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Peter Williams

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Faculty, TEMPE Campus, Mailcode 1604

Peter Williams joined ASU in 1981 as professor of chemistry, following a postdoctoral fellowship at Argonne National Laboratory and staff positions at the Universities of Manitoba and Illinois. His research interests center on the development and application of analytical methodologies for the material world, which he separates into “rocks” and “goo” – i.e. inorganic materials including minerals, metals and semiconductors, and biochemical materials such as proteins, nucleic acids and lipids.  Inorganic materials are characterized using imaging secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS); his latest instrument (NanoSIMS 50L) has a spatial resolution of 25 nanometers. For bioanalytical work the Williams lab has developed a mass spectrometric immunoassay approach for protein quantification in blood samples (licensed to Intrinsic Bioprobes, Inc.), a fluorescence-based next-generation DNA sequencing approach (licensed to Helicos Biosciences and Life Technologies) and most recently a bioimaging approach capable of generating images of tissue samples with sub-cellular resolution (~ 3 µm) using intact ionized lipids and peptides ejected from the surface by highly-charged glycerol nanodroplets impacting with MeV energies. Professor Williams has published more than150 papers and holds 22 U.S. Patents.

  • Ph.D. Physical Chemistry, University of London, King's College 1966
  • B.Sc. Chemistry, University of London, King's College
Research Interests: 

In my research group we divide the material world into two parts "rocks" and "goo" and develop and exploit novel analytical methods targeted to these disparate materials types. "Rocks" constitute the hard, mostly inorganic world of metals, semiconductors and minerals. Here the information needed is mostly elemental and/or isotopic composition, usually spatially resolved to within a few micrometers or less, and for this we utilize the technique of secondary ion mass spectrometry. Our interests lie in understanding the complex phenomena underlying secondary ion formation and in developing novel instrumentation, for example a novel electrometer array detector to determine the isotopic composition of oxygen in the sun, as reflected in solar wind samples from the Genesis satellite. Our workhorse instrument is a Cameca IMS 3f; we also use a Cameca IMS 6f and will add a time-of-flight SIMS instrument (TRIFT 1) in 2004.

The "goo" side of the world consists of biomolecules, e.g. proteins and DNA; here the analytical challenge is to obtain structural and/or sequence information that both identifies the molecules and rapidly detects potentially hazardous mutations. For proteins, we are developing new applications of matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization (MALDI) time of flight mass spectrometry. For DNA we are developing a new approach to DNA sequencing. We use DNA polymerase together with single, fluorescently-labeled deoxyribonucleotide triphosphates (dNTPs) to probe the template sequences of a surface-immobilized array of DNA primer/template duplexes. The primers with appropriate template sequence are extended and those spots fluoresce. After destroying the fluorescent label the process is cyclically repeated with the four species of dNTP. The projected information rate is > 10,000 bases/minute on an array of 10,000 or more DNA samples.

