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Steve Heald

Group Leader
X-ray Science Division

Argonne National Laboratory
9700 S. Cass Ave
Building 435-E002

(630) 252-9795 • 630 456-1742 • email


I have been active in synchrotron radiation research since 1976. In my early work I made extensive contributions to the development of the modern practice of XAFS working as a post-doc under Prof. Ed Stern. From 1979-1993 I worked in the Materials Science department at Brookhaven National Lab where I designed and built beamline X-11A at the NSLS. My research there concentrated on applications of XAFS to surfaces and interfaces, and on high Tc superconductors. Since 1993 I have been at the APS first working for PNNL as manager of the PNC-CAT beamlines at Sector 20, and since 2006 working for Argonne as group leader for the Spectroscopy group which now oversees the sector 20 beamlines and 9-BM. Research during this period has concentrated on x-ray microprobe and XAFS studies of environmental systems, and thin films of potential use in spintronics applications.

Selected Publications

I have co-authored over 200 refereed publications, 8 book chapters, and was the lead editor for the proceedings of the 10th international conference on XAFS, 1999, and the proceedings of the 16th Pan-American Synchrotron Radiation Instrumentation in 2010.

Research Interests

My main research concentrates on applications of XAFS to materials and environmental science. Specifically to thin films and interfaces, and environmental issues related to clean up of DOE sites. Most recently this has been work on spintronics materials (oxides doped with magnetic atoms), and XAFS of U and Tc in various environmental systems. I am also interested in x-ray optics and synchrotron techniques in general, especially those that can expand the application of XAFS such as high resolution detectors.


University of Washington, Seattle WA– B. S. Physics, 1972

University of Illinois, Urbana IL– M. S. Physics, 1973

University of Illinois, Urbana IL– Ph. D. Physics, 1976;                            

Thesis: Thermal Vacancies in Solid 3He

Thesis Advisor: Prof. R. O. Simmons


University of Washington, Seattle WA, Research Associate, 1976–1979.

Brookhaven National Laboratory, Upton NY, Assistant Physicist, 1979–1981, Associate Physicist, 1981–1983, Physicist, 1983–1993, received tenure 1993.

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland WA, Staff Scientist V, 1993-2006.

Argonne National Laboratory, Argonne IL, Senior Physicist/Group Leader, 2006-present