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Sergei Kalinin

Center for Nanophase Material Sciences, ORNL


Dr. Sergei V. Kalinin is currently a senior research staff member at Oak Ridge National Laboratory and co-theme leader for scanning probe microscopy at the Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences at ORNL (since 2007), following an Eugene P. Wigner fellow appointment at ORNL (2002–2004). He is also adjunct faculty at Pennsylvania State University and adjunct associate professor at the Department of Materials Sciences and Engineering at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.


His research is focused on local bias-induced phase transitions and electrochemical transformation in ferroelectric, ionic, and macromolecular systems. It is well recognized that functionality of these materials is dominated by defects that act as nucleation centers for a new phase or pinning centers for moving transformation fronts. Using scanning probe microscopy tip, it is possible to confine the probing electric field on the nanometer scale of single defect, and probe bias-induced transformation through strain or current signal. Sergei's work has demonstrated the possibility for probing bias-induced phase transitions in ferroelectric and multiferroic materials on a single defect level, and deciphering corresponding mesoscopic mechanisms. Furthermore, the phase transition can be guided between several possible pathways, resolving a longstanding control problem for magnetoelectric materials. These methods have recently been extended to map electrochemical reactivity and diffusivity in energy storage materials on the 10 nanometer level, providing a previously unavailable view of electrochemical functionality below the micron level.

The key element of his work is scanning probe microscopy (SPM) of electromechanical and transport phenomena, with specific emphasis of multidimensional and artificial-intelligence–assisted SPM methods. Several of his developments has been adopted and licensed by the SPM industry.


PhD, materials science, University of Pennsylvania

Awards and Recognitions

During his academic career, he has been the recipient of the Burton Medal of American Microscopy Society (2010), IEEE-TUFFC Young Investigator Award (2010), the Robert L. Coble (2009) and Ross Coffin Purdy (2003) Awards of American Ceramics Society, AVS Peter Mark Memorial Award (2008), and 2 R&D100 awards (2010 and 2008), as well as Wigner Fellowship of Oak Ridge National Laboratory. He is the author of more than 180 scientific papers and 14 patents and patent disclosures on different aspects of SPM and ferroelectric materials applications. He has organized a series of international workshops on piezoresponse force microscopy and SPM for energy storage materials.

Contact Information

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