Next Generation Materials

Life-changing advances in health care, energy, computing and a vast array of other fields rely on discoveries in materials science. The Wisconsin Materials Institute brings together university, industry and government talent to speed these discoveries.

The Wisconsin Materials Institute (WMI) is at the center of a national dialogue on advancing materials science, helping to speed vital discoveries from the laboratory to the marketplace.

Sophisticated new materials are necessary to push the bounds of technology. The benefits of these materials are clear: They’re needed to make artificial joints more durable and physically compatible, solar cells more efficient, computers faster, vehicles more fuel-efficient and a dizzying range of other applications – many yet to be discovered.

WMI brings together university research, industry know-how and government resources to accelerate materials science.

Co-directors Thomas F. Kuech, the Milton J. and A. Maude Shoemaker and Beckwith-Bascom Professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering, and Dane Morgan, professor of materials science and engineering, say the effort is critical to the future of technology, to research and to building productive economies.

“This will serve a national need in bringing together in these various fields and produce the means to design new materials, as well as to invent processes needed to synthesize and characterize them,” Kuech says.

Morgan adds that the research increasingly requires cross-disciplinary cooperation, which the institute promotes.

“Discovering new materials is an increasingly interdisciplinary process, requiring access to advanced computer simulations, large databases and a multitude of sophisticated tools,” Morgan says.

Providing Tools for Success

UW-Madison has and develops many of those pioneering resources. For example, WMI helped acquire a CAMECA® LEAP 3000Si™ atom probe. This sophisticated characterization instrument will help researchers solve key problems, and is a vital tool. Find out more about UW-Madison Professor Susan Babcock’s research projects with the CAMECA LEAP.

Harnessing the Power of Big Data

Computing powers is another key to making material science advances. UW-Madison is an international leader in computer sciences and is home to pioneering research facilities and useful, sophisticated resources. Among the many resources available are:

The Advanced Computing Infrastructure, a one-stop resource for learning about campus research computing resources and services.

• The Center for High Throughput Computing offers a variety of large-scale computing resources and services for UW-Madison-affiliated researchers and their collaborators, including classically defined high-throughput computing and high-performance computing resources.


photo above: Atom probe tomography close-up image of an InGaN multi-quantum-well V-defect shorting the indium quantum wells, and showing segregation of the magnesium dopant into the core of the defect. Photo by Robert Ulfig. Cameca Instruments Inc. First Place Winner in False Color Images, 2011 EDFAS photo contest.