Electronic Materials and Devices Laboratory


Located within the Electro-Optics and Electronics (EOE) Division of ARL, we have extensive R&D, prototyping, testing, and manufacturing capabilities for electronic, piezoelectric, and optical materials and devices.

Our lab focuses on applied research and technology transition with a long history of working with the DoD and industry to solve critical problems and develop next-generation electronic materials and devices. The Electronic Materials and Devices Laboratory has facilities in State College and Freeport, PA which include >60 bulk and thin film growth systems, full crystal & ceramic fabrication facility, 3D printing center, and a semiconductor packaging lab.

Our staff also leverages the state-of-the-art Materials Characterization and Nanofabrication laboratories on Penn State’s University Park campus which enables us to truly support every step from bulk material growth/synthesis to final packaging and testing of devices.

Our core capabilities include the following:

  • Material growth and synthesis – >60 bulk and thin film growth systems, including SiC, GaN, diamond, oxides, nitrides, hBN, cBN, 2D materials, piezoelectrics, and dielectrics
  • Fabrication and polishing – Full CNC fabrication and polishing capabilities to process bulk crystals into epi-ready substrates and ceramics into final parts
  • Advanced ceramic processing – Full prototyping capabilities, including powder processing, spray drying, tape casting, lamination stacking, pressing, sintering, and machining
  • Materials characterization – Access to >50 characterization tools, including XRD, OM, SEM, AFM, WLI, Raman, ellipsometry, FTIR, and PL
  • Electrical characterization – Extensive electrical characterization setup, including probe stations, low-temperature Hall/van der Pauw, Lehighton, and four point probe tools
  • Device design and fabrication – Full design and fabrication capabilities in a Class 1,000/100 cleanroom, including e-beam/stepper lithography, dry etch, wet etch, evaporation, sputtering, and atomic layer deposition
  • Electronics wire bonding and packaging – Dedicated lab for eutectic die, ball, and wedge bonding of electronic devices
  • 3D printed electronics – Direct ink writing and inkjet printing of conductive, ceramic, and functional materials featuring an nScrypt multi-material “Factory in a Box” and Hyrel Hydra and Viscotec printers

Sintering components at >2000°C
in a cold wall vertical induction furnace

3D printing a sensor by direct ink writing (DIW)
using an nScrypt system

Chemi-mechanical polishing substrates
on a Strasbaugh

Why it matters

Systems require high-performing electrical components, and these discrete components require high quality electronic materials. The Electronic Materials & Devices Laboratory’s core capabilities support the foundation of ARL’s mission of conducting essential research, development, and systems engineering in support of our nation’s priorities.

These priorities in fields such semiconductors, power electronics, communications, sonar, and hypersonics are more demanding than ever before and require advanced solutions to complex problems. Our laboratory combines fundamental scientific research using some of the world’s most advanced characterization and fabrication equipment with the full capability to produce and test prototype devices.

ARL is committed to our employee’s health and well-being by supporting Penn State initiatives, local health officials, and government leaders in preventing COVID-19 in the workplace.

Our employees whose work or research can be done remotely, from home, are doing so. We have also given the opportunity of a flexible work schedule to assist our employees who have other obligations to consider. For those whose work or research requires them to be in our laboratories, offices, or on campus, we are following all protocols necessary to reduce the spread of COVID-19, including mandatory mask training, strict safety procedures, and a network of contacts for reporting any ill-feeling symptoms.

As new employees join our workforce, the above guidelines apply. 

You can be confident that we will maintain our vigilant enforcement of all COVID-19 protocols in our workplace to ensure the health and safety of everyone.

Our strength comes from our people… we are a diverse group of professionals who hail from all over this great Nation, with all kinds of experience and expertise. As a team, we will get through this together with patience, diligence, vigilance, and resilience.