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Dr. Bruce Ravel

Research Interests

  • Method development in the field of X-ray Absorption Spectroscopy (XAS) and related inner-shell spectroscopies, including development of novel measurement techniques and detector technologies
  • Development of software tools for XAS data acquisition, processing, and analysis
  • Application of XAS to a wide variety of scientific disciplines. Along with materials science interests in the areas of ferroelectrics and strongly correlated electron systems, I have applied XAS measurements to studies in the environmental sciences and to the interpretation of astronomical spectra



Figure 1: The X-ray absorption spectroscopy experimental hutch at NSLS beamline X23A2. 


Figures 2(left) and 3(right): Two examples of the XAS data analysis software package written by Bruce Ravel and in wide use at synchrotrons throughout North America and the world. In the center is the Hephaestus program, a periodic table interface to tables of X-ray absorption cross-sections. On the right is the Athena program, used to process and analyze XAS spectra.

Postdoctoral Research Opportunities

Synchrotron-based X-ray absorption spectroscopy is used in conjunction with novel theory and analysis methods to develop, understand, and optimize materials for microelectronics, catalysis, energy science, and other fields. Materials that can be investigated cover all forms of condensed matter from monolayer films to the bulk, from crystalline to highly disordered. These studies offer the opportunity to develop and utilize world-class X-ray instrumentation and detectors.


Awards and Honors

  • Executive Committee, At-large Member, International X-ray Absorption Society, July 2006

Publication Prior to Joining NIST:

ATHENA, ARTEMIS, HEPHAESTUS: data analysis for X-ray absorption spectroscopy using IFEFFIT, B. Ravel and M. Newville, J. Synchrotron Radiation, 12, 537-541 (2005).



Materials Measurement Science Division
Synchrotron Methods Group

Employment History:

2007 – present: Physicist, Ceramics Division, NIST
2005 – 2007: Associate Physicist, Biosciences Division, Argonne National Lab
2001 – 2005: Physicist, Chemistry Division, Naval Research Laboratory
2000 – 2001: ASEE Fellow, Materials Research Division, Naval Research Lab
1999 – 2000: Visiting Scientist, Centre Nationale de la Recherche Scientifique, Grenoble, France
1997 – 1999: NRC Postdoctoral Fellow, Ceramics Division, NIST


Ph.D., Physics, University of Washington, 1997
M.S., Physics, University of Washington, 1991
B.A., Physics, Wesleyan University, 1989

Related Links


Phone: 301-975-6179
Email: bruce.ravel@nist.gov
Fax: 301-975-5334