Home | Research

Overview

Materials research at the University of Michigan covers a broad spectrum of activities with the common goal of improving how materials are utilized and produced to meet the needs of society. Our research spans a broad range of material systems, applications and technical approaches. Just a small sampling of our activity includes the development of:

  • aluminum alloys to increase fuel efficiency by decreasing vehicle weight
  • conductive polymer coatings to interface electronics with neural tissue enabling prosthetic devices to restore sight to the blind and hearing to the deaf
  • semiconductor structures for use in new computer architectures based on inherently quantum mechanical effects
  • organic molecule based solar cells to harvest energy more cost effectively from the sun
  • methods to guide the assembly of nano-particles into structures useful for catalysis, photonics and molecular electronics
  • piezoelectric ceramics for use as ultrasound transducers in medical applications
  • high strength alloys for use at extreme temperatures in engines and turbines
  • fabrication of ceramic materials for use in bone tissue engineering
  • new materials for nuclear waste management on geologic time frames
  • simulation methods to predict how processing affects reliability and can be used to prevent failure
  • controlled laser manipulation of materials

Increasingly materials scientists and engineers focus on the control of atomic scale structure to change materials properties. This focus has pushed our discipline to the forefront of developing and applying new tools to observe and manipulate matter at the smallest scales.


We have organized our projects according to several principles. You can search "by Material" which will provide a list of projects that involve materials which are primarily ceramic, metal, semiconductor or organic in nature. In addition separate categories cover projects in composite materials, which are made up of multiple constituents, and in the emerging area of nanomaterials, where researchers attempt to exploit the unique properties of materials by manipulating them at very small scales. Alternately you can search "by Application" depending on whether your interests are in the areas of biomedical, electronic, energy, nanotechnology or structural uses of materials. Or you can see projects organized "by Technique" showing those projects that involve characterization of material structure, computation for simulating materials behavior, processing methods to create materials or synthesis of new compounds. Most projects fall into multiple categories. Simply click on the title of a project to learn more.