  • M. Neveu, A.D. Anbar, A.F. Davila, D.P. Glavin, S.M. MacKenzie, C.M. Phillips-Lander, B. Sherwood, Y. Takano, P. Williams, H. Yano.  Returning Samples From Enceladus for Life Detection.  Frontiers in Astronomy and Space Sciences (2020).
  • A.J.G. Jurewicz, K.D. Rieck, R. Hervigw, D.S. Burnett, M. Wadhwa, C.T. Olingere, R.C. Wiens, J.M. Laming, Y. Guan, G.R. Huss, D.B. Reisenfeld, D. B.; P. Williams.  Magnesium isotopes of the bulk solar wind from genesis diamond-like carbon films.  Meteoritics & Planetary Science.  55, 2, 352-375 (2020).
  • Amy J. G. Jurewicz, Don S. Burnett, Karen D. Rieck, Richard Hervig, Tom A. Friedmann, Peter Williams, Charles P. Daghlian, Roger Wiens. Understanding heterogeneity in Genesis diamond-like carbon film using SIMS analysis of implants. Journal of Materials Science. 2017, 52, 11282–11305 (2017).
  • Bose M., Hervig R. L., Williams L. B., and Williams P. Secondary ion mass spectrometry at Arizona State University. Lunar & Planetary Science. 2016, 47, 1452 (2016).
  • Rieck, K. D.; Jurewicz, A. J. G.; Burnett, D. S.; Hervig, R. L.; Williams, P.; Guan, Y. Bulk Solar Wind Na and K Measured in Genesis Collectors. Lunar & Planetary Science. 2016, 47, 2922 (2016).
  • Jurewicz, A. J. G.; Rieck, K. D.; Wadhwa, M.; Burnett, D. S.; Hervig, R.; Williams, P.; Guan, Y.; Wiens, R.; Huss, G. R. New Constraints on SW Mg Isotopes from Understanding Genesis DoS Collectors, with Implications. Lunar & Planetary Science. 2016, 47, 2350 (2016).
  • Jitao Zhang, Klaus Franzreb, Sergei A. Aksyonov, and Peter Williams*. Mass Spectra and Yields of Intact Charged Biomolecules Ejected by Massive Cluster Impact for Bioimaging in a Time-of-Flight Secondary Ion Microscope. Analytical Chemistry. 2015, 87, 10779-10784 (2015).
  • Jitao Zhang, Klaus Franzreb and Peter Williams*. Imaging with biomolecular ions generated by massive cluster impact in a time-of-flight secondary ion microscope. Rapid Commun. Mass Spectrom. 2014, 28, 2211–2216 (2014).
  • Williams, P., Lorincik, J., Franzreb, K., Hervig, R.L. "High dynamic range isotope ratio measurements using an analog electron multiplier". Surf. Interface Anal. 45 549-552 (2013) (2013).
  • Franzreb Klaus; Williams Peter. Negative ion yield and sputter yield variations for Cs(+) bombardment of Si with O(2) gas flooding. SURFACE AND INTERFACE ANALYSIS Volume: 43 Pages: 129-133 DOI: 10.1002/sia.3483 Published: JAN-FEB 2011 (2011).
  • Lorincik Jan; Denton M. Bonner; Sperline Roger P.; et al. Testing of a Micro Faraday Cup Array for Ion Detection in SIMS. ANALYTICAL LETTERS (2011).
  • Peter Williams, Klaus Franzreb. Identification at high mass resolution of the positive ion at m/z 19 produced by electron-stimulated desorption: F+ „rather than H3O+…. J. Vac. Sci. Technol. A 28 (2010).
  • Peter Williams. Depth Profiling using Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry. Encyclopedia of Mass Spectrometry V5: Elemental and Isotope Ratio Mass Spectrometry (2010).
  • J Lorincik, Richard Hervig, K Franzreb, G Slodzian, Peter Williams. Isotope ratio measurement with a multicollector detector on the Cameca IMS nf. Applied Surface Science (2006).
  • Peter Williams. Biological imaging using secondary ions. Journal of Biology (2006).
  • Peter Williams, Richard Sobers, Klaus Franzreb, Jan Lorincik. Quantitative fundamental SIMS studies using 18O implant standards. Applied Surface Science (2006).
  • Richard Hervig, Frank Mazdab, Peter Williams, Yunbin Guan, Gary Huss, Laurie Leshin. Useful ion yields for Cameca IMS 3f and 6f SIMS: Limits on quantitative analysis. Chemical Geology (2006).
  • S Aksyonov, R Rivera, D Williams, Peter Williams, M Bittner, L Bloom, L Reha-Krantz, I Gould, M Hayes, U Kiernan, E Niederkofler, V Pizziconi. Multiplexed DNA sequencing by synthesis. Analytical Biochemistry (2006).
  • Thomas Sommerfeld, Klaus Franzreb, Richard Sobers, Peter Williams. Small silicon-oxygen dianions in the gas phase. Chemical Physics (2006).
  • K Franzreb, Peter Williams. Observation of small gas-phase metal-oxygen dianions. Chemical Physics Letters (2005).
  • K Franzreb, Peter Williams. Small gas-phase dianions produced by sputtering and gas flooding. J. Chem. Phys (2005).
  • K Franzreb, R Sobers, J Lorincik, Peter Williams. Observation of the small long-lived diatomic dications BeH2+ and BeD2+. Phys. Rev. A (2005).
  • Jan Lorincik, Klaus Franzreb, Peter Williams. SIMION modeling of ion optical effects in Cameca ion microanalyzers: simulation of ion transmission losses. Applied Surf. Sci (2004).
  • K Franzreb, J Hrusak, M Alikhani, J Lorincik, R Sobers, Peter Williams. Gas-phase diatomic trications of Se23+, Te23+ and LaF3+. J. Chem. Phys (2004).
  • K Franzreb, J Lorincik, Peter Williams. Quantitative study of oxygen enhancement of sputtered ion yields. I: Argon ion bombardment of a silicon surface with O2 flood. Surf. Sci (2004).
  • Klaus Franzreb, Richard Sobers, Jan Lorincik, Peter Williams. Detection of the diatomic dications SiH2+ and AlH2+. Applied Surf. Sci (2004).
  • Richard Hervig, Frank Mazdab, Lisa Danielson, Thomas Sharp, A Hamed, Peter Williams. SIMS Microanalyses for Au in silicates. American Mineralogist (2004).
  • Richard Sobers Jr, Klaus Franzreb, Peter Williams. Quantitative measurement of O/Si ratios in oxygen-sputtered silicon using 18O implant standards. Applied Surf. Sci (2004).
