Established in 1994, the Princeton Center for Complex Materials at Princeton University is dedicated to exploring the frontiers of complexity in materials science — bringing together over 30 faculty from six departments in the natural sciences and engineering. The Center supports two Interdisciplinary Research Groups (IRGs) that will accelerate exploration of quantum technologies and biology-inspired materials. The development of topological quantum materials is crucial for catalyzing next-generation quantum technologies for sensing, computing, and communicating. The application of such technologies will have wide-ranging implications for national security, industrial competitiveness, and workforce development for decades to come. The Center’s research will also lay the foundations of the field of living material science by bridging materials science and biology or soft matter. Establishing this new field will lead to advances in biotechnology, as well as many other industries reliant on nanotechnology using polymers, gels, colloids, biofilms, and other soft materials.
Training the next generation of world-class materials scientists, and sharing the excitement of their research with the broader community are fundamental pillars of the Center’s mission. The inclusion of underrepresented minorities, women, and persons with disabilities is a key priority embedded in all its research, education and outreach activities. Moreover, the Princeton MRSEC leverages its substantial institutional resources and facilities to encourage collaborations with the broader research community, including industrial partners who not only provide stakeholder insights, but also opportunities for workforce development beyond academia. Outreach activities are popular and meaningful opportunities to engage the general public, school teachers, and students of all ages, and spark their enthusiasm and appreciation for materials science in the world around them.