Sean J Hearne

Director, Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences Division

Dr. Hearne is the Director of the Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences (CNMS) division at the US Department of Energy’s (DOE) Oak Ridge National Laboratory and an Invited Review Editor of the Journal of Materials Science, a Springer-Nature publication. The CNMS user facility is one of five DOE office of Science funded Nanoscience Research Centers whose mission is to advance the frontiers of nanotechnology. Research efforts span from advanced electron microscopy to quantum materials and nanofabrication. Prior to directing CNMS, Sean was co-Director at Sandia National Laboratories’ Center for Integrated Nanotechnology and he also previously led the Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability’s Energy Storage program at Sandia. He served as the president of the Materials Research Society in 2018. Sean received his bachelors’ degree in 1991 from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University where he was trained and licensed as a commercial pilot. He then went on to receive his Ph.D. in Solid State Physics from Arizona State University in 2000, where his dissertation research emphasized the mechanical properties of materials. Sean worked from 2000 to 2001 at Intel Corporation where he was a Senior Process Engineer in the Components Research Group in Hillsboro, OR and was at Sandia from 2001 until 2018, when he joined Oak Ridge National Lab. Sean holds multiple patents in microfabrication and published in topics ranging from fundamental material science through electroplating and energy storage for the electric grid.


President / Vice-President / Past-President Materials Research Society, 2017-2019
Employee Recognition Award – Sandia National Laboratories, 2017
Secretary Materials Research Society, 2014
Secretary Materials Research Society, 2011
Sandia Spot Recognition Awards: 2002, 2003, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2013, 2016, and 2017
Sigma Pi Sigma – Society of Physics Students Honors Society, 1994


1. US2018/0266989 “Mechanical-Environmental-Thermal MEMS Device for Nanoscale Characterization”, Katherine Jungjohann, William Mook, Clair Chisholm, Michael Shaw, Khalid Hattar, Paul C. Galambos, Andrew Jay Leenheer, Sean Hearne (Issued September 20, 2018).
2. 8,736,108 – “Photovoltaic system”, Gregory N. Nielson, Murat Okandan, Anthony L. Lentine, William C. Sweatt, Paul Gilbert Clem, Sean J. Hearne, Paul Davids, Dale L. Huber, Jeffrey S. Nelson, Christopher Alan Apblett (issued 2014).
3. 8,679,860 - “Lateral electrodeposition of compositionally modulated metal layers”, Sean J. Hearne (issued 2014).
4. 6,930,391 – “Method for alloy-electroplating group IB metals with refractory metals for interconnections”, Grant M. Kloster, Sean J. Hearne (issued 2005).