Advanced Photon Source

An Office of Science National User Facility

Grad student is officially a GEMS


Tao Sun (Northwestern University) in the X-ray Operations and Research beamline 8-ID-E enclosureTao Sun, a third-year graduate student from Professor Dravid Vinayak’s group at Northwestern University who is currently doing his thesis research at the Advanced Photon Source at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory, has been awarded one of three Graduate Excellence in Materials Science (GEMS) Diamond awards by the Basic Science Division of The American Ceramic Society. The GEMS awards “recognize the outstanding achievements of graduate students in Materials Science and Engineering” and are open to all graduate students who make an oral presentation in any symposium or session at the annual Material Science & Technology (MS&T) Conference. Sun presented his research on in situ real-time investigation of kinetics of nucleation and growth of sol-gel-derived functional oxide thin films at the 2007 MS&T Conference held in Detroit this past September.

At the APS, Sun is primarily working with Jin Wang (XSD) to study the structure and nucleation kinetics of functional multiferric thin films by using real-time grazing-incidence small-angle x-ray scattering and other x-ray techniques. “Sun is a singularly talented and dedicated young researcher,” said Wang.  “He discovered a novel growth mechanism in the thin films that contradicts long-held conventional beliefs.”

“During the past three years' study in a highly interdisciplinary ambiance of APS, I have been enjoying the opportunity to be exposed to a full range of research activities, and the collective scholarly experience of beamline staff,” said Sun. “The APS has generously provided me and other associated graduate students a tremendous playground. As a young student at the beginning of my academic career, I am really grateful for it."

Sun was selected as the Diamond Award recipient on the basis of his scientific and academic accomplishments, the quality of the research presented at the meeting, and the quality of his oral presentation.

Use of the Advanced Photon Source was supported by the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Science, Office of Basic Energy Sciences, under Contract No. DE-AC02-06CH11357.

Argonne is a U.S. Department of Energy laboratory managed by UChicago Argonne, LLC.

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