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Staff Members

  • Laxmikant (Lax) Saraf, Ph.D.

    Laxmikant Saraf, Director, Electron Microscope Laboratory, Clemson University, Clemson South CarolinaDirector
    Electron Microscopy Laboratory, Clemson University

    B.Sc. Physics, Mathematics, Electronics (1990)
    M.Sc. Physics, (1992)
    Ph.D. Applied Physics (Materials), (1999)

    Lax Saraf is currently managing and directing the Electron Microscopy Laboratory located at Clemson University. Lax is a materials scientist/physicist in the area of solid state (condense matter) physics with over 20 years of extensive research and development experience in the universities, national lab and industry related to synthesis of advanced materials, oxides/metals/semiconductors thin films. His research on specialized ceramic (oxides) materials was carried out for ferroelectric, microwave, optical, ion transport and superconducting applications. Over the past 11 years, Lax has managed multi-user Electron Microscopy, Thin Film Deposition and Micro-fabrication facilities at the US Department of Energy’s national scientific user facilities at Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory located at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL). Lax was appointed on user facility manager’s council to advice new lab safety implementation, user interactions and communicate strategy changes to managers.

    Research Expertise: Electron Microscopy, Fundamentals of Solid Oxide Fuel Cells, Analysis of Li-ion battery cathodes using electron microscopy, Semiconductor material development for Photovoltaics and Solar Cells, Application of Micro/nano-fabrication technology, Nanoscale interface effects in oxides & transport properties, Utilization of microscopic analysis techniques for advanced energy materials, High Frequency Microwave/Magnetic Materials, optical ceramics. 

    History: Ph.D. student at University of Pune (and also partially at University of Maryland), Visiting researcher -Corning Applied Technologies, Woburn, MA, 1997-1998. Post-doctoral Scientist at Department of Physics and Department of Materials Science at the University of Maryland, College Park, MD, 1999-2001. Research Scientist at PNNL, 2002-2003, Senior Research Scientist at PNNL, 2003-2012.

    Awards: R&D 100 Award, (top 100 innovations in the world) for the development of Graphene Nanostructures for Li-ion Batteries, 2012, Recognition: Graduate Students Mentorship - Summer Research Institute, 2004-2007, Exceptional Career Performance Award, 2006, Recognition: Dept. of Homeland Security mentor Fellowships, 2005 & 2006, Manager of the Year Award - EMSL, 2005, Recognition: Student Mentorship - Richland (WA) School District, 2004-2008, Outstanding Performance Award – EMSL, 2004, Nominated: PNNL Lab Director's Award for outstanding contribution in S&E education

    Reviewer: Several scientific articles reviewed for Journal of Electrochemical Society, Physical Review, American Vacuum Society, Materials research society, DOE Journal of Undergraduate Research and Journal of Applied Physics, Journal of Physics and Chemistry of Solids, J. Vacuum Science and Tech.

    Memberships: Materials Research Society (MRS). Microanalysis Society    

    Publications: Author/co-author of over 125 scientific journals, invention reports and book chapters.

    Professional Activities: Several national and international conference presentations as a speaker. Lecturer, (teaching) classes as a part of PNNL/Univ. of Washington/ Washington State Univ. nanomaterials synthesis and characterization courses. Supervised graduate students and junior faculty.

  • Haijun Qian, Ph.D.

    Research Associate
    Electron Microscopy Laboratory, Clemson University

    Haijun Qian has extensive background in Materials, Chemistry, and Engineering.  Qian got his Ph.D. degree in Materials Science & Engineering at Clemson University in 2008.  Prior to studying & researching in Clemson University, he got a Master of Science in Ocean Engineering (marine materials) at Florida Atlantic University in 2004. In addition, he has a Master of Engineering and Bachelor of Engineering in Metal Materials Engineering at Beijing University of Chemical Technology and Nanjing University of Technology, respectively.

    Haijun Qian’s research interest is focused on surface & interface, nano-materials characterization, and in situ transmission electron microscopy. Qian is a highly skilled electron microscopist with expertise in HRTEM/ TEM/ STEM. He has rich experiences in HRTEM skill and TEM sample preparation. Qian helped a lot of students /researchers to obtain their expected high quality HRTEM/STEM/SEM results for publication. He  has authored and/or co-authored a couple of research papers in high impact factor journals (e.g. Acta Materialia, Applied Physics Letters, Journal of Materials Chemistry, Langmuir, ACS nano, Advanced functional Materials)  since he started to use Hitachi microscope in 2006.
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  • Dayton Cash, MLT (ASCP)

    Dayton Cash, MLT(ASCP), Research Specialist II Electron Microscopy Laboratory Clemson University, Clemson South CarolinaResearch Specialist II
    Electron Microscopy Laboratory, Clemson University

    Education: Associate in Science, Medical Laboratory Technology (1989 – 1991)

    Dayton joined Electron Microscopy facility in 2001 as a research specialist. He has significant experience using electron microscopy and related analytical capabilities. Dayton is closely working with many researchers from the industry, faculty members and students at Clemson University to support them in their R&D activities. During his career at Clemson University, Dayton has trained many students and researchers using electron microscopy capabilities at the EM Lab. In addition to applying his skills, Dayton is handling all of the billing and related financial responsibilities (includes ordering lab supplies) at the EM Lab. In his current role, Dayton is constantly communicating with various EM Lab users to coordinate scheduling and billing activities.      

