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Energy and Environment Directorate

Steven Spurgeon

Steven Spurgeon

(509) 371-7709


Dr. Steven R. Spurgeon is a staff member in the Materials Characterization group of the Energy and Environment Directorate. He joined PNNL in 2015 and became a staff member in 2017. His research is focused on the structure, properties, and behavior of nanoscale materials systems for energy, next-generation electronics, and quantum computing. Dr. Spurgeon is an expert in the characterization of functional materials using scanning transmission electron microscopy, electron energy loss spectroscopy, and image simulations. His research employs complementary, multidimensional analysis techniques and theory calculations to generate deep insight into the behavior of complex materials systems.

Research Interests

  • Structure-property relationships in functional materials systems, including multiferroics, spintronics, oxides, alloys, and nanoparticles
  • Defect-mediated phenomena at interfaces and phase boundaries
  • Multiscale materials analysis combining correlative experiments with theory calculations
  • Development of advanced electron microscopy techniques to visualize nanoscale systems

Education and Credentials

  • Postdoctoral Research Fellow, PNNL - 2015-2017
  • Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering, Drexel University - 2009-2014
  • B.S. in Materials Science and Engineering, Carnegie Mellon University - 2005-2009

Affiliations and Professional Service

  • American Physical Society
  • Materials Research Society
  • Microscopy Society of America

Awards and Recognitions

  • Outstanding Performance Award, PNNL – 2018
  • Pathway to Excellence Award, PNNL – 2017
  • Postdoctoral Research Award, Microscopy Society of America – 2016
  • Gold Graduate Student Research Award, Materials Research Society – 2013
  • Presidential Student Award, Microscopy Society of America – 2013
  • National Defense Science & Engineering (NDSEG) Fellowship, Department of Defense – 2011-2014

PNNL Publications


  • Doty C., S. Gallagher, W. Cui, W. Chen, S. Bhushan, M.T. Oostrom, and S.M. Akers, et al. 2022. "Design of a Graphical User Interface for Few-Shot Machine Learning Classification of Electron Microscopy Data." Computational Materials Science 203. PNNL-SA-164356. doi:10.1016/j.commatsci.2021.111121
  • Kaspar T.C., P. Hatton, K.H. Yano, S.D. Taylor, S.R. Spurgeon, B.P. Uberuaga, and D.K. Schreiber. 2022. "Adatom-driven oxygen intermixing during the deposition of oxide thin films by molecular beam epitaxy." Nano Letters 22, no. 12:4963-4969. PNNL-SA-172523. doi:10.1021/acs.nanolett.2c01678
  • Liu F., T. Truttmann, D. Lee, B.E. Matthews, I. Laraib, A. Janotti, and S.R. Spurgeon, et al. 2022. "Hybrid Molecular Beam Epitaxy of Germanium-based Oxides." Communications Materials 3, no. 1:Art. No. 69. PNNL-SA-171432. doi:10.1038/s43246-022-00290-y
  • Olszta M.J., D.F. Hopkins, K.R. Fiedler, M.T. Oostrom, S.M. Akers, and S.R. Spurgeon. 2022. "An Automated Scanning Transmission Electron Microscope Guided by Sparse Data Analytics." Microscopy and Microanalysis 28, no. 5:1611 - 1621. PNNL-SA-166931. doi:10.1017/S1431927622012065
  • Thapa S., S. Provence, P.T. Gemperline, B.E. Matthews, S.R. Spurgeon, S. Battles, and S.M. Heald, et al. 2022. "Surface Stability of SrNbO3+d Grown by Hybrid Molecular Beam Epitaxy." APL Materials 10, no. 9:Art. No. 091112. PNNL-SA-177070. doi:10.1063/5.0097699


