Office of Science
Photo of Don Baer

Don Baer

Laboratory Fellow, WR Wiley Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory, Chief Scientist for Scientific Programs

P.O. Box 999, K8-91
Richland, WA 99352
Work: (509) 371-6245 Fax: (509) 371-6445 Updated: September 12, 2011

Dual Assignment

WR Wiley Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory / Interfacial & Nanoscale Science Facility

Current Activities and Projects

Don Baer, EMSL's Lead Scientist for Interfacial Chemistry, is internationally known for the application of surface analysis methods to examine corrosion processes and the reactive properties of oxide and mineral surfaces. Since joining PNNL, he has specialized in the use of surface sensitive techniques to study surface and interphase reactions and material surface chemistry. Experienced in using Auger electron spectroscopy, x-ray and ultraviolet photoelectron spectroscopy, secondary ion mass spectrometry, Rutherford backscattering spectroscopy, nuclear reaction analysis, and particle induced x-ray emission, recent research also involves atomic force to examine and create nanoscale features on surfaces. His interest in nano-science and nanotechnology extends to the characterization and reactivity and of nanoparticles and encouraging interactions between PNNL and other northwest research organizations. Some specific examples of research currently undertaken by Dr. Baer include:

  • Surface Structure and Chemistry of Carbonates
  • Reactivity of defects on TiO2 (110) surface

Research Interests

  • Solid/solution interface
  • Oxide and mineral surfaces
  • Corrosion and stress corrosion
  • Material-environment interactions
  • Surface and interface analysis methods
  • Scanning probe methods

Past Experience

A major portion of Dr. Baer's published research can be grouped thematically around corrosion and stress corrosion, oxide and mineral surfaces, nanoscience and advancement of surface characterization methods. A common theme of the corrosion, oxide and nanoparticle studies is achieving an understanding of the influence of surface impurities on the behavior of different materials ranging from the corrosion of metal alloys to the dissolution of calcium carbonate. His interest in the development of improved methods to characterize surfaces has led to his participation in national and international committees for the establishment of new methods and standards for surface analysis. Dr. Baer was also part of the team responsible for developing the research program and equipment for the EMSL built at PNNL by DOE. In addition to leading research programs he has served as deputy manager of PNNL's Nanoscience and Nanotechnology Initiative, Co-Director of the Joint Institute for Nanoscience Involving PNNL and the University of Washington and as the PNNL coordinator for a series of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology Courses offered at PNNL. Some specific examples of research with which Dr. Baer has been involved in the past include:

  • Low temperature physics - electron transport properties and quantum crystals
  • Plasma - Wall Interactions


Awards, Honors, & Appointments

  • Adjunct Professor of Physics, Washington State University
  • Chair of ISO TC 201 SC5 Auger electron spectroscopy
  • Vice Chair Applied Surface Science Division of American Vacuum Society
  • 2nd Vice Chair of ASTM Committee E42 on Surface Analysis
  • UK Surface Analysis Forum John Rivière Award 2011
  • UK Surface Analysis Forum, AVS Albert Nerken Award 2009
  • AAAS Fellow 2008
  • Chester Cooper Mentor of the Year Award, 2003

EMSL Publications >View All EMSL Publications