Awardee Interviews | Biography: Sergei Kalinin

Sergei Kalinin

Sergei Kalinin, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, In recognition of transformational contributions to atomic- and nanoscale control of matter and development of machine-learning driven automated microscopy

Sergei Kalinin is a Weston Fulton Chair Professor at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Prior to his current appointment, he spent a year at Amazon (special projects) as a principal scientist, following 20 years at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). He received his MS degree from Moscow State University in 1998 and Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania in 2002.

Sergei started active research in high school and continued as an undergraduate student at Moscow State University. Throughout the first 10 years of his research career, he has focused on inorganic solution and vapor phase syntheses and solid-state electrochemistry. He got introduced to scanning probe microscopy at UPenn as a part of Dawn Bonnell group, and have joined ORNL to work with Ward Plummer on pulsed laser deposition and surface science of correlated oxides. At ORNL, he built the SPM program at the Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences, pioneering several new SPM techniques and applications such as band excitation and G-Mode SPM, electrochemical strain microscopy, and big data SPM modes. When at ORNL, he was introduced to scanning transmission electron microscopy by Steve Pennycook, laying foundation for his current efforts at the interface between machine learning and STEM. As the inaugural director for the ORNL Institute for Functional Imaging of Materials (IFIM, 2014-2019), he and his team worked on bridging physical and chemical imaging and artificial intelligence. That program gave rise to atomic fabrication by electron beams and initiated the PyCroscopy open science platform. Finally, as a PI of the STEM program and group leader of the DataNanoAnalytics group at the Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences he worked on the ML-driven autonomous experiment in electron and scanning probe microscopy and materials synthesis.

For the last 15 years, his research focuses on the applications of machine learning and artificial intelligence in nanotechnology, atomic fabrication, and materials discovery via scanning transmission electron microscopy, as well as mesoscopic studies of electrochemical, ferroelectric, and transport phenomena via scanning probe microscopy. These directions are the focus of his research effort at UTK.

Sergei has co-authored >650 publications, with a total citation of >48,000 and an h-index of >108. He is a fellow of MRS, APS, IoP, IEEE, Foresight Institute, and AVS; a recipient of the Blavatnik Award for Physical Sciences (2018), RMS medal for Scanning Probe Microscopy (2015), Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) (2009); Burton medal of Microscopy Society of America (2010); 4 R&D100 Awards (2008, 2010, 2016, and 2018); and a number of other distinctions. As part of his professional services, he organized many professional conferences and workshops at MRS, APS and AVS; for 15 years organized workshop series on PFM, and served/s on multiple Editorial Boards including NPJ Comp. Mat., J. Appl. Phys, and Appl. Phys Lett.