Office of Science
Photo of Daniel Perea

Daniel Perea, Ph.D.

Senior Research Scientist, WR Wiley Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory

P.O. Box 999, K8-93
Richland, WA 99352
Work: (509) 371-6235 Fax: () Updated: February 25, 2013

Current Activities and Projects

Dr. Perea’s research interests and expertise lie in using atom probe tomography (APT) analysis to map the 3D atomic scale composition of materials. He is currently involved in pioneering the use of atom probe tomography to probe the composition and structure of biological organic materials. In addition, Dr. Perea has ongoing collaborative projects involving inorganic biominerals, geological minerals, catalysts, and complex oxides.

Research Interests

Dr. Perea has a strong background in the synthesis and characterization of semiconductor nanowires used for high performance tunnel field effect transistors, as well as advanced solar, battery, and thermoelectric applications. Using a combination of APT, HR-(S)TEM, and electronic transport measurements, he is interested in a correlative approach to uncover the fundamental aspects of the vapor-liquid-solid (VLS) growth technique to understand the limits of impurity incorporation (both intentional and unintentional) and heterojunction formation.
Dr. Perea is also interested in finding new applications of APT analysis to study the 3D atomic-scale composition of materials traditionally not studied before using this technique. This includes the use of APT to study biological organic materials such as proteins and intra- and extracellular structures to better understand the complex chemical language cells and microbes use to communicate and perform fundamental functions relevant to energy and the environment. This pioneering work involves the development of a cryo-based sample preparation technique compatible with APT analysis.
Another area where Dr. Perea is pushing the limits of APT analysis is to study, in collaboration, the chemical reaction of supercritical CO2 with geological minerals (olivines) to form complex secondary phases used for atmospheric carbon sequestration applications. In addition, Dr. Perea is also building expertise in the APT analysis of biominerals to understand both the structure and composition of buried organic/inorganic interfaces, as well as porous catalyst materials.

Past Experience

Prior to joining EMSL as a staff research scientist, Dr. Perea completed a postdoctoral appointment at Los Alamos National Laboratory as a Director’s Fellow. He worked under the mentorship of Dr. Tom Picraux (Chief Scientist, CINT) where he focused on fundamental growth studies of semiconductor nanowires and pioneered a method to control heterojunction abruptness in situ using a catalyst alloy. Prior to his time as a postdoc, Dr. Perea completed his doctorate in Materials Science and Engineering at Northwestern University under Prof. Lincoln Lauhon. Dr. Perea’s primary focus was the development of the use of APT to understand in situ dopant incorporation via the VLS nanowire growth technique. Dr. Perea earned his B.S. in Chemistry from the University of California at Riverside and also worked in the laboratory of Prof. Robert Haddon, where he conducted research on the synthesis and applications of single-walled carbon nanotubes. The time between his B.S. and Ph.D. , Dr. Perea worked for Carbon Solutions, Inc. – a small startup company focused on the sales and applications of carbon nanotubes.


Transfer, Chemistry, Chaffey Community College, 2000
B.S. Chemistry, University of California at Riverside (Mentor: Prof. R. Haddon), 2003
Ph.D. Materials Science and Engineering, Northwestern University (Mentor: Prof. L. Lauhon), 2009
Postdoctoral, Los Alamos National Laboratory (Mentor: Dr. S.T. Picraux), 2011

Awards, Honors, & Appointments

  • Symposium Organizer, American Vacuum Society, 2013

  • Scientist and Engineer Development Program; PNNL (2012-2014)

  • APT Workshop Organizer, PNNL (2012)

  • Proposal Review Committee, Center for Functional Nanomaterials, BNL (2011-current)

  • Honorable Mention Poster Award; Los Alamos Postdoc Research Day (June 2011)

  • Peer Poster Award; Los Alamos Postdoc Research Day (June 2011)

  • Outstanding Poster Award; Los Alamos Postdoc Research Day (June 2010)

  • Director’s Postdoctoral Fellowship Award, Los Alamos National Laboratory (November 2009 – November 2011)

  • Ford Diversity Graduate Fellowship Award (Sept. 2006 – June 2009)

  • 3M Graduate Fellowship (2005)

  • Honorable Mention – Ford Diversity Graduate Fellowship (2004)

  • Honorable Mention – National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship (2004)

  • Golden Key Honors Society (2002)

  • JPLUS scholarship – Jet Propulsion Laboratory/California Institute of Technology (2000)

  • Outstanding Chemistry Student of the Year – Chaffey College (2000)
  • EMSL Publications >View All EMSL Publications