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 interdisciplinary academic Materials Research Laboratories in the nation. The center has been funded continuously, first by the Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA), and since 1972, by the National Science Foundation’s Division of Materials Research (NSF-DMR). From 1972-95 NSF support was under the aegis of the MRL program, and from 1996, the LRSM was supported by the NSF as a Materials Research Science and Engineering Center, MRSEC.


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 three Interdisciplinary Research Groups (IRGs), continually evolving Seed projects, shared experimental facilities, and innovative education and outreach activities.

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