NIST logo
Bookmark and Share

Ian M. Anderson

Research Interests:
My research interests are broadly the development, evaluation, and application of techniques for determining the structure and composition of matter at or near atomic spatial resolution.  Principal methods include analytical electron microscopy (AEM), which provides information via a variety of signals generated through either elastic or inelastic scattering of electrons, and atom probe tomography (APT), whereby three-dimensional atomic-scale composition is revealed by disassembling a specimen with a high electric field, one atom at a time.  AEM studies include spectroscopic techniques such as electron energy-loss spectroscopy (EELS) and X-ray energy-dispersive spectroscopy (XEDS), and feature instrument operation in both the scanning (STEM) and conventional uniform illumination (CTEM) modes of operation of the transmission electron microscope (TEM). I have a particular interest in the influence and application of coherent dynamical electron diffraction on spectroscopic methods. Technique development efforts have included large angular convergence scanned beam illumination (LACSBI), a method for mitigating coherent diffraction effects during energy-filtered TEM (EFTEM), and atom location by channeling-enhanced microanalysis (ALCHEMI), a technique for determining atomic sublattice distributions of alloying elements within ordered compounds.  Applications focus on difficult measurement challenges of technological importance, including analysis in real-world environments.  Recent efforts have explored the imaging and analysis of individual nanostructures in a liquid environment.

  • APT of next-generation nanoelectronic devices and other engineered nanostructures
  • EFTEM imaging and spectroscopy of liquid-borne nanostructures
  • CTEM tomography of complex, multiphase materials and structures
  • Correlating measurements of individual and ensemble averages of nanostructures
  • Applications of aberration-corrected STEM imaging, EELS, and XEDS
  • Understanding alloying and doping effects with ALCHEMI

Postdoctoral Research Opportunities:
Opportunities exist for a wide range of projects similar, but not limited to, those listed above.  Please contact me to discuss your interests and potential projects.

Awards, Honors and Professional Activities:

  • Secretary, Microscopy Society of America, 2012-present
  • Chair, Strategic Planning Committee, Microanalysis Society, 2010 - present
  • Member, Awards Committee, Microscopy Society of America, 2010 - present
  • Member, Atom Probe Standards Committee, International Field Emission Society, 2010 - present
  • Member, Microscopy and Microanalysis Editorial Board, 2009 - present
  • Member, Scientific Advisory Committee, SHaRE User Facility, 2009 - present
  • President, Microanalysis Society, 2007 - 2008
  • Chair, Focused Interest Group on Aberration-Corrected Microscopy, 2006 - 2007
  • Program Chair, Microscopy Society of America, 2004
  • Chair, Oak Ridge Chapter of ASM International, 2002 - 2003
  • Presidential Early Career Award for Science and Engineering (PECASE), 2001
  • Burton Medal, Microscopy Society of America, 1998


Surface and Microanalysis Science Division
Microanalysis Research Group

Employment History:

2005 – present NIST
Physicist, 2005 – present
Microanalysis Research Group

1993 – 2005 Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Leader, 1999 – 2005
Microscopy Group
Director, 1999 – 2005
SHaRE User Facility
Staff Scientist, 1997 – 1999
Microscopy Group
Postdoctoral Researcher, 1993 – 1997
Microscopy Group

1991 – 1993 University of Minnesota
Predoctoral Research Fellow
Department of Chemical Engineering & Materials Science



Ph.D., Applied Physics, 1993
M.S., Applied Physics, 1989
M.Eng., Engineering Physics, 1987
Cornell University

B.S., Applied Physics, 1985
California Institute of Technology


Phone: 301-975-8907
Fax: 301-417-1321