  • Klaus Franzreb, Peter Williams. Inert Gas Clusters Ejected from Bursting Bubbles during Sputtering. Physical Review Letters (2003).
  • Klaus Franzreb, Peter Williams, Jan Lorincik, Zdenek Sroubek. Doubly versus singly positively-charged oxygen ions backscattered from a silicon surface under O2+ bombardment. Applied Surface Science (2003).
Research Activity: 
Spring 2022
Course NumberCourse Title
CHM 327Instrumental Analysis
Spring 2021
Course NumberCourse Title
CHM 327Instrumental Analysis
CHM 501Current Topics in Chemistry
Fall 2020
Course NumberCourse Title
BCH 494Special Topics
BCH 598Special Topics
Spring 2020
Course NumberCourse Title
CHM 327Instrumental Analysis
Fall 2019
Course NumberCourse Title
CHM 114General Chemistry for Engrs
Spring 2019
Course NumberCourse Title
BCH 494Special Topics
CHM 501Current Topics in Chemistry
Spring 2018
Course NumberCourse Title
BCH 494Special Topics
Fall 2017
Course NumberCourse Title
CHM 111Gen Chem Lab for Majors I
CHM 117General Chemistry for Majors I
  • Peter Williams*, Maitrayee Bose. A redesigned cesium ion source for Cameca SIMS instruments. 26th Annual Workshop on Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry (May 2014).
  • Peter Williams. Historical survey of ion sources for scondary ion mass spectrometry. Annual Workshops on Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry (May 2013).
  • Peter Williams, Maitrayee Bose and Klaus Franzreb. SIMS studies at Arizona State University. Colloquium, Kyoto University (Apr 2013).
  • Lorincik, J, Franzreb, K, Sobers, R, Williams, Peter. Quantitative fundamental studies in SIMS using O18 implant standards. 15th International Conference on Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry (Sep 2005).
  • Lorincik, J, Hervig, R, Denton, M, Spreline, R, Slodzian, G, Williams, Peter. Isotope rtio measurement with an electrometer array on the Cameca IMS nf. 15th International Conference on Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry (Sep 2005).
  • Lorincik, J, Hervig, R, Denton, M, Spreline, R, Slodzian, G, Williams, Peter. Multiple ion detection of Cameca IMS nf. 18th Annual Workshop on SIMS (May 2005).
  • Williams, Peter. Sputtering and sputtered ion emission: tutorial. 18th Annual Workshop on SIMS (May 2005).
  • Franzreb, K, Lorincik, J, Sobers, R, Williams, Peter. A comparison of oxygen enhancement of positive secondary ion yields from Cu, Al and Si surfaces. 18th Annual Workshop on SIMS (May 2005).
  • Williams, Peter, Canonico, Erika, Franzreb, Klaus, Lorincik, Jan. Issues in sputtered neutral analysis using ion impact ionization. Conference on Post-Ionization Techniques in Surface Analysis/PITSA9 (Oct 2004).
  • Aksyonov, Sergei, Bloom, Linda, Reha-Krantz, Linda, Gould, Ian, Hayes, Mark, Kiernan, Urban, Niederkofler, Eric, Rivera, Raul, Williams, Daniel, Williams, Peter. Fluorescent Sequencing-by-Extension of DNA on Microarrays. Genome Sequencing and Analysis Conference GSAC XVI (Sep 2004).
  • Sobers, Richard, Franzreb, Klaus, Williams, Peter. Dependence of ion beam-induced segregation of gold in silicon on the concentration and distribution of near-surface oxygen. Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry 17th Annual Workshop (May 2004).
  • Williams, Peter, Lorincik, Jan, Hervig, Rick, Leshin, Laurie. Towards Isotope Ratio Measurement with an Electrometer Array on the Cameca IMS xf. Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry 17th Annual Workshop (May 2004).
  • Williams, Peter. Inorganic Mass Spectrometry: elemental and isotopic analysis. 16th Sanibel Conference on Mass Spectrometry
  • Personnel Committee, Mamber (2013 - Present)
  • Personnel Committee, Member (2013 - Present)
  • International Atomic Energy Authority, Ad hoc advisor (2012 - Present)
  • Medical Chemistry Search Committee, Chair (2010 - Present)
  • Chemical Education and General Chemistry Director Search Committee, MAmber (2010 - Present)
  • General Chemistry Instructional Support Committee, Chair (2010 - Present)
  • Graduate Programs Committee, Chair (2009 - Present)
  • Graduate Programs Committee, Chair (2009 - Present)
  • Graduate Programs Committee, Chair (2009 - Present)
  • European Journal of Mass Spectrometry, Editorial Board Member (2003 - Present)
  • European Journal of Mass Spectrometry, Editorial Board Member (2003 - Present)
  • European Journal of Mass Spectrometry, Editorial Board Member (2003 - Present)
  • European Journal of Mass Spectrometry, Editorial Board Member (2003 - Present)
  • Bylaws revision subcommittee, Chair (2003 - Present)
  • Ombudsman Committee, CLAS Ombudsman (2000 - Present)
  • Chemistry "answer desk", Resource (1995 - Present)
  • Analytical Chemistry search committee, Chair (2012 - 2013)
  • Faculty Budget & Personnel Committee, Member (2005 - 2007)
  • International Organizing Committee: Biennial Conferences on SIMS, US Delegate (1989 - 2005)
  • Chemical Education Faculty search committee, Chair (2004 - 2005)
  • Provost's Tenure & Promotion Task Force, Member (2003 - 2004)
  • Faculty Budget & Personnel Committee, Chair (2003 - 2003)
  • 3rd Microsensors Workshop, Co-organizer (2003)
  • International Steering Committee, Conferences on Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry, US Delaget (2003)