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Senior Scientist

Palatine, IL
June 06, 2018

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Tad A. Daniel Ph.D.


Highly skilled Chemist and Material Scientist

Qualifications Summary

A Materials Chemist with 15 years of experience in scientific research.

Experience managing lab personnel and training scientists with advanced scientific equipment.

15+ years experience in advanced imaging instrumentation.

Effective communicator – ability to explain complex processes in easy-to-understand terms for end users.

Proven ability to create and deliver solutions that meet objectives tied to business and technology standards while working with a wide range of product platforms and in a fast-paced environment.

Strong understanding of a large variety of analytical instruments – able to explain what they do, how they do it, and what information they can and cannot provide.

Professional Experience

Senior Scientist

2015-Jan 2018

Applied Thin Film, Inc (ATFI)

Skokie, Il

ATFI is an advanced materials company specializing in molecularly designed thin films and ceramics. Primarily focused on innovative surface treatments and materials for applications at very high temperatures and harsh environments.

Led fundamental research on thin films and coatings including the redesign of sample preparation equipment to tailor specific coating applications

Managed a materials analysis lab focusing on surface characterization techniques

Led the material characterization for the development of a novel coating technology for protecting high temperature aircraft engine parts from heat (CMCs and TBCs) and molten sand (EBCs)

Research Specialist – Electron Microscopy


The University of Illinois at Chicago, Research Resources Center (RRC), Electron Microscopy Service

The RRC is a fully-staffed, user research facility at the University of Illinois at Chicago that offers researchers access to a wide range of state-of-the-art Electron Microscopes and surface analysis techniques.

Provided training and technical support for probe corrected S/TEM, conventional TEM, and XPS

Provided analytical and consultation services for TEM and surface analysis for a wide variety of applications

Managed an EM sample preparation laboratory

Provided front-line maintenance and troubleshooting for all EM and sample prep instruments

Scientific Liaison


NanoInk Inc., NanoProfessor Division

Skokie, Il

NanoInk primary focus was on Dip Pen Nanolithography. Whether metallic nanoparticles or biologic agents such as DNA and lipids, NanoInk's proprietary technology enabled dynamic nanoscale patterning on different types of substrates for a variety of industries including pharma, biotech, energy, and defense.

Performed fundamental research on soft-nanolithography and applied instrument method research

Managed nano-fabrication and analysis lab including 4 lab technicians

Provided training to customers in advanced surface characterization and nanolithography equipment and analysis

Designed nano-educational laboratory courses including curriculum, instrumentation, and class material

Educated international teachers and students about nanoscience and nanotechnology as part of the Global Education Program

Partnered with Global sales and marketing teams as key technical support at meetings in Asia and South America

Presented technical symposiums at international scientific conferences

Faculty Research Associate


The Pennsylvania State University, Materials Characterization Laboratory (MCL) – Surface Analysis and Molecular Spectroscopy Group

MCL is a fully-staffed, user research facility at Penn State's Materials Research Institute that offers researchers access to a wide-range of state-of-the-art analytical instrumentation and services. MCL operates primarily as a user facility focusing on graduate student participation, education, and training of related equipment and software.

Primary responsibilities: Oversaw the operation, maintenance, and user training of the scanning probe and surface analysis facilities owned by the MCL; focusing on Scanning Electron Microscopy (4 instruments), Atomic Force Microscopy (5 instruments), X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy, and Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy.

Secondary responsibilities:

-Expanded the imaging and surface analysis capabilities of the facility

-Managed research and experiments for non-trained users or organizations

-Primary safety officer

-Performed independent research for both public and private organizations

-Coordinated and expanded the capabilities of the lab at Pennsylvania State University

Post Doctoral Researcher


The Pennsylvania State University, Center for Nanoscale Science

Redesigned an Ultrahigh Vacuum Atomic Force Microscope system:

Customized and replaced the control electronics and redesigned the optical detection scheme of the AFM system for use in Non-Contact and Kelvin Probe Force Microscopy.

Investigated the mechanisms utilized in ‘molecular ruler’ films for nanolithography applications:

Involved a systematic and detailed analysis of the chemical growth mechanisms and molecular structure of multilayered thin film systems. The results of this study enabled an increase in the precision and reproducibility of nanometer scale gaps for use in molecular electronic devices.

Graduate Research Assistant


The Pennsylvania State University, Department of Chemistry

Research focused on optimizing self-assembly conditions for a variety of molecular electronic candidate molecules and device constructions. The structural and chemical properties of their nano-assemblies were determined using the analytical techniques listed below. Projects included the self-assembly of aromatic and alkyl molecules with different surface binding groups: -SH, -NC, and CO2H on metal substrates utilizing a variety of top metal contact techniques utilizing: vapor deposition, nanoparticles, and nanometer fabricated spacings. Emphasis was maintained on creating viable molecular electronic devices and applying multiple measuring techniques to the device to determine their viability.

Analytical Areas of Expertise

-Scanning Electron Microscopy (FE, VP, EDS)

-Focused Ion Beam

-Atomic Force Microscopy

-X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy

-Fourier Transformation Infrared Spectroscopy

-Transmission Electron Microscopy

-Optical Profilometry


-Fluorescent and Optical Microscopy

-Particle Analysis (DLS)

-Physical/Chemical Vapor Deposition

-Ultra High Vacuum environments

-Class 10 Clean Room environments



The Pennsylvania State University

Ph.D., Chemistry, August 2005 Advisor: Professor David L. Allara

Thesis Title: Investigation and Characterization of the Nature of the Electrical Contacts in Molecular Electronic Device Constructions

Mercer University

B.S.E. Biomedical Engineering, 2nd Major in Chemistry, and a minor in Mathematics, May 1999

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