Matthew Moorman

Manager, Biological & Chemical Sensors

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Manager, Biological & Chemical Sensors

(505) 284-4614

Sandia National Laboratories, New Mexico
P.O. Box 5800
Albuquerque, NM 87185-0892


Development and the system-level packaging of chemical analysis systems and components. Moorman has lead the system and sensor design portions of DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency), DTRA (Defense Threat Reduction Agency), and Sandia-funded chemical analysis programs. His recent work has focused on detecting and characterizing the volatile organic compounds (VOC) produced by bacteria, plants, and algae.


Bachelor’s Degree: Physics, Kalamazoo College (1994-1998)

Master’s Degree: Mechanical Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology (1999-2001)

Moorman’s undergraduate field of study was in physics with a focus on engineering as he moved to graduate studies. His Master’s thesis work focused on the development of a microfabricated Kelvin probe for surface studies.

Research Interests

Modeling and Fabrication of Micro-Hotplates and Other Miniaturized MEMS Thermal Structures

Moorman has developed a variety of MEMS thermal structures for purposes as diverse as chemical preconcentration, catalytic decomposition, on-demand material evaporation, sensing, and valve actuation for microfluidic and miniaturized sampling systems. These thermal structures are modeled using finite element modeling code such as ANSYS and are then produced using microfabrication or meso-scale manufacturing techniques. He has experience developing and using novel oxides and metal formulations to allow structures to survive elevated temperatures for extended time periods, including some designs that can reach over 1000 ºC

Microfluidic Systems for Biological Analysis

Moorman has created PDMS, plastic laminate, and silicon-based microfluidic structures for many different biology applications including single cell capture and isolation, bio-sensors, and pneumatic cell-sorters. He has also created structures with optimized optical interfaces for hyperspectral imaging and microscopy of single cells and proteins. To support further miniaturization efforts, he has also created several novel valve structures that can be easily integrated into these microfluidic systems to enable fluid control at the chip level.

Design and Fabrication of Chemical Sensors and Chemical Analysis Systems

Continued development of Sandia’s MicroChemlab system and its associated technologies has been another technical focus area for Moorman’s research. He has helped design and mature several key technologies such as high-aspect ratio gas chromatography columns (GC), tortuous path preconcentrators, and novel UV-plasma detector technologies. Moorman designs and develops fabrication process flows for these components as well as strategies for system-level integration and packaging. Recent work has focused on developing wafer-level coating and packaging processes to alleviate the labor-intensive steps required in prior-generation fabrication processes, as well as developing new system-level approaches to microGC separations of complex mixtures.

Relevant Prior Positions

  • Process Engineer, L&M Technologies (2002-2004)
  • Graduate Research Assistant, Georgia Institute of Technology (1999-2001)
  • Physical Science Technician, Department of the Navy (1998-1999)

Selected Publications

  • Terisse A. Brocato, Ryan F. Hess, Matthew Moorman, Robert J. Simonson, "Investigations into the chemical structure based selectivity of the microfabricated nitrogen-phosphorus detector", Sensors and Actuators B 224 (2016) 618–623
  • Ronald P. Manginell, Curtis D. Mowry, Adam S. Pimentel, Michael A. Mangan, Matthew W. Moorman, Elizabeth S. Sparks, Amy Allen, and Komandoor E. Achyuthan, "Development of a Mesoscale Pulsed Discharge Helium Ionization Detector for Portable Gas Chromatography", Analytical Sciences, November 2015, VOL. 31.
  • Manginell, Ronald P.; Pimentel, Adam S.; Mowry, Curtis D.; et al., "Diagnostic potential of the pulsed discharged helium ionization detector (PDHID) for pathogenic Mycobacterial volatile biomarkers", Journal of Breath Research, Volume: 7, Issue: 3, Article Number: 037107, Published: September 2013
  • Manginell, Ronald P.; Moorman, Matthew W.; Rejent, Jerome A.; et al., "Invited Article: A materials investigation of a phase-change micro-valve for greenhouse gas collection and other potential applications", Review of Scientific Instruments, Volume: 83, Issue: 3, Article Number: 031301, Published: March 2012
  • Manginell, Ronald P.; Bauer, Joseph M.; Moorman, Matthew W.; et al., "A Monolithically-Integrated µGC Chemical Sensor System", Sensors, Volume: 11, Issue: 7, Pages: 6517-6532, Published: July 2011

Selected Patents

  • ‘Varactor with integrated micro-discharge source’ Elizondo-Decanini, Juan; Manginell, Ronald P.; Moorman, Matthew W.; US Patent no. 9,474,689 (October 18, 2016).
  • ‘Capacitive chemical sensor’ Manginell, Ronald P.; Moorman, Matthew W.; Wheeler, David R.; US Patent no. 8,736,000 (May 27, 2014).
  • ‘Method, sensor and system for measuring a lower heating value and a Wobbe Index of a gaseous fuel’ Antel, William J.; Nirmalan, Nirm V.; Solovitz, Stephen A.; Vats, Nishant; Dey, Subhrajit; Orenstein, Robert M.; Moorman, Matthew W.; Manginell, Ronald P.; US Patent no. 8,486,710 (July 16, 2013).
  • ‘Microfabricated field calibration assembly for analytical instruments’ Robinson, Alex L.; Manginell, Ronald P.; Moorman, Matthew W.; Rodacy, Philip J.; Simonson, Robert J.; US Patent no. 7,913,534 (March 29, 2011). ‘Microfabricated fuel heating value monitoring device’ Robinson, Alex, L; Manginell, Ronald P.; Moorman, Matthew W.;  US Patent no. 7,708,943 (May 4, 2010).