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Tao Sun

Guest Facility User Offsite

Synchrotron X-ray techniques and advanced manufacturing


Supervised by Prof. Vinayak Dravid and Dr. Jin Wang, Tao’s doctoral research at Northwestern University was focused on fabrication and characterization of nanostructured oxides. In 2010, Tao joined X-ray Science Division (XSD) at Argonne as a postdoc, working on developing coherent electron scattering (with Dr. J. Murray Gibson) and coherent x-ray scattering (with Dr. Jin Wang) techniques. During this period, he developed correlograph electron analysis technique for characterizing the atomic structures of amorphous materials, and x-ray coherent surface scattering imaging technique for resolving sample surface/interface structures. In 2012, he joined the Imaging Group of XSD as a staff scientist, developing and applying high-speed x-ray imaging/diffraction techniques for studying highly dynamic irreversible/non-repeatable material processes. He is currently leading a team working on in situ characterization of multiple additive manufacturing processes using high-speed x-ray techniques.

Research Interests

  • Synchrotron x-ray imaging and scattering techniques
  • Real-time monitoring and non-destructive evaluation of advanced manufacturing processes
  • Material microstructure evolution under extreme conditions
  • Highly dynamic processes in hard and soft condensed matters


  • Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL, 2009
  • M.S. in Materials Science and Engineering, Tsinghua University, Beijing, China, 2004
  • B.S. in Materials Science and Engineering, Tsinghua University, Beijing, China, 2002

Selected Publications on Additive Manufacturing

  • Synchrotron Radiation News, Volume 32, Issue 2, 2019
  • Mohammad Hojjatzadeh, Niranjan Parab, Wentao Yan, Qilin Guo, Lianghua Xiong, Cang Zhao, Luis Escano, Minglei Qu, Xianghui Xiao, Kamel Fezzaa, Wesley Everhart, Tao Sun, Lianyi Chen, Mechanisms of pore elimination during 3D printing of metals”, Nature Communications, 10, (2019) 3088
  • Cang Zhao, Qilin Guo, Xuxiao Li, Niranjan Parab, Kamel Fezzaa, Wenda Tan, Lianyi Chen, Tao Sun, Bulk-Explosion-Induced Metal Spattering During Laser Processing”, Physical Review X, 9, (2019) 021052
  • Ross Cunningham*, Cang Zhao*, Niranjan Parab, Christopher Kantzos, Joseph Pauza, Kamel Fezzaa, Tao Sun, Anthony Rollett, Keyhole threshold and morphology in laser melting revealed by ultrahigh-speed x-ray imaging”, Science, 363, (2019) 849 (*equal contribution)
  • Nadia Kouraytem, Xuxiao Li, Ross Cunningham, Cang Zhao, Niranjan Parab, Tao Sun, Anthony D. Rollett, Ashley D. Spear, Wenda Tan, Effect of laser-matter interaction on molten pool flow and keyhole dynamics”, Physical Review Applied, 11, (2019) 064054
  • Qilin Guo, Cang Zhao, Minglei Qu, Lianghua Xiong, Luis I. Escano, S. Mohammad H. Hojjatzadeh, Niranjan D. Parab, Kamel Fezzaa, Wes Everhart, Tao Sun, Lianyi Chen, Mechanisms of melt pool variation under constant input energy density in laser powder bed fusion additive manufacturing process”, Additive Manufacturing, 28, (2019) 600
  • Niranjan Parab, John Barnes, Cang Zhao, Ross Cunningham, Kamel Fezzaa, Anthony Rollett, Tao Sun, Real-time observation of binder jetting printing process using high-speed X-ray imaging”, Scientific Reports, 9, (2019) 2499
  • Sarah Wolff, Hao Wu, Niranjan Parab, Cang Zhao, Kernel Ehmann, Tao Sun, Jian Cao, In-situ high-speed X-ray imaging of piezo-driven directed energy deposition additive manufacturing”, Scientific Reports, 9, (2019) 962
  • Niranjan Parab*, Cang Zhao*, Ross Cunningham, Luis Escano, Kamel Fezzaa, Wesley Everhart, Anthony Rollett, Lianyi Chen, Tao Sun, Ultrafast x-ray imaging of laser metal additive manufacturing processes”, Journal of Synchrotron Radiation, 25, (2018) 1467-1477 (*equal contribution, top 20 most read paper of JSR in 2017-2018)
  • Qilin Guo*, Cang Zhao*, Luis Escano, Zac Young, Lianghua Xiong, Kamel Fezzaa, Wes Everhart, Tao Sun, Lianyi Chen, Transient dynamics of powder spattering in laser powder bed fusion additive manufacturing process revealed by in-situ high-speed high-energy x-ray imaging”, Acta Materialia, 151, (2018) 169 (*equal contribution)
  • Cang Zhao, Kamel Fezzaa, Ross Cunningham, Haidan Wen, Francesco De Carlo, Lianyi Chen, Anthony Rollett, Tao Sun, Real-time monitoring of laser powder bed fusion process using high-speed X-ray imaging and diffraction”, Scientific Reports, 7, (2017) 3602 (Top 100 in Materials Science of Sci. Rep. in 2017)