Sumner B Harris

Postdoctoral Research Associate

Dr. Sumner B. Harris is currently a postdoctoral research associate working within the Functional Hybrid Nanomaterials Group at the Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. He received his Ph.D. in Physics from The University of Alabama at Birmingham in Birmingham, Alabama in 2021 on plasma diagnostics, plume simulation, and epitaxial growth of FeSe with pulsed laser deposition (PLD). Currently, his work focuses on nanomaterials synthesis with PLD using in situ diagnostics (Raman/photoluminescence, plume imaging, ion probe, reflectivity) as feedback for precision and/or autonomous synthesis experiments.


2020 UAB Samuel B. Barker Award for Excellence in Graduate Studies at the Doctoral Level

2020 UAB College of Arts and Sciences’ Dean’s Award

2020 Outstanding Physics Graduate Student Award

Specialized Equipment

Automated pulsed laser deposition platform with in situ diagnostics

Home built, automated/autonomous pulsed laser deposition (PLD) platform with in situ diagnostics. This unique PLD platform allows for simultaneous ablation of two targets and is equipped with a host of in situ spectroscopy to monitor growing materials and plume conditions. Materials can be interrogated during growth with Raman, photoluminescence, and white light spectroscopy and laser reflectivity. Plasma plume diagnostics include ICCD imaging, ion probe measurements. Gated, intensified spectroscopy and laser induced fluorescence are also possible. Laser processing experiments can be carried out with a separate 248 nm excimer laser with XY sample positioning. The platform is completely automated with Python to allow autonomous synthesis experiments with a 10-substrate exchanger or small sample deposition behind a mask.