Materials research will be viewed through new 'PRISM'

Oct. 15, 2003 11:55 a.m.

Merging two highly successful research programs, the University has created a new institute with a goal of becoming the world leader in an area of materials science that is emerging as an important source of scientific discoveries and commercial opportunities.

Faculty members voted at their Oct. 13 meeting to create the Princeton Institute for the Science and Technology of Materials, subsuming the Princeton Materials Institute (PMI) and the Princeton Center for Photonic and Optoelectronic Materials (POEM). James Sturm, director of POEM and a professor of electrical engineering, will direct the new institute, which has been dubbed PRISM.

The new institute will focus on research that combines expertise in "hard" materials such as conventional semiconductors and ceramics with knowledge of "soft" materials such as plastics, biological molecules and fluids. Joining these typically independent specialties could yield advances such as cheaper and smaller devices that combine optics and electronics or sensors that could be inserted into the body as part of diagnostic or prosthetic equipment. Both PMI and POEM had developed strengths in working at the intersection of hard and soft materials, which was one motivation for merging them, said Sturm.

More details are available in a news release.

Contact: Lauren Robinson-Brown (609) 258-3601