Materials Scientist
Materials Scientist


Dr. Thevuthasen is a materials scientist with the Biogeochemical Transformations team in PNNL’s Environmental Molecular Sciences Division and the Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory (EMSL) user program. His research has focused on surface structures of pure and adsorbate-covered single crystal surfaces, thin-film and interfacial characterizations using X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy/diffraction, photoelectron holography, and high-energy ion beam techniques. He has contributed to the understanding of nanomaterials' synthesis and characterization, ionic transport processes in single and multilayer oxide thin-film electrolytes, growth and characterization of oxide thin films, and the understanding of radiation effects in ceramics and oxides. Much of his recent work has focused on developing battery material, nanoparticles, and other nanostructured materials.

He has held several group leadership positions with responsibilities for developing staff and instrumental capabilities at EMSL. He was one of the initial EMSL staff members and helped design EMSL capabilities. He is now working with other researchers at PNNL to design a next generation laboratory for catalysis and energy materials research. Google Scholar reports that he has over 300 research publications and more than 12,000 citations. He was recognized as an American Vacuum Society Fellow in 2010 and AVS Recognition for Mentorship Excellence in 2020.

Research Interest

  • Surface structures of pure and adsorbate-covered single crystal surfaces 

  • Thin-film and interfacial characterizations using laboratory and light source X-ray based capabilities 

  • Material modification and analysis using high-energy ion beams  


  • PhD in Physics (Surface Science), University of Maine, 1989  

  • MS in Energy Technology, Asian Institute of Technology, 1984 

  • BS in Physics (honors), University of Peredeniya, 1981 

Affiliations and Professional Service

  • American Vacuum Society 

Awards and Recognitions

  • Recognition for Excellence in Mentorship, for outstanding activities mentoring our next generation scientists and engineers in addition to being a leading researcher, AVS (2020) 

  • Fellow, recognized for sustained and outstanding technical contributions in areas of interest to AVS, AVS (2010) 

  • Fitzner-Eberhardt Award, honored for making significant contributions to science and engineering education (2010) 

  • Several Outstanding Performance Awards, PNNL  

  • Chester L. Cooper Mentor of the Year Award, celebrated for mentoring postdoctoral research associates and students (2002) 


  • J. Liu, Karel Domansky, Xiahong Li, Nathan Kohler, Glen Fryxell, S. Thevuthasan, and S. Baskaran. “Low Dielectric Constant Mesoporous Silica Films using Small Polyoxyethylene Ether Surfactants, Co-Surfactant, and Spin Coating Technology.” U.S. Patent US6329017B1 



  • Kautz E.J., B. Gwalani, S.M. Lambeets, L. Kovarik, D.K. Schreiber, D.E. Perea, and D.J. Senor, et al. 2020. "Rapid assessment of structural and compositional changes during early stages of zirconium alloy oxidation." npj Materials Degradation 4. PNNL-SA-150333. doi:10.1038/s41529-020-00133-6 

  • Manandhar S., A.K. Battu, A. Devaraj, V. Shutthanandan, S. Thevuthasan, and C.V. Ramana. 2020. "Rapid Response High Temperature Oxygen Sensor Based on Titanium Doped Gallium Oxide." Scientific Reports 10, no. 1:Article No. 178. PNNL-SA-134484. doi:10.1038/s41598-019-54136-8 


  • Kuchibhatla S.V., A.S. Karakoti, A.E. Vasdekis, C.F. Windisch, S. Seal, S. Thevuthasan, and D.R. Baer. 2019. "An unexpected phase transformation of ceria nanoparticles in aqueous media." Journal of Materials Research 34, no. 3:465-473. PNNL-SA-137435. doi:10.1557/jmr.2018.490 

  • Shutthanandan V., M.I. Nandasiri, J. Zheng, M.H. Engelhard, W. Xu, S. Thevuthasan, and V. Murugesan. 2019. "Applications of XPS in the Characterization of Battery Materials." Journal of Electron Spectroscopy and Related Phenomena 231. PNNL-SA-134570. doi:10.1016/j.elspec.2018.05.005 

  • Murugesan V., M.J. Gray, M.F. Guo, H.M. Job, L. Kovarik, A. Devaraj, and S. Thevuthasan, et al. 2019. "Thermally Activated Nucleation and Growth of Cobalt and Nickel Oxide Nanoparticles on Porous Silica." Journal of Vacuum Science and Technology A--Vacuum, Surfaces and Films 37, no. 3:Article No. 031101. doi:10.1116/1.5080448 


