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Christopher Szakal

Christopher Szakal has been a research chemist in the Surface and Microanalysis Science Division at NIST since 2006. His professional background is in mass spectrometry, with an emphasis in surface analysis by secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS). His research involves a wide range of scientific disciplines, including bioimaging of individual cells and tissue, studying the interfaces of organic molecules on semiconductor materials, general chemical surface analysis of unknown samples, fundamental ion chemistry measurements of desorption mass spectrometry techniques, and instrumentation development. His SIMS research has focused on the study of disease progression in biological cells and tissue, differentiation of nanomaterials, and fundamental experiments related to molecular depth profiling analysis and sputtering/ionization phenomena. Recently, Christopher has expanded his mass spectrometry expertise into atmospheric pressure-based MS methodologies, including desorption electrospray ionization (DESI) and atmospheric pressure matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization (AP-MALDI). These techniques are being used in novel approaches for the surface characterization of biomaterials and semiconductor-related materials, and are being studied for mechanisms and schemes of desorption/ionization of molecules from surfaces.

Christopher Szakal


Research Chemist
Surface and Microanalysis Science
Analytical Microscopy Group

Employment History:

NIST (2006-present)


Muhlenberg College (2001) B.S. Chemistry
Summa Cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa

The Pennsylvania State University (2006) Ph.D. Chemistry


Phone: 301-975-3816
Fax: 301-417-1321