Who we are and what we do

IMS is the interdisciplinary research and educational center in NSEC focused on fostering the advancement of materials science at Los Alamos National Laboratory. Defining research directions and serving as a focal point for materials research collaboration inside and outside the laboratory are fundamental elements of our mission.

IMS supports new, cutting-edge science and incubates both long and short-term work to catalyze innovations in materials science, new capabilities and breakthrough science. This is put into play by hosting, funding and sponsoring a range of speakers, seminars, colloquia, research, educational opportunities, workshops, conferences and collaborations.

Hunter named new Deputy Director of the Institute for Materials Science  

Abigail Hunter
Abigail Hunter

Dr. Abigail Hunter has been selected as deputy director of the Institute for Materials Science (IMS) at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL).  IMS is one of six strategic centers within the National Security Education Center.  The Institute supports the implementation of the Laboratory’s Materials Strategy and promotes a strong sense of community among LANL’s materials researchers. The Institute provides outreach to the international materials community, as well as, serves as a mechanism for attracting students, postdocs, visiting scientists, and visiting faculty in materials science and technology relevant to the national security missions of the Laboratory.

Dr. Hunter is a staff scientist at LANL in the X Computational Physics Division.  She received a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from Purdue University in 2011, and a B.S. degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Utah in 2006.  Following her Ph.D., she became a postdoctoral research associate at LANL in 2011, and converted to a staff scientist in 2012. Recently in 2019, she was awarded the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers.

Quantum Matter Working Group Agenda 2020 - July 27-Aug. 7, 2020

Visit the Quantum Matter Working Group webpage for more information.


SPECIAL Student Event:  Scientific and Historic Impacts from the Manhattan Project - Student Symposium


2019 Manhattan Project Educational materials (contact Kelly Shea at 505-667-9244 for copies)
Introductions – Dr. Filip Ronning and Dr. Alexander Balatsky
History of Manhattan Project – Dr. Alan Carr
History of Weapons and Science – Dr. Mark Chadwick
Materials & Manhattan Project – Dr. Sig Hecker
Physics Underpinnings – Dr. James L. Smith
Actinide Chemistry – Dr. David L. Clark
Nonproliferation in the Modern World – Dr. Galina Balatsky and Dr. Parrish Staples
Panel Discussion – Dr. Joseph Martz Moderator

Distinguished Lecture Series and Visiting Scholar Program

IMS has developed the IMS Distinguished Lecture Series and the Visiting Scholar Program to foster the integration of the Los Alamos materials community while also developing disruptive concepts in materials science. These National Academy caliber scientists spend from several days to several months at Los Alamos, meeting with students, postdocs and staff members. While these lectures occur over the entire year, IMS particularly packs the house in the summer months in ‘focus areas’ where multiple speakers may come at one time to actively engage the LANL community on specific topics.

Examples of lecture focuses
  • Flexible electronics
  • Condensed matter
  • Defects in materials
  • Emergent Phenomena
  • Materials in Extreme Environments
Materials focus areas
  • “Summer of Light” 2015 (science of light sources)
  • “Summer of Mesoscale Science” 2016 (synthesis and characterization of mesoscale matter)
  • "Dynamic Summer” 2017 (Dynamic and Functional Materials)
  • "Quantum Summer" 2018
  • "Topological Summer" 2019

IMS Materials Summer School

IMS developed an annual lecture series to expose LANL’s summer student population to the broad range of great materials science performed at the Lab through a series of science talks by our top scientists and facility tours.

Workshops and Conferences

IMS holds and sponsors a series of workshops and conferences to advance various fields and to bring new thought and capabilities to Los Alamos.


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