microstructural, mesostructural, and macroscopic scales. The integrated use of new experimental and computational techniques accelerates new scientific understanding and innovative engineering solutions. Advanced materials synthesis, processing, characterization, diagnostic capabilities, performance prediction methods, and life-cycle management methods are developed to further new device design, prototyping, and testing methods.



Areas of Research 

The Division's research efforts encompass metals, ceramics, polymers, composites, and biological materials for electrical, magnetic, optical, plasmonic, chemical, mechanical, and energy technologies. Major Division focus areas include fundamental material physics, innovative device design, performance in extreme environments, power and energy, materials informatics, and the interface between materials and biology.


  • Fundamental Materials and Physics - Density functional theory, molecular dynamics and multiphysics simulations, quantum dots, spintronics, and surface and interface physics.
  • Materials-based Concepts and Devices - Chemical and explosive detection, magneto-optic sensors, laser direct write, nonlinear dynamics, and advanced alloys.
  • Extreme Environment Multiphysics - Corrosion, electromagnetic launch, warfighter protection, additive manufacturing, and joining technology.
  • Materials for Energy - Fuel from seawater, battery and fuel cell materials, multiferroic energy harvesting, thermo-electric ceramics, and superconductor technologies.
  • Materials Informatics - 3D materials science, multiscale simulation, atom probe tomography, TEM, SEM, tomography, and IR characterization.​​
  • Biology and Materials - Neuronal networks, single-cell process measurements, cell healing mechanisms, protein modeling in solution, and biomechanical modeling.

Core Capabilities & Facilities 

Synthesis and Processing​
  • Hot and cold isostatic presses
  • Isothermal heat treating facility
  • Vacuum arc melting facility
  • Rapid Solidification System
  • Composites processing autoclave
  • Film depositionby thermal/sputter/MBE/PLD/MOCVD/aerosol/ALD
  • 2D materials: graphene, MoS2, other TMDs
  • Parylene coater
  • Laser direct write system
  • 3D-printing of polymers
  • Polymer extruder, synthesis and characterization
  • Channel reactors for fuels synthesis
  • Laser cutting facility
  • Biomechanical surrogate fabrication
Physical & Structural Property Characterization​
  • Conductive AFM/MFM
  • Vibrating sample & SQUID magnetometry
  • Magneto–transport characterization 1.5K–400K, 9T
  • Analytical transmission electron microscopy
  • Atomic–resolution scanning TEM
  • Scanning electron microscopy with EDS, EBSD and automated robotic serial sectioning system
  • Variable–pressure SEM
  • Dual–beam focused ion beam system
  • Atom probe tomography (LEAP)
  • SIMS–SSAMS mass spectrometry for sub-ppb elemental characterization
  • Quantitative metallography
  • Thermal analysis characterization suite (TGA/DSC/DMA/DEA/rheometer)
  • Dielectric characterization facility
  • Microwave device test facility
  • Bomen infrared spectrometer facility
  • Diffuse light scattering facility
  • Femtosecond laser facility
  • Magneto–electric materials characterization
  • Gas chromatography
  • X-ray computed microtomography with DCT
  • X-ray diffractometers, powder and 4-circle
  • Contact angle and surface tension analyzer
  • LEED/RHEED/XPS/Auger characterization
Mechanical Property Characterization​
  • Stress corrosion cracking measurement systems
  • Computer-aided experimental stress analysis
  • 2D and 3D strain imaging and measurement
  • Material drop tower test facility
  • Helmet drop tower test facility
  • Shock tube
  • Gas gun
Imaging, Modeling, and Simulation​
  • Stress corrosion cracking measurement systems
  • Computer-aided experimental stress analysis
  • 2D and 3D strain imaging and measurement
  • Material drop tower test facility
  • Helmet drop tower test facility
  • Shock tube
  • Gas gun