sensors and materials Lab (smL)

SML researchers lend their expertise to a broad range of investigations in engineered structural and active materials, energy and thermal technologies, nanotechnologies, innovative detector materials and sensors, and microelectromechanical (MEM) device design and processing.

Battery systems are an emerging research area in the lab which employs the fundamentals of chemistry and materials to enhance the power and energy density, reliability and integration of energy storage systems. The lab has the ability to analyze and model the behavior of these electrochemical systems for projected use scenarios.

The lab is also extending HRL's expertise in the growth and processing of compound semiconductor materials to develop new lower cost detector materials and devices, particularly for the infrared spectral region. This research aims at driving down materials cost and increasing spectral performance for next-generation sensor systems.

Architected materials research focuses on the use of micron-level “architecturing” of known materials to provide improved functionality or multi-functionality. SML staff have designed, modeled, fabricated and tested architected materials for structural functions such as energy absorption, vibration damping, high stiffness-to-weight ratios, thermal management, morphing, noise mitigation and tailored coefficient-of-thermal-expansion control. Our active structures research-and-development efforts leverage recent advancements in active materials to embed actuation, regulation or reconfiguration into next-generation smart systems.

HRL is harnessing the power of nanotechnology to provide innovative solutions for challenging coating, energy storage, thermal management and optical problems. Scaled up synthesis and self-assembly processes for nanoscale structures such as nanotubes, nanowires and quantum dots are being developed to produce new coating technologies with enhanced functional properties.

The lab has also brought attention to HRL with its competency in the design and fabrication of high-performance microelectromechanical system (MEMS) device elements based on quartz materials. The lab has developed a variety of miniaturized gyroscopes, filters, oscillators and resonators for integration into communications, guidance and sensing systems.

Current Openings

  • Post Doc Research Staff, MEMS Device & Fabrication - 1360.07
  • Development Engineer Sr., Cryogenic Measurement System Development - 1460.14
  • Development Engineer, Structures and Dynamics - 1560.02
  • Development Engineer - 1560.08
  • Research Staff, Cryogenic Physics - 1560.09
  • Research Staff, Integrated Testing Lead - 1560.10
  • Composites Processing and Prototyping Engineer - 1560.12



  • Intern Electrical/Electronic Engineering Co-Op - DC10562
  • Mechanical Engineering/CAD Co-Op - DC10563
  • Adaptive Structures Department - GM10578



Areas of Research

  • Active Materials and Structures
  • Architected Multifunctional Materials
  • Thermal Management Materials and Solutions
  • Electrochemical Modeling and Testing
  • Battery Materials and Chemistries
  • Focal Plane Array Hybridization
  • Novel Fuel Cells and Fuel Cell Materials
  • Hydrogen Storage Materials
  • Quartz MEMS Device Design & Processing
  • MBE Grown II-VI and III-V Infrared Materials
  • Novel Detector Structures for the Infrared
  • Scalable Nanotechnologies
  • Novel Engineering Polymers