Materials Science Research


Sandia’s focus on scientifically tailored materials capitalizes on our expertise in solid-state sciences, advanced atomic-level diagnostics, and materials synthesis and processing science. Our research uses Sandia’s experimental, theoretical, and computational capabilities to establish the state of the art in materials science and technology.

Materials science professionals at Sandia perform fundamental research to discover and exploit properties and structures. They also apply microstructural, analytical chemistry, and surface analysis techniques to characterize materials, components, and processes. Our materials scientists develop materials with enhanced performance properties, design new materials-processing technologies at the nano- and microscale, and investigate the chemical and physical mechanisms that cause materials properties to change.

Sandia’s national security missions rely extensively on applied materials science. Our needs range from structural materials, such as metals, ceramics, and composites, to electronics and photonics. Polymeric materials — such as adhesives, foams, encapsulants, and conformal coatings — are also used extensively. Other areas of interest include joining technologies, soldering, thermal management, sensor materials, dielectrics, and tribology.

Our research includes:

  • Catalysis and Reaction Processes
  • Ceramic Synthesis and Processing
  • Corrosion
  • Data Acquisition and Instrument Control
  • Electronic and Optical Materials
  • Materials Aging
  • Materials Characterization
  • Materials Reliability Analysis
  • Nanostructured Materials
  • Organic Synthesis
  • Polymer Science
  • Process Diagnostics and Control
  • Spray Coating
  • Surface Cleaning and Processing
  • Thin Films and Coatings
  • Tribology

Our Focus

Predicting Performance and Reliability

of materials and devices over extended time periods and demanding environments to satisfy obligations for each of Sandia’s mission responsibilities.

Control of Energy, Mass, and Charge Transfer

for enhanced functions, efficiencies, and properties of materials for crosscutting needs in energy, reliability & aging, and energetic materials.

Developing new materials

in particular Next Generation Materials to support our mission as a national security laboratory.

Computational Materials Synthesis and Processing

providing a deeper understanding of the physical principles and putative paradigms that govern growth and synthesis

Novel Characterization and Diagnostic Tools & Techniques

provide the means to enable 21st century materials science research.