Skip to main content

Linford Research Group

The Linford Research Group works in chemical analysis and characterization.

Matthew Linford | BYU Chemistry Dept. Faculty

Click here to listen to Dr. Linford discuss his research on BYU Radio.

Linford researchers work in three connected areas.

Material creation, deposition, and modification.

Linford researchers make new materials by a variety of means including by thin film deposition, modification of surfaces, and even creation of bulk materials.

For example, students deposit thin films for microfabrication processes by atomic layer deposition (ALD), chemical vapor deposition (CVD), and sputtering. Students also make new materials/phases for chromatography/solid phase microextraction and for data storage.

Thin film and material characterization

Linford scientists use X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), spectroscopic ellipsometry (SE), time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectrometry (ToF-SIMS), wetting, low energy ion scattering (LEIS), atomic force microscopy (AFM), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), etc. to understand our new materials. The Linford Group has published many papers in this area. In addition, Linford scientists write a monthly article on surface and material characterization for Vacuum Technology and Coating (see

Data analysis and methodology

Linford researchers analyze the data we generate from our surface analyses and develop new data analysis methods.

Linford students analyze data by (i) modeling/curve fitting XPS and SE results – this is necessary to get good information out of these techniques, and (ii) analyzing series of related spectra using chemometrics methods like principal component analysis (PCA), multivariate curve resolution (MCR), cluster analysis, and pattern recognition entropy (PRE). The Linford Lab recently developed the PRE method.

Frequently Asked Questions for Graduate Students and Collaborators

If I didn't study these things as an undergraduate, can I work in the Linford Group? Can I learn this?

Most graduate students that join the Linford group have not had any expertise in the areas Linford researchers work in before they start. However, new members generally find that they understand things well enough to begin to do research after three to six months.

Where do Linford Group members get jobs?

Most of them go to semiconductor companies, e.g., Micron and Intel, and/or to companies interested in materials or surface analysis, e.g., Corning and Restek. The three focuses of the Linford Lab prepare students well for these environments.

What else is unique about the Linford Group?

The Linford Lab Group tends to collaborate and publish with frequency. As a result, students are able to quickly find employment. At the very least, these collaborations provide a great opportunity for graduate students to learn from experts and to build their professional networks.

How could we work together?
The Linford Group would be delighted to talk with you about how the Group and you might work together in one of the areas of strength in our research group (see above). Please feel free to contact Dr. Linford at

Is there any particular area that might lead to a collaboration?

  1. The Linford Group is interested in working with collaborators to deposit thin films by ALD. Linford researcgers have high quality capabilities at BYU for doing this.
  2. The Linford Group has a lot of strength in surface analysis. For example, if you need to do XPS, and you aren’t already an expert in this area, there is a good chance Linford scientists can help you better fit and understand your XPS data – there are a lot of poorly fit XPS spectra in the literature. Linford researcgers could also discuss ways to help you with your spectroscopic ellipsometry, ToF-SIMS, and LEIS analyses.