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PhD Physics, University of Washington
MS Physics, University of Washington
BS Physics, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Assistant Professor of Physics at Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT).

Research interests: Experimental physics, condensed matter physics, surface science, magnetism, x-ray science, and phase transitions.

Prof. Pierce received a B.S. in physics from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and his MS (2001) and Ph.D. (2006) from the University of Washington in Seattle. His dissertation, under Prof. Larry B. Sorensen, explored the influence of disorder in magnetic thin-films, and subsequently won the Henderson Prize from the University of Washington Department of Physics for outstanding Ph.D. thesis.

He came to Argonne National Laboratory as a postdoctoral fellow to study with Dr. Hoydoo You in the Materials Science Division. After completion of his post-doc study, he was hired at Argonne as an Assistant Physicist for 2 years before joining the physics faculty at Rochester Institute of Technology in 2011.

His principle work has involved the study of metal crystal and oxide surfaces, which act as model catalysts. This work has involved both in-situ electrochemical and gas phase experiments in addition to vacuum studies. Most recently, this work has resulted in the bringing together of two separate x-ray scattering techniques, coherent scattering and surface diffraction, to create a new tool for the study of surfaces. This tool, coherent surface diffraction, is capable of providing direct access to the surface microstate. First demonstrated on Au crystal surfaces in vacuum, this work has recently been applied to additional surfaces and electrochemical environments.

He has been an invited speaker at international conferences, such as the Gordon Research Conference on X-ray Science (2009) and the International Conference on Surface X-ray and Neutron Scattering (2010). His work has also been featured on the cover of Physical Review Letters : PRL 103, 165501 (2009)

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