  • Akers S.M., E.J. Kautz, A. Trevino-Gavito, M.J. Olszta, B.E. Matthews, L. Wang, and Y. Du, et al. 2021. "Rapid and Flexible Segmentation of Electron Microscopy Data Using Few-Shot Machine Learning." npj Computational Materials 7. PNNL-SA-160786. doi:10.1038/s41524-021-00652-z
  • Bard A., X. Zhou, X. Xia, G. Zhu, M.B. Lim, S. Kim, and M.C. Johnson, et al. 2021. "Reply to Comment on “A Mechanistic Understanding of Nonclassical Crystal Growth in Hydrothermally Synthesized Sodium Yttrium Fluoride Nanowires”." Chemistry of Materials 33, no. 10:3862-3864. PNNL-SA-160782. doi:10.1021/acs.chemmater.0c04469
  • Blanchet M., J. Heath, T.C. Kaspar, B.E. Matthews, S.R. Spurgeon, M.E. Bowden, and S.M. Heald, et al. 2021. "Electronic and Structural Properties of Single-crystal Jahn-Teller Active Co1+xMn2-xO4 Thin Films." Journal of Physics: Condensed Matter 33, no. 12:124002. PNNL-SA-156954. doi:10.1088/1361-648X/abd573
  • Chrysler M., J. Gabel, T. Lee, A. Penn, B.E. Matthews, D.M. Kepaptsoglou, and Q. Ramasse, et al. 2021. "Tuning band alignment at a semiconductor-crystalline oxide heterojunction via electrostatic modulation of the interfacial dipole." Physical Review Materials 5, no. 10:104603. PNNL-SA-163062. doi:10.1103/PhysRevMaterials.5.104603
  • Kaspar T.C., S.D. Taylor, K.H. Yano, T.G. Lach, Y. Zhou, Z. Zhu, and A. Kohnert, et al. 2021. "Bulk and short-circuit anion diffusion in epitaxial Fe2O3 films quantified using buried isotopic tracer layers." Advanced Materials Interfaces 8, no. 9:2001768. PNNL-SA-155914. doi:10.1002/admi.202001768
  • Kaspar T.C., S.R. Spurgeon, B.E. Matthews, M.E. Bowden, S.M. Heald, L. Wang, and R. Kelley, et al. 2021. "Incorporation of Ti in epitaxial Fe2TiO4 thin films." Journal of Physics: Condensed Matter 33, no. 31:Article No. 314004. PNNL-SA-160885. doi:10.1088/1361-648X/ac0571
  • Matthews B.E., M. Sassi, C.M. Barr, C. Ophus, T.C. Kaspar, W. Jiang, and K. Hattar, et al. 2021. "Percolation of Ion-Irradiation-Induced Disorder in Complex Oxide Interfaces." Nano Letters 21, no. 12:5353-5359. PNNL-SA-161595. doi:10.1021/acs.nanolett.1c01651
  • Spurgeon S.R., C. Ophus, L. Jones, A.K. Petford-Long, S.V. Kalinin, M.J. Olszta, and R. Dunin-Borkowski, et al. 2021. "Towards Data-Driven Next-Generation Transmission Electron Microscopy." Nature Materials 20. PNNL-SA-152427. doi:10.1038/s41563-020-00833-z
  • Wang L., P.P. Adiga, J. Zhao, W.S. Samarakoon, K.A. Stoerzinger, S.R. Spurgeon, and B.E. Matthews, et al. 2021. "Understanding the Electronic Structure Evolution of Epitaxial LaNi1-xFexO3 Thin Films for Water Oxidation." Nano Letters 21, no. 19:8324-8331. PNNL-SA-163586. doi:10.1021/acs.nanolett.1c02901
  • Yu X., J. Yao, B.E. Matthews, S.R. Spurgeon, S.L. Riechers, G.J. Sevigny, and Z. Zhu, et al. 2021. "Evidence of lithium mobility under neutron irradiation." Journal of Materials Research and Technology 14. PNNL-SA-159010. doi:10.1016/j.jmrt.2021.06.066


