The Materials Research Facility (MRF) Characterization Lab, formerly CART, was established in 2004 through substantial funding from the Army Research Laboratory and the university, which led to the acquisition of advanced analysis, characterization, and synthesis/processing equipment to support advanced scientific research activities within the university and with external collaborators. Expert staff members facilitate the training of graduate and undergraduate students, post-doctoral researchers and visiting scientists.

MRF is housed in Discovery Park, UNT’s off-site campus for the College of Engineering, the College of Information and premier research facilities focused on advancing research and economic development through industry-university partnerships.


Materials scientists, biologists, chemists, physicists, and engineers are among the UNT researchers who use the more than two dozen machines at MRF to analyze materials from the micro to atomic level.

Outside collaborators include Sandia National Laboratory, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Texas Instruments, Lockheed Martin, Semiconductor Research Corporation, Pratt and Whitney, Ohio State University, Indian Institute of Technology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, University of Nebraska, Colorado School of Mines, Zyvex Corporation, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, and Timken Company.

There is a long and rich history of collaboration with researchers from universities in the Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) metroplex, such as the University of Texas at Arlington (UTA), University of Texas at Dallas (UTD), Texas Woman’s University (TWU), and Southern Methodist University (SMU).