The Laboratory for Research on the Structure of Matter, the LRSM, is the center for materials research at the University of Pennsylvania. It was established in 1960 as one of the first Materials Research Laboratories to be funded by the forerunner of DARPA. In 1972 funding was taken over by the National Science Foundation's Division of Materials Research, NSF-DMR under the aegis of the MRL program. In 1996, the core of the materials research program at the LRSM was supported as a Materials Research Science and Engineering Center, MRSEC, funded by an NSF-DMR.
The Materials Research Science & Engineering Center (MRSEC) at the University of Pennsylvania pursues a multidisciplinary approach to solve fundamental materials problems that are likely to underlie future technologies, and thereby, substantially impact the research and educational needs of society. The Laboratory for Research on the Structure of Matter (LRSM) is the intellectual focal point of materials research at PENN. It hosts the MRSEC, which consists of four Interdisciplinary Research Groups (IRGs) plus continually evolving Seed projects.