  • Bard A., X. Zhou, X. Xia, G. Zhu, M.B. Lim, S. Kim, and M.C. Johnson, et al. 2020. "A Mechanistic Understanding of Nonclassical Crystal Growth in Hydrothermally Synthesized Sodium Yttrium Fluoride Nanowires." Chemistry of Materials 32, no. 7:2753-2763. PNNL-SA-147967. doi:10.1021/acs.chemmater.9b04076
  • Durnev M., M. Glazov, X. Linpeng, M. Viitaniemi, B.E. Matthews, S.R. Spurgeon, and P.V. Sushko, et al. 2020. "Microscopic model for the stacking-fault potential and the exciton wave function in GaAs." Physical Review B 101, no. 12:Article No. 125420. PNNL-SA-148814. doi:10.1103/PhysRevB.101.125420
  • Jiang W., S.R. Spurgeon, B.E. Matthews, A.K. Battu, S. China, T. Varga, and A. Devaraj, et al. 2020. "Carbonaceous deposits on aluminide coatings in tritium-producing assemblies." Nuclear Materials and Energy 25. PNNL-SA-153196. doi:10.1016/j.nme.2020.100797
  • Popel A., S.R. Spurgeon, B.E. Matthews, M.J. Olszta, B.T. Tan, T. Gouder, and R. Eloiridi, et al. 2020. "An Atomic-Scale Understanding of UO2 Surface Evolution During Anoxic Dissolution." ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces 12, no. 35:39781-39786. PNNL-SA-152605. doi:10.1021/acsami.0c09611
  • Scafetta M., T.C. Kaspar, M.E. Bowden, S.R. Spurgeon, B.E. Matthews, and S.A. Chambers. 2020. "Reversible Oxidation Quantified by Optical Properties in Epitaxial Fe2CrO4+d Films on (001) MgAl2O4." ACS Omega 5, no. 7:3240-3249. PNNL-SA-143728. doi:10.1021/acsomega.9b03299
  • Spurgeon S.R. 2020. "Order-Disorder Behavior at Thin Film Oxide Interfaces." Current Opinion in Solid State and Materials Science 24, no. 6:100870. PNNL-SA-154843. doi:10.1016/j.cossms.2020.100870
  • Spurgeon S.R., T.C. Kaspar, V. Shutthanandan, J. Gigax, L. Shao, and M. Sassi. 2020. "Asymmetric Lattice Disorder Induced at Oxide Interfaces." Advanced Materials Interfaces 7, no. 8:Article No. 1901944. PNNL-SA-148989. doi:10.1002/admi.201901944
  • Wang L., Z. Yang, M.E. Bowden, J.W. Freeland, P.V. Sushko, S.R. Spurgeon, and B.E. Matthews, et al. 2020. "Hole-Trapping-Induced Stabilization of Ni4+ in SrNiO3/ LaFeO3 Superlattices." Advanced Materials 32, no. 45:2005003. PNNL-SA-152538. doi:10.1002/adma.202005003


  • Kaspar T.C., C.L. Arendt, D.L. Neal, S.L. Riechers, C.E. Rutherford, A.L. Schemer-Kohrn, and S.R. Spurgeon, et al. 2019. "Characterization of surface layers formed on DU10Mo ingots after processing steps and high humidity exposure." Journal of Nuclear Materials 514. PNNL-SA-136846. doi:10.1016/j.jnucmat.2018.11.022
  • Kaspar T.C., P.V. Sushko, S.R. Spurgeon, M.E. Bowden, D.J. Keavney, R.B. Comes, and S. Saremi, et al. 2019. "Electronic structure and band alignment of LaMnO3 / SrTiO3 polar / non-polar heterojunctions." Advanced Materials Interfaces 6, no. 1:1801428. PNNL-SA-137669. doi:10.1002/admi.201801428
  • Sassi M., T.C. Kaspar, K.M. Rosso, and S.R. Spurgeon. 2019. "Effect of structure and composition on the electronic excitation induced amorphization of La2Ti2-xZrxO7 ceramics." Scientific Reports 9, no. 1:Article No. 8190. PNNL-SA-139722. doi:10.1038/s41598-019-44621-5
  • Scafetta M., Z. Yang, S.R. Spurgeon, M.E. Bowden, T.C. Kaspar, S.M. Heald, and S.A. Chambers. 2019. "Epitaxial growth and atomic arrangement in Fe2CrO4 on crystal symmetry matched (001) MgAl2O4." Journal of Vacuum Science & Technology A: International Journal Devoted to Vacuum, Surfaces, and Films 37, no. 3:Article number 031511. PNNL-SA-141354. doi:10.1116/1.5093537
  • Spurgeon S.R., M. Sassi, C. Ophus, J. Stubbs, E.S. Ilton, and E.C. Buck. 2019. "Nanoscale Oxygen Defect Gradients in UO2+x surfaces." Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) 116, no. 35:17181-17186. PNNL-SA-141717. doi:10.1073/pnas.1905056116