  • Devaraj A., D.E. Perea, J. Liu, L.M. Gordon, T.J. Prosa, P.A. Parikh, and D.R. Diercks, et al. 2018. "Three-dimensional nanoscale characterisation of materials by atom probe tomography." International Materials Reviews 63, no. 2:68-101. PNNL-SA-117399. doi:10.1080/09506608.2016.1270728 

  • Flynn B.T., R.P. Oleksak, S. Thevuthasan, and G.S. Herman. 2018. "Interfacial Chemistry-Induced Modulation of Schottky Barrier Heights: In Situ Measurements of the Pt-Amorphous Indium Gallium Zinc Oxide Interface Using X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy." ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces 10, no. 4:4333-4340. PNNL-SA-131051. doi:10.1021/acsami.7b18674 

  • Karakoti A.S., P. Yang, W. Wang, V. Patel, A.I. Martinez, V. Shutthanandan, and S. Seal, et al. 2018. "Investigation of the Ligand-Nanoparticle Interface: A Cryogenic Approach for Preserving Surface Chemistry." Journal of Physical Chemistry C 122, no. 6:3582-3590. PNNL-SA-131439. doi:10.1021/acs.jpcc.7b09930 

  • Roy S., B. Mallesham, V. Zade, A.I. Martinez, V. Shutthanandan, S. Thevuthasan, and C. Ramana. 2018. "Correlation between Structure, Chemistry, and Dielectric Properties of Iron-Doped Gallium Oxide (Ga2-xFexO3)." Journal of Physical Chemistry C 122, no. 48:27597-27607. PNNL-SA-139749. doi:10.1021/acs.jpcc.8b07921 


  • Murugesan V., M.J. Gray, M.F. Guo, H.M. Job, A. Devaraj, C.J. Szymanski, and S. Thevuthasan, et al. 2017. "Thermal Evaluation of Metal Oxides on Silica Supports." In North American Catalysis Society Meeting, June 4-9, 2017, Denver, CO, Paper No. P-T-BRM-44. PNNL-SA-122369. 

  • Nandasiri M.I., L.E. Camacho-Forero, A.M. Schwarz, V. Shutthanandan, S. Thevuthasan, P.B. Balbuena, and K.T. Mueller, et al. 2017. "In-situ chemical imaging of Solid-Electrolyte Interphase layer evolution in Li-S batteries." Chemistry of Materials 29, no. 11:4728-4737. PNNL-SA-123618. doi:10.1021/acs.chemmater.7b00374 

  • Shutthanandan V., S. Choudhury, S. Manandhar, T.C. Kaspar, C.M. Wang, A. Devaraj, and B.D. Wirth, et al. 2017. "Radiation Tolerant Interfaces: Influence of Local Stoichiometry at the Misfit Dislocation on Radiation Damage Resistance of Metal/Oxide Interfaces." Advanced Materials Interfaces 4, no. 14:Article No. 1700037. PNNL-SA-107725. doi:10.1002/admi.201700037 

  • Stoerzinger K.A., R.B. Comes, S.R. Spurgeon, S. Thevuthasan, K. Ihm, E.J. Crumlin, and S.A. Chambers. 2017. "Influence of LaFeO3 surface termination on water reactivity." The Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters 8, no. 5:1038-1043. PNNL-SA-123478. doi:10.1021/acs.jpclett.7b00195 

  • Wang Z., Y. Zhang, B. Liu, K. Wu, S. Thevuthasan, D.R. Baer, and Z. Zhu, et al. 2017. "In Situ Mass Spectrometric Monitoring Of The Dynamic Electrochemical Process At The Electrode-Electrolyte Interface: A SIMS Approach." Analytical Chemistry 89, no. 1:960-965. PNNL-SA-122793. doi:10.1021/acs.analchem.6b04189 


  • Fahey A.J., D.E. Perea, J. Bartrand, B.W. Arey, and S. Thevuthasan. 2016. "Uranium Isotopic Ratio Measurements of U3O8 Reference Materials by Atom Probe Tomography." Journal of Environmental Radioactivity 153. PNNL-SA-104478. doi:10.1016/j.jenvrad.2015.12.018 

  • Perea D.E., J. Liu, J. Bartrand, Q.G. Dicken, S. Thevuthasan, N.D. Browning, and J.E. Evans. 2016. "Atom Probe Tomographic Mapping Directly Reveals the Atomic Distribution of Phosphorus in Resin Embedded Ferritin." Scientific Reports 6. PNNL-SA-112512. doi:10.1038/srep22321 

  • Sanghavi S.P., W. Wang, M.I. Nandasiri, A.S. Karakoti, W. Wang, P. Yang, and S. Thevuthasan. 2016. "Investigation of trimethylacetic acid adsorption on stoichiometric and oxygen-deficient CeO2(111) surfaces." Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics. PCCP 18, no. 23:15625-15631. PNNL-SA-99758. doi:10.1039/c6cp00855k 

  • W Wang, S Thevuthasan, W Wang, P Yang, 2016, “Theoretical Study of Trimethylacetic Acid Adsorption on CeO2 (111) Surface.” The Journal of Physical Chemistry C 120 (5), 2655-2666. 


