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Electronic & Optical Materials

Sandia National Laboratories is extending our world-class research and development of synthesis and processing of ceramics and polymers into novel electronic and optical components and devices for our government sponsors and industrial collaborators. Our capabilities include a wide variety of scientific disciplines including unique synthesis techniques, novel processing routes, characterization tools, process-integration options, and device-testing facilities. The underlying theme of these capabilities is the search for understanding the physical phenomena responsible for observed effects.


Sandia has demonstrated significant expertise in fabricating bulk, thin-film, and thick-film materials and components using chemical preparation techniques. Two important techniques are chemical precipitation of powders and sol-gel deposition of films. We have developed a wide variety of processing techniques to achieve dense materials with controlled morphology, crystallographic phase, orientation, and grain size for numerous applications. In addition, we can apply and pattern various electrode materials for electrical testing and prototype-device development for a wide variety of customers.

Characterization facilities are available for evaluating all relevant structural features and electrical properties, including novel techniques such as backscattered electron Kikuchi patterns and micro-focus x-ray diffraction for micron-level phase analysis; cantilever and resonance piezoelectric evaluation; imaging opto-electronic characterization; and electron-paramagnetic resonance. Sandia has a suite of capabilities for device prototyping, aging/reliability evaluation, and characterizing process integration steps. We also maintain a unique sputtering capability for depositing compositionally precise, uniform thickness layers on wafers up to 8" in diameter and evaluating stress development.

Selected Accomplishments







  • Piezoelectric films have been integrated onto silicon cantilevers to produce accelerometers with large-volumetric sensitivity
  • Contacts: William Hammetter, (505) 272-7603,

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