  • Chambers S.A., Y. Du, Z. Zhu, J. Wang, M.J. Wahila, L.J. Piper, and A. Prakash, et al. 2018. "Interconversion of intrinsic defects in SrTiO3(001)." Physical Review B 97, no. 24:245204. PNNL-SA-131613. doi:10.1103/PhysRevB.97.245204
  • Du Y., P.V. Sushko, S.R. Spurgeon, M.E. Bowden, J. Ablett, T. Lee, and N. Quackenbush, et al. 2018. "Layer-resolved band bending at the n-SrTiO3(001)/p-Ge(001) interface." Physical Review Materials 2, no. 9:094602. PNNL-SA-134900. doi:10.1103/PhysRevMaterials.2.094602
  • Gilbert D., A.J. Grutter, P. Murray, R.V. Chopdekar, A. Kane, A. Ionin, and M.S. Lee, et al. 2018. "Ionic Tuning of Cobaltites at the Nanoscale." Physical Review Materials 2, no. 10:Article No. 104402. PNNL-SA-126852. doi:10.1103/PhysRevMaterials.2.104402
  • Jiang W., S.R. Spurgeon, J. Liu, D.K. Schreiber, H. Jung, A. Devaraj, and D.J. Edwards, et al. 2018. "Precipitates and voids in cubic silicon carbide implanted with 25Mg+ ions." Journal of Nuclear Materials 498. PNNL-SA-124406. doi:10.1016/j.jnucmat.2017.10.046
  • Jiang W., S.R. Spurgeon, Z. Zhu, X. Yu, K. Kruska, T. Wang, and J.G. Gigax, et al. 2018. "Chemical imaging and diffusion of hydrogen and lithium in lithium aluminate." Journal of Nuclear Materials 511. PNNL-SA-134630. doi:10.1016/j.jnucmat.2018.08.057
  • Kaspar T.C., S. Hong, M.E. Bowden, T. Varga, P. Yan, C. Wang, and S.R. Spurgeon, et al. 2018. "Tuning piezoelectric properties through epitaxy of La2Ti2O7 and related thin films." Scientific Reports 8. PNNL-SA-128769. doi:10.1038/s41598-018-21009-5
  • Lin S., C. Kuo, R.B. Comes, J. Rault, J. Rueff, S. Nemsak, and A. Taleb, et al. 2018. "Interface properties and built-in potential profile of a LaCrO3/SrTiO3 superlattice determined by standing-wave excited photoemission spectroscopy." Physical Review B 98, no. 16:165124. PNNL-SA-131974. doi:10.1103/PhysRevB.98.165124
  • Spurgeon S.R., and S.A. Chambers. 2018. "Atomic-Scale Characterization of Oxide Interfaces and Superlattices Using Scanning Transmission Electron Microscopy." In Encyclopedia of Interfacial Chemistry: Surface Science and Electrochemistry, edited by K Wandelt. 38-48. PNNL-SA-124811. doi:10.1016/B978-0-12-409547-2.12877-X
  • Spurgeon S.R., P.V. Sushko, A. Devaraj, Y. Du, T.C. Droubay, and S.A. Chambers. 2018. "Onset of Phase Separation in the Double Perovskite Oxide La2MnNiO6." Physical Review B 97, no. 13:134110. PNNL-SA-123784. doi:10.1103/PhysRevB.97.134110
  • Stoerzinger K.A., Y. Du, S.R. Spurgeon, L. Wang, D.M. Kepaptsoglou, Q.M. Ramasse, and E.J. Crumlin, et al. 2018. "Chemical and Electronic Structure Analysis of a SrTiO3 (001) / p-Ge (001) Hydrogen Evolution Photocathode." MRS Communications 8, no. 2:446-452. PNNL-SA-131770. doi:10.1557/mrc.2018.38
  • Zhang K.H., G. Li, S.R. Spurgeon, L. Wang, P. Yan, Z. Wang, and M. Gu, et al. 2018. "Creation And Ordering Of Oxygen Vacancies At WO3-d And Perovskite Interfaces." Advanced Materials Interfaces 10, no. 20:17480-17486. PNNL-SA-110314. doi:10.1021/acsami.8b03278
  • Zhang K.L., G. Li, S.R. Spurgeon, L. Wang, P. Yan, Z. Wang, and M. Gu, et al. 2018. "Creation and Ordering of Oxygen Vacancies at WO3-d and Perovskite Interfaces." ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces 10, no. 20:17480-17486. PNNL-SA-132665. doi:10.1021/acsami.8b03278