  • Devaraj A., M. Gu, R.J. Colby, P. Yan, C.M. Wang, J. Zheng, and J. Xiao, et al. 2015. "Visualizing Nanoscale 3D Compositional Fluctuation of Lithium in Advanced Lithium-Ion Battery Cathodes." Nature Communications 6. PNNL-SA-111262. doi:10.1038/ncomms9014 

  • Flynn B.T., H. Zhang, V. Shutthanandan, T. Varga, R.J. Colby, R.P. Oleksak, and S. Manandhar, et al. 2015. "Growth and Surface Modification of LaFeO3 Thin Films Induced By Reductive Annealing." Applied Surface Science 330. PNNL-SA-107796. doi:10.1016/j.apsusc.2015.01.028 

  • Kulkarni G.R., M.I. Nandasiri, A. Zelenyuk, J. Beranek, N. Madaan, A. Devaraj, and V. Shutthanandan, et al. 2015. "Effects Of Crystallographic Properties On The Ice Nucleation Properties Of Volcanic Ash Particles." Geophysical Research Letters 42, no. 8:3048-3055. PNNL-SA-109130. doi:10.1002/2015GL063270 

  • Madaan N., J. Bao, M.I. Nandasiri, Z. Xu, S. Thevuthasan, and A. Devaraj. 2015. "Impact of Dynamic Specimen Shape Evolution on the Atom Probe Tomography Results of Doped Epitaxial Oxide Multilayers: Comparison of Experiment and Simulation." Applied Physics Letters 107, no. 9:Article No. 091601. PNNL-SA-109596. doi:10.1063/1.4929705 

  • Nandasiri M.I., V. Shutthanandan, S. Manandhar, A.M. Schwarz, L.S. Oxenford, J.V. Kennedy, and S. Thevuthasan, et al. 2015. "Instability of Hydrogenated TiO2." Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters 6, no. 22:4627-4632. PNNL-SA-113514. doi:10.1021/acs.jpclett.5b02219 

  • Szymanski C.J., P. Munusamy, C. Mihai, Y. Xie, D. Hu, M.K. Gilles, and T. Tyliszczak, et al. 2015. "Shifts in oxidation states of cerium oxide nanoparticles detected inside intact hydrated cells and organelles." Biomaterials 62. PNNL-SA-110620. doi:10.1016/j.biomaterials.2015.05.042 

  • Thevuthasan S., and M.I. Nandasiri. 2015. "State-of-the-art Thin Film Electrolytes For Solid Oxide Fuel Cells." Thin Film Structures in Energy Applications. 167-214. Cham, :Springer International Publishing. PNNL-SA-106022. doi:10.1007/978-3-319-14774-1_6 

  • Vijayakumar M., N. Govind, B. Li, X. Wei, Z. Nie, S. Thevuthasan, and V.L. Sprenkle, et al. 2015. "Aqua-vanadyl ion interaction with Nafion membranes." Frontiers in Energy Research 3. PNNL-SA-108088. doi:10.3389/fenrg.2015.00010 

  • Wang Z., B. Liu, E. Zhao, K. Jin, Y. Du, J.J. Neeway, and J.V. Ryan, et al. 2015. "Argon Cluster Sputtering Source for ToF-SIMS Depth Profiling of Insulating Materials: High Sputter Rate and Accurate Interfacial Information." Journal of the American Society for Mass Spectrometry 26, no. 8:1283-1290. PNNL-SA-105691. doi:10.1007/s13361-015-1159-1 

  • Xu Z., D. Li, W. Xu, A. Devaraj, R.J. Colby, S. Thevuthasan, and B.P. Geiser, et al. 2015. "Simulation of Heterogeneous Atom Probe Tip Shape Evolution during Field Evaporation Using a Level Set Method and Different Evaporation Models." Computer Physics Communications 189. PNNL-SA-98577. doi:10.1016/j.cpc.2014.12.016