Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Bruce D. Ravel (Fed)


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 a wide variety of scientific disciplines, including the environmental sciences,  the interpretation of astronomical spectra, the study of objects of cultural heritage, and many others.


Figure 1: The Beamline for Materials Measurement (BMM, 06-BM) at the National Synchrotron Light Source II. BMM is NIST's beamline for X-ray Absorption Spectroscopy and X-ray Diffraction and will begin operations in late 2017.

Figure 2: Screenshots of software for XAS data processing and analysis written by Bruce Ravel. On the left is Athena, a program for reducing and processing measured XAS data.  In the middle is Artemis, a program for quantitative analysis of the Extended X-ray Absorption Fine Structure (EXAFS).  on the right is Hephaestus, a periodic table for X-ray Absorption spectroscopist.  This software is used by scientists worldwide and is cited in the scientific literature over 500 times per year.

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.

Professional Service

  • Member of the IUCr Commission on XAFS, 2014-2023
  • Chair of the spectroscopy Proposal Review Panel for NSLS-II.  Member of proposal review panels for synchrotron facilities worldwide, including the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Laboratory (SSRL) and the Cornell High Energy Synchrotron Source (CHESS), SPring-8 in Japan, Elettra in Italy, the Canadian Light Source, and SESAME in Jordan.

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).

Real-space multiple-scattering calculation and interpretation of X-ray-absorption near-edge structure, Physical Review B 58, 7565–7576 (1998)

Selected Publications


Observation of a promethium complex in solution

Bruce D. Ravel, Darren Driscoll, Frankie White, SUBHAMAY PRAMANIK, Jeffrey Einkauf, Dmytro Bykov, Santanu Roy, Richard Mayes, Laetitia Delmau, Samantha Schrell, Thomas Dyke, April Miller, Matt Silveira, Silveira2 van Cleve, Roy Copping, Sandra Davern, Santa Jansone-Popova, Ilja Popovs, Alexander Ivanov
Lanthanide rare earth metals are ubiquitous in modern technologies, but we know little about chemistry of the 61st element, promethium (Pm), a lanthanide which

Emission Ghost Imaging: reconstruction with data augmentation

Kevin J. Coakley, Heather H. Chen-Mayer, Bruce D. Ravel, Daniel Josell, Nikolai Klimov, Sarah Robinson, Daniel S. Hussey
Ghost Imaging enables 2D reconstruction of an object even though particles transmitted or emitted by the object of interest are detected with a single pixel

Flexible formulation of value for experiment interpretation and design

Matthew Carbone, Hyeong Jin Kim, Chandima Fernando, Shinjae Yoo, Daniel Olds, Howie Joress, Brian DeCost, Bruce D. Ravel, Yugang Zhang, Phillip Michael Maffettone
The challenge of optimal design of experiments pervades materials science, physics, chemistry, and biology. Bayesian optimization has been used to address this
Created October 9, 2019, Updated December 8, 2022