Ward L. Johnson
1994 - present, Physicist, Applied Chemicals and Materials Division, MML, NIST, Boulder, CO
1987 - 1994, Physicist, Metallurgy Division, MML, NIST, Gaithersburg, MD
Ph.D., Physics, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, 1987
B. S., Physics, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, 1978
Ward Johnson is a physicist with a background in innovative acoustic metrology and the effects of nanoscale dynamics and material structure on macroscopic vibration. He is a graduate of the Physics Department of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, with a PhD thesis focused on anelastic effects of radiation-induced point defects in semiconductors. In 1987, he joined the Metallurgy Division of NIST in Gaithersburg and, in 1994, transferred to the former Materials Reliability Division of NIST in Boulder, which is now part of the Applied Chemicals and Materials Division. His work at NIST has included the development and application of methods for characterizing mechanical properties of macroscopic, microscopic, and nanoscale materials using resonant acoustics, pulsed-laser ultrasonics, and Brillouin light scattering.
Current research pursuits include the development of methods for characterizing mechanical fluctuations of bacteria and the effects of chemicals on these fluctuations through measurements of phase noise of resonant crystals on which the bacteria are adhered. The primary objective of this work is to establish a biophysical approach for sensing the efficacy of antibiotics and, thus, to enable more rapid and effective treatment of infections in clinical environments. Other on-going research is focused on innovative piezoelectric crystals for high-temperature sensing applications, development of nondestructive resonant acoustic techniques for sensing cracks in multi-layer ceramic capacitors (MLCCs), and development of methods for thermogravimetric analysis of material coatings and nanoparticles through the use of high-temperature resonant crystal microbalances.
Additional information on current research:
NIST Newsletter article: New NIST Method May Find Elusive Flaws in Medical Implants and Spacecraft