Stephen C. McGuire

Stephen C. McGuire



B.S. (1970) physics Southern University and A&M College; M.S. (1974) in Nuclear Physics from the University of Rochester

Ph.D. (1979) Nuclear Science from Cornell Univeristy
area: low energy neutron physics

: Professor Department of Physics Southern University & A&M College in Baton Rouge, LA


McGuire received a Crown Zellerbach Foundation fellowship as an undergraduate at Southern University and Agricultural and Mechanical College and received his B.S. degree with high honors in physics with a minor in mathematics. and his M.S. degree in Nuclear Physics from the University of Rochester. As a doctoral candidate at Cornell University he held a John McMullen graduate fellowship.where he received a Ph.D. in Nuclear Science, with its emphasis in low energy neutron physics, is from Cornell University.  

Since completing doctoral study he has held appointments as a staff scientist at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, a consultant to the National Institutes of Health and the US Department of Energy, and a physicist at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. From 1982 to 1989 he served on the faculty of the Department of Physics and Applied Physics at Alabama A&M University (AAMU) in Huntsville, AL. He was NSBP President, 1986-1988.. In 1989 he became the first African-American appointed to the faculty of the endowed College of Engineering at Cornell University.

In 1987 he was honored with NASA's Office of Technology Utilization Research Citation Award for his work in cosmic-ray physics. In 1992 he was elected a Charter Fellow of the National Society of Black Physicists. In the fall of 1997 he was appointed the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Visiting Scientist in Physics and Astronomy at Wayne State University.  

Owing to his reputation as a committed educator and scientist he was among 200 distinguished guests of the US president and first lady in March of 1998 at the reception and lecture on science in the next millennium by physicist Stephen Hawking. In the summer of the same year he was selected as a visiting scientist at the Center for Neutron Research of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), Gaithersburg, MD. At NIST he led a team of physicists in the detailed investigation of trace elements in nanoscale films of nickel aluminide, a potential coating for use in high temperature and corrosive environments. In August, 1998, he was one of ten US scientists invited to participate in the Third Edward A. Bouchet International Conference on Physics and Technology held in Gaborone, Botswana (Southern Africa).  

Dr. McGuire has been an active member of several major scientific organizations for over 20 years and is listed in American Men and Women of Science. During his career he has published extensively in experimental nuclear physics and its applications, and on uses of nuclear radiation for the study of microelectronics and solid state materials. He has presented his research at national and international professional meetings on four continents. For over 17 years he has been a dedicated advisor and mentor to undergraduate and graduate students of science and engineering from a broad range of educational and cultural backgrounds. 


 McGuire's research activities have focused on the use of neutron activation analysis (NAA) to characterize the impurity content of microelectronic materials, with special concern for properties such as carrier lifetime, conductivity, and Schottky-barrier height. Examples of studies include the characterization of silicon-germanium alloys, nickel silicide layers, and packaging ceramics for integrated circuits. In employing NAA we have relied upon internal standard methods in contrast to using comparator techniques. Also, high-resolution delayed x-ray spectroscopy has been implemented as a complement to more conventional gamma-ray analysis for determination of element concentrations.

A principal outcome of this work has been the development of the companion reaction method that solves the problem of fast-neutron induced isotopic interferences in the data. This method has been used in determining aluminum concentrations in magnesium silicate single crystals doped with aluminum and chromium to enhance their lasing efficiency.

We have also investigated the occurrence of the alpha-particle emitters, uranium and thorium, in ceramics used for packaging microelectronic circuits-comparing alumina (Al2O3) and aluminum nitride (AlN). Atomic detection levels as low as 10 to 100 parts per billion are being routinely demonstrated for several impurity elements of interest to silicon and compound-semiconductor technologies. Additional areas of interest include neutron-transmutation doping and characterization of wide-band-gap materials, as well as the influence of low-Z elements important to physical properties of semiconductors and intermetallics.

Current Research Projects  

 Neutron Depth Profiling and Prompt Gamma-Ray Analysis Studies of Light Elements in Thin Films (Office of Naval Research, National Institute of Standards and Technology)  

 Trace Element Studies in High Q-factor Microwave Resonators (National Science Foundation, General Electric Foundation)  

 Applications of Neutron Activation to Contamination-Free Silicon Wafer Manufacturing (General Electric Foundation) Selected Publications  

  McGuire, S. C., K. Wong, and J. Silcox. 1992. Elemental composition of nickel silicide layers using thermal and fast neutrons. Transactions of the American Nuclear Society 66:137-38.  

  McGuire, S. C., T. Z. Hossain, and R. J. Soave. 1993. 1266-keV gamma branch in 31Si decay. Physical Review C 48(3):1434-37. Mass, J. L., J. M. Burlitch, S. C. McGuire, T. Z. Hossain, and R. Demiralp. 1994. Neutron activation analysis of aluminum in Mg2SiO4. Nuclear Instruments and Methods A353:606-09.  

  McGuire, S. C., and T. Z. Hossain. 1994. Internal standard correction method for (n,p) interferences in NAA. Transactions of the American Nuclear Society 70:132-33.  

  McGuire, S. C., T. Z. Hossain, and R. J. Soave. 1994. Impurity characterization of Si1-xGex circuit structures with the use of neutron activation analysis. Nuclear Science and Engineering 117(2):134-39.  

  McGuire, S. C., T. Z. Hossain, C. Golkowski, N. D. Kerness, and J. D. Sulcer. 1995. Applications of neutron activation to microelectronic materials research at the Cornell TRIGA. Journal of Radioanalytical and Nuclear Chemistry 192(1):65-72.  

  McGuire, S. C., T. Z. Hossain, C. Golkowski, N. D. Kerness and J. D. Sulcer. 1995. Multielement matrix analysis using reactor spectrum neutrons. Applied Radiation and Isotopes 46(6/7):555-56.  

  McGuire, S. C., D. D. Clark, and D. F. Holcomb. 1996. Modern physics concepts taught via a neutron activation analysis (NAA) laboratory. American Journal of Physics 64(11):1384-88.  

  McGuire, S. C., and L. N. Hand. 1996. Trace transition metals in high Q sapphire microwave resonators. Bulletin of the American Physical Society 41(  

  5):1271. McGuire, S. C., T. Z. Hossain, A. J. Filo, C. C. Swanson, and J. P. Lavine.1996. Neutron activation for semiconductor materials characterization. In  

  Semiconductor characterization: Present status and future needs, ed. W. M. Bullis, D. G. Seiler, and A. C. Diebold, pp. 329-34. Woodbury, New York: AIP Press.  

  Kerness, N. D., T. Z. Hossain, and S. C. McGuire. 1997. Impurity study of alumina and aluminum nitride ceramics: Microelectronics packaging applications. Applied Radiation and Isotopes 48(1):5-9.  


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