Awardee Interviews | Biography: Peter J. Feibelman

Peter J. Feibelman

Peter J. FeibelmanPeter J. Feibelman has worked at Sandia National Laboratories, New Mexico, since 1974 where he is a Distinguished Member of the Technical Staff in the Surface and Interface Sciences Department. He received his Ph.D. from the University of California at San Diego in 1967, did post-doctoral work at the Saclay nuclear physics lab (France) and at the University of Illinois, Urbana, then spent three years as Assistant Professor at SUNY, Stony Brook. Feibelman's early research centered on surface electronic normal modes and dielectric response. The American Physical Society recognized this "pioneering work in developing the theory of electromagnetic fields at surfaces" with its 1989 Davisson-Germer Prize. In 1978, Michael L. Knotek and Feibelman discovered the nature of electron stimulated desorption at ionically-bonded surfaces and demonstrated the corresponding laws of radiation damage. Since 1980, Feibelman has focused on surface energetics, performing and interpreting first-principles calculations of surface relaxation, interaction between adatoms, novel diffusion mechanisms, bonding near steps, effects of surface stress, and lately, the phenomenon of liquid metal embrittlement. His work with Gary L. Kellogg, demonstrating surface diffusion by atomic substitution, was recognized as an "Outstanding Scientific Accomplishment" by the Office of Basic Energy Sciences of the U.S. Department of Energy, in 1991. Feibelman has been a Divisional Associate Editor of Physical Review Letters, serves on the Editorial Advisory Board of Surface Science, and is a member of the AVS Surface Science Division's Executive Committee. Besides his research efforts, Feibelman has published a widely read book, A Ph.D. Is Not Enough! A Guide to Survival in Science, and lectures frequently on career issues.