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Tao Sun


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 Recent Publications

  • Synchrotron Radiation News, Volume 32, Issue 2, 2019
  • R. Cunningham*, C. Zhao*, N. Parab, K. Fezzaa, T. Sun, A. Rollett, Keyhole threshold and morphology in laser melting revealed by ultrahigh-speed x-ray imaging”, Science, 363, (2019) 849 (*equal contribution)
  • N. Parab, J. Barnes, C. Zhao, R. Cunningham, K. Fezzaa, A. Rollett, T. Sun, Real time observation of binder jetting printing process using high-speed X-ray imaging”, Scientific Reports, 9, (2019) 2499
  • S. Wolff, H. Wu, N. Parab, C. Zhao, K. Ehmann, T. Sun, J. Cao, In-situ high-speed X-ray imaging of piezo-driven directed energy deposition additive manufacturing”, Scientific Reports, 9, (2019) 962
  • N. Parab*, C. Zhao*, R. Cunningham, L. Escano, K. Fezzaa, W. Everhart, A. Rollett, L. Chen, T. Sun, Ultrafast X-ray Imaging of Laser Metal Additive Manufacturing Processes”, Journal of Synchrotron Radiation, 25, (2018) 1467 (*equal contribution)
  • Q. Guo*, C. Zhao*, L. Escano, Z. Young, L. Xiong, K. Fezzaa, W. Everhart, T. Sun, L. 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)
  • C. Zhao, K. Fezzaa, R. Cunningham, H. Wen, F. De Carlo, L. Chen, A. Rollett, T. Sun, Real-time monitoring of laser powder bed fusion process using high-speed X-ray imaging and diffraction”, Scientific Reports, 7, (2017) 3602