  • Chambers S.A., Y. Du, R.B. Comes, S.R. Spurgeon, and P.V. Sushko. 2017. "The effects of core-level broadening in determining band alignment at the epitaxial SrTiO3(001)/p-Ge(001) heterojunction." Applied Physics Letters 110, no. 8:082104. PNNL-SA-123225. doi:10.1063/1.4977422
  • Comes R.B., D.E. Perea, and S.R. Spurgeon. 2017. "Heterogeneous Two-phase Pillars in Epitaxial NiFe2O4-LaFeO3 Nanocomposites." Advanced Materials Interfaces 4, no. 16:Article No. 1700396. PNNL-SA-124622. doi:10.1002/admi.201700396
  • Comes R.B., S.R. Spurgeon, D.M. Kepaptsoglou, M.H. Engelhard, D.E. Perea, T.C. Kaspar, and Q.M. Ramasse, et al. 2017. "Probing the Origin of Interfacial Carriers in SrTiO3-LaCrO3 Superlattices." Chemistry of Materials 29, no. 3:1147-1155. PNNL-SA-119292. doi:10.1021/acs.chemmater.6b04329
  • Du Y., C. Li, K.L. Zhang, M.E. McBriarty, S.R. Spurgeon, H.S. Mehta, and D. Wu, et al. 2017. "An all-perovskite p-n junction based on transparent conducting p-La1-xSrxCrO3 epitaxial layers." Applied Physics Letters 111, no. 6:063501. PNNL-SA-124623. doi:10.1063/1.4997410
  • Jiang W., S.R. Spurgeon, J. Liu, D.K. Schreiber, H. Jung, A. Devaraj, and D.J. Edwards, et al. 2017. "PRECIPITATES AND VOIDS IN CUBIC SILICON CARBIDE IMPLANTED WITH 25Mg+ IONS." In Fusion Materials Semiannual Progress Report For Period Ending December 31,2017, edited by FW Wiffen and S Melton. 73-74. Oak Ridge, Tennessee:OAK RIDGE NATIONAL LABORATORY. PNNL-SA-132445.
  • Kaspar T.C., J.G. Gigax, L. Shao, M.E. Bowden, T. Varga, V. Shutthanandan, and S.R. Spurgeon, et al. 2017. "Damage evolution of ion irradiated defected-fluorite La2Zr2O7 epitaxial thin films." Acta Materialia 130. PNNL-SA-121946. doi:10.1016/j.actamat.2017.01.012
  • Spurgeon S.R., P.V. Sushko, S.A. Chambers, and R.B. Comes. 2017. "Dynamic Interface Rearrangement in LaFeO3 / n-SrTiO3 Heterojunctions." Physical Review Materials 1, no. 6:063401. PNNL-SA-127972. doi:10.1103/PhysRevMaterials.1.063401
  • Spurgeon S.R., Y. Du, and S.A. Chambers. 2017. "Measurement Error in Atomic-Scale Scanning Transmission Electron Microscopy-Energy-Dispersive X-Ray Spectroscopy (STEM-EDS) Mapping of a Model Oxide Interface." Microscopy and Microanalysis 23, no. 3:513-517. PNNL-SA-119131. doi:10.1017/S1431927617000368
  • 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


  • Comes R.B., S.R. Spurgeon, S.M. Heald, D.M. Kepaptsoglou, L. Jones, P. Ong, and M.E. Bowden, et al. 2016. "Interface-Induced Polarization in SrTiO3-LaCrO3 Superlattices." Advanced Materials Interfaces 3, no. 6:Art. No. 1500779. PNNL-SA-111839. doi:10.1002/admi.201500779
  • Jiang W., S.R. Spurgeon, J. Liu, D.J. Edwards, D.K. Schreiber, C.H. Henager, and R.J. Kurtz, et al. 2016. "CHARACTERIZATION OF PRECIPITATES IN CUBIC SILICON CARBIDE IMPLANTED WITH 25Mg+ IONS." In In Fusion Materials Semianual Report for the Period Ending 06/30/2016, edited by Daniel Clark. 72-77. DOE/ER-0313/60. Oak Ridge, Tennessee:Oak Ridge National Laboratory. PNNL-SA-120391.
  • Kaspar T.C., D.K. Schreiber, S.R. Spurgeon, M.E. McBriarty, G.M. Carroll, D.R. Gamelin, and S.A. Chambers. 2016. "Built-in Potential in Fe2O3-Cr2O3 Superlattices for Improved Photoexcited Carrier Separation." Advanced Materials 28, no. 8:1616-1622. PNNL-SA-112959. doi:10.1002/adma.201504545
  • Li X., C.T. Ma, J. Lu, A. Devaraj, S.R. Spurgeon, R.B. Comes, and J.S. Poon. 2016. "Exchange bias and bistable magneto-resistance states in amorphous TbFeCo thin films." Applied Physics Letters 108. PNNL-SA-113796. doi:10.1063/1.4939240
  • Spurgeon S.R., Y. Du, T.C. Droubay, A. Devaraj, X. Sang, P. Longo, and P. Yan, et al. 2016. "Competing Pathways for Nucleation of the Double Perovskite Structure in the Epitaxial Synthesis of La2MnNiO6." Chemistry of Materials 28, no. 11:3814-3822. PNNL-SA-115671. doi:10.1021/acs.chemmater.6b00829

Energy and Environment

Core Research Areas