Physical Sciences Division

From fundamental research and pilot-scale testing to systems development and product commercialization

Researchers in SRI's Materials Research Laboratory look at a prototype device

Governments and commercial clients worldwide count on the broad technical expertise of SRI's Physical Sciences Division to address important technical challenges in chemistry, physics, materials science, mechanics, optics, and nanotechnology.

We offer innovation through basic and applied research and product development in these organizations:

  • Poulter Laboratory: Experiments and computational simulations of high explosive, flammable gas, and impact effects; evaluation and mitigation of damage produced by explosions, impact, earthquakes, and fire; development of techniques to counter terrorism and neutralize mines

  • Applied Optics Laboratory: Materials development and computation of materials properties, development of microelectronics, microsensors, and microdevices, applied controls, noise suppression, optical sensing, and optical technology

  • Sensor Systems Laboratory: Basic and applied research in chemical and biological sensor systems, electro-optical and remote sensors, and laser-based diagnostics, as well as development, demonstration, and engineering of innovative new sensor concepts into robust fieldable systems

  • Chemical Science and Technology Laboratory: Catalysis, polymerization catalysts, polymer science, small molecule synthesis, hydrocarbon conversion, gas separations, analytical chemistry, environmental fate, combinatorial chemistry, high-throughput screening, biosensors, bio assays, energy-related materials and airbag compounds, and advances in process engineering, carbon materials, and environmental fuel processing

  • Materials Research Laboratory: Process development and modeling, coatings, fracture physics, energy generation and storage, biofuels, corrosion, hazardous waste and water treatment, carbon capture and utilization, separations technologies, laser-based diagnostics and sensors, mass spectrometry, combustion chemistry, atmospheric chemistry and monitoring, nonlinear optical processes, and molecular collisional and radiative processes.

  • Microcircuit Emulation Center: Supplies form, fit, function, and interface replacements for obsolete microcircuits to support production, redesign, and sustainment requirements for the life of weapon systems.

News & Events

Energy.gov, Jul 15, 2014

SRI will receive $3.2 million to produce a bio-crude oil from algal biomass that will maximize the amount of renewable carbon recovered for use in fuel and reduce the nitrogen content of the product in order to meet fuel quality standards.