Karen Heinselman

Karen Heinselman

Researcher III-Materials Science


As a postdoctoral researcher at NREL, Karen Heinselman studies synthesis and characterization of novel nitride thin films, device fabrication for high-temperature applications, and Rutherford backscattering spectroscopy to determine composition of various films. She came to NREL at the end of 2017 as a post-doctoral researcher. She earned her doctorate degree in materials science and engineering at Cornell University, studying under James Richard Shealy. Her doctoral work focused on using low-pressure metal organic chemical vapor deposition to epitaxially grow AlN on silicon.

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Research Interests

Transparent conductors and wide-bandgap semiconductors

Novel semiconducting materials

Physical and chemical vapor deposition of thin films


Ph.D., Materials Science and Engineering, Cornell University

B.S., General Engineering, Harvey Mudd College

Professional Experience

Postdoctoral Researcher, NREL (2017–Present)

Teaching Assistant, Cornell University (2012–2016)

Featured Work

Growth and Characterization of Homoepitaxial b-Ga2O3 LayersJ. Phys. D. (2020) 

Review of ZnSnN2 Semiconductor Material, J. Phys. Energy (2020) 

Combinatorial Synthesis of Magnesium Tin Nitride Semiconductors, J. Am. Chem. Soc. (2020)

Combinatorial Investigation of Structural and Optical Properties of Cation-Disordered ZnGeN2, J. Mat. Chem. C (2020)

COMBIgor: Data-Analysis Package for Combinatorial Materials Science, ACS Comb. Sci. (2019)

Thin Film Synthesis of Semiconductors in the Mg-Sb-N Materials System, Chem. Mat. (2019)

Hot-Wall Low-Pressure Chemical Vapor Deposition Growth and Characterization of AlN Thin Films, J. Cryst. Growth (2017)