Deputy Director, Molecular Foundry
Staff Scientist, NCEM
Jim Ciston is the Molecular Foundry’s Deputy Director. In this role, Dr. Ciston is responsible for the development and implementation of strategies and policies that ensure the efficient and effective support of the Molecular Foundry’s mission. He also works closely with the Director, as well as other members of the Foundry leadership team, to guide the organization’s scientific plans and initiatives. He serves as a steward of the Foundry’s internal and user research portfolio and when necessary, stands in for the Director to represent the organization as a resource and advocate. Jim also maintains an independent research portfolio in 4D-STEM and quantitative high-resolution imaging within the National Center for Electron Microscopy facility of the Foundry. He is responsible for leading the collaborative scientific user portfolio for the TEAM I instrument, largely focused on the use of 4D-STEM and high resolution EELS measurements to understand nanomaterial properties.
Jim obtained his Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering from Northwestern University in 2009 for his work on the structural determination of hydrogen atom positions and bonding charge density at crystal surfaces. From 2009-2011, he was a Postdoctoral Research Associate at Brookhaven National Laboratory where he also served as the first facility manager for the FEI Titan aberration-corrected Environmental TEM at the Center for Functional Nanomaterials. Since 2011, Jim has been a Staff Scientist in the National Center for Electron Microscopy facility of the Molecular Foundry.
Jim was a 2016 recipient of an Early Career Research Program award granted by the DOE Office of Science and received a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers in 2019. He has also received several awards for his research from the International Centre for Diffraction Data, International Federation of Societies for Microscopy, US National Committee for Crystallography, Illinois Institute of Technology, & Pittsburgh Diffraction Society.
The core of my active research within the Foundry has been the use of advanced electron microscopy techniques to elucidate the role of structure and bonding at surfaces and interfaces of materials at The core of my active research within the Foundry has been the use of advanced electron microscopy techniques to elucidate the role of structure and bonding at surfaces and interfaces of materials at atomic resolution. I have also been developing a new experimental capability to simultaneously generate 2D maps of the strain, polarization, local distortion and electric fields of materials at unit cell resolution (<1 nm) from gigapixel datasets through Multimodal Acquisition of Properties and Structure in Transmission Electron Reciprocal-space (MAPSTER) Microscopy. This will allow direct structure-property relationships to be unraveled in complex oxides, strain- engineered heterostructures, and quantum-confined materials. My recent work has additionally focused on the application of AI/ML models for the interpretation and quantification of valence and bonding in transition metal compounds.