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Research

Research Overview

Montana Tech Professor Ronda Coguill working in the Materials Stress Lab

Montana Tech Professor Ronda Coguill working in the Materials Stress Lab.

Access to premier research infrastructure on three campuses provides students with the very best the Montana University System has to offer.



Biomaterials

This thematic area includes bio-inspired materials and the interactions between materials and biological systems. Biomaterials and biomimetics research investigates and bridges the gap between bench-top investigations and clinical applications with the goal of improving health worldwide.

Other important applications are in environmental sensors and bio-inspired or bio-compatible structural materials. Current activities at the three campuses include organic-inorganic hybrids for tissue engineering scaffolds; biomimetic chemistry methods to synthesize multifunctional nanostructured materials; biofilms; replacement bones; and using nanodiscs and liposomes to understand the dynamics of protein binding to cell membranes.

Materials for Energy Storage, Conversion & Conservation

A cornerstone of the MUS Materials Science Program is fundamental and applied research in the area of materials for energy storage, conversion, and conservation. Broadly, this research area focuses on transforming resources such as sunlight, wind, and biomass into fuels that can be used at later times to provide reliable, electrical power.

Research underway addresses critical materials issues for developing sustainable means of producing and storing chemical fuels, improving energy efficiency, and for converting Montana’s abundant natural and renewable resources into a clean, economical, and unlimited supply of electrical power.

Electronic, Photonic & Magnetic Materials

Electronic, photonic, and magnetic (EPM) materials have applications in quantum information and cryptography, information storage, signal processing, communications, electronics, imaging and sensing techniques, and laser components. These materials are studied in nanoparticle, thin-film, bulk, and single-crystal form and also in optical waveguides and other device configurations.

Theoretical directions are quite diverse, and they include determination of structure/function relationships, electronic structure calculations, optical energy levels plus coherence and spin dynamics for ions, properties of alloy phases, and unique phases of matter.

Materials Synthesis, Processing & Fabrication

This focus area encompasses an exceptionally broad range of research that extends all the way from the extraction and refining of bulk materials to the synthesis of high-value-added advanced materials with application-specific properties.

Success in the broad arena of materials processing requires a multi-disciplinary approach. The collaborative MUS MatSci Program pools expertise in solid state physics, metallurgy, polymer chemistry, ceramics, composites, and process engineering to conduct research that responds to and anticipates current and emerging industrial needs and interests.

Montana Tech


A Montana Tech student loads a sample for examination with a table-top electron microscope

Montana State


raman microscope and high temperature furnace at Montana State University

University of Montana


professor and X-ray diffractometer

Montana Tech


Montana Tech post-fire assessment with drill resistance testing equipment

Montana State


Montana State University students and professor

University of Montana


Using hyperspectral analysis to examine nanoparticle interactions with cells.

Montana Tech


HyRox digital microscope examination of complex metal microstructure at Montana Tech

Montana State


high temperature fuel cell assembly at Montana State University

Montana Tech


thermogravimetric analysis at Montana Tech

Montana State


thermal gravimetric analysis at Montana State University

Montana Tech


Montana Tech GENL Far-field Probing Station

Montana State


Montana Tech


Montana Tech field effect scanning electron microscope

Montana State


preparing samples for study in the X-ray Diffractometer at Montana State University

Montana Tech


installing heads on a hydrocyclone test stand at Montana Tech

Montana State


Fluorescence decay traces from the ultrafast emission lifetime spectrometer at Montana State University

Montana Tech


Adjusting flowrates in a continuous aqueous processing system at Montana Tech

Montana State


Optical elements of a time correlated single photon counting instrument at Montana State University

Montana Tech


dilatometer at Montana Tech

Montana State


in situ vibrational spectroscopy measurements with Ar+ ion laser and high temperature solid oxide fuel cell at Montana State University

Montana Tech


Montana Tech GENL Electrospinning tool

Montana State


adjusting gas flows into high temperature solid oxide fuel cell at Montana State University

Montana Tech


Montana Tech GENL Nanonics Near-field Scanning Optical Microscope