    Research Expertise: Electron Microscopy, Energy dispersive spectroscopy (EDS), Wavelength dispersive spectroscopy (WDS), Scanning Transmission Electron Microscopy (STEM, HD-2000). 

    History: Medical Laboratory Technician - Edgefield County Hospital (1991–1992), Medical Laboratory Technician - Beaufort Memorial hospital (1992-1993), Medical Laboratory Technician - Elbert Memorial Hospital (February 1993 – Present)

    Technical Skills: Research report preparation and presentations, Electron Microscope maintenance, Sample preparation processes (cutting, polishing, coating .. etc.), replacing SEM filaments  

    Outreach Activities: Official photographer for the Southeastern Microscopy Society (SEMS) and Public Relations officer and photographer for  Appalachian Regional Microscopy Society (AReMS)    

    Research Goals: To become expert in scanning electron microscopy and related chemical analysis methods.

    Professional Activities: Mentoring high school students, work on industrial projects, vendor visit coordination, generating outside invoices.

    Extracurricular Activities: Dayton is a certified medical professional qualified to provide emergency medical first-aid. He is regularly using his medical skills at Elbert Memorial Hospital to provide testing for patients in hematology, chemistry, blood bank, urology, serology, microbiology, and blood gases. Qualified to obtain blood from patients either in veins or arteries. Speaking of blood, Dayton says “My blood runneth orange! Go Tigers!!!!”

  • Donald Mulwee

    Donald Mulwee, Electron Microscope Laboratory, Clemson University, Clemson South CarolinaResearch Specialist
    Electron Microscopy Laboratory, Clemson University

    B.S. – Major: Biological Sciences (2002)
    Donald joined Electron Microscopy facility in 2006 as a Research Specialist. Donald has extensive experience working in electron microscopy of the biological samples. He is also closely working with faculty and students at Clemson University COMSET facility working in optical materials research to provide training and operate electron microscopes as well as related analytical capabilities. Over the past several years, Donald has been working with many industrial partners and academic researchers helping them to train and operate scanning electron microscopes and (120 kV) transmission electron microscope. In addition, Donald has developed his expertise in selective staining of biological samples and microtome (both at room temperature and cryo) sectioning of biological samples which is essential for certain types of organic samples.      

    Research Expertise: Electron Microscopy, Energy dispersive spectroscopy (EDX), Wavelength dispersive spectroscopy (WDS), Electron backscatter diffraction (EBSD), Transmission electron microscopy (TEM), Microtome sectioning (room temperature and cryo),  

    History: B.S. Berea College (1998-2002), Clemson University EM Lab (2007-util now)

    Technical Skills: Research report preparation and presentations, Electron Microscope maintenance, microscope filament replacement  

    Outreach Activities: Played mentoring role for high school student summer classes. Frequently arranged electron microscopy demonstration projects at various elementary and high schools to encourage electron microscopy research interests among the students. 

    Research Goals: To become expert in selective staining related to biological sample preparation techniques for electron microscopy analysis. To become expert in electron microscopy and related analysis techniques for optical materials.  

    Professional Activities: Providing EM Facility tours. Teaching and mentoring high school students.

    Extracurricular Activities: Over the past few years, Donald has been taking part in the running marathons organized at Greenville SC. These marathons are organized to raise awareness about various social causes.

  • George Wetzel

    Lab Specialist I
    Electron Microscopy Laboratory, Clemson University

    George Wetzel has been with the university electron microscopy facility since the end of 2011.  He graduated from Clemson University with a Bachelor’s degree in Genetics; however, his main focus is now in Materials Science.

    His areas of involvement include scanning electron microscopy (SEM), electron backscattered diffraction (EBSD), energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDX), wavelength dispersive spectroscopy (WDS), and focused ion beam (FIB).  He works with several major metallurgical corporations to offer grain size and orientation analyses of various alloys.

    Education:  Clemson University (2007-2011), Dept. of Genetics & Biochemistry.

    Memberships:  George is a member of the Microscopy Society of America (MSA)