Postdoc researcher Sergey Nikitin has been at the ALS since February 2017, working in the X-Ray Optics Laboratory (XROL), where he’s researching and developing new optical metrology tools and methods. Nikitin completed his undergraduate degree at Moscow State University, then moved to France for his graduate studies. He came to the ALS by way of the University of Arkansas for Medical Science and Pennsylvania State University, where he completed some postgrad work before joining the optical metrology group.
What brought you to the ALS?
I’ve always been focused on working with optics and light. After I finished my PhD in France at the University of Paris Nord and University of Le Mans, I wanted to have the experience of working in the U.S. Before I made my way to the ALS, I worked on several R&D projects in Arkansas and Pennsylvania, such as designing optical systems for biomedical and material science applications. I was invited for an interview at the ALS by ALS Staff Scientist Valeriy Yashchuk and I saw a lot of opportunity at the ALS. I was hired on for one year as a postdoctoral fellow, but recently my position was extended through 2020.
What is your research currently focused on?
I’m mainly working on the development of optical metrology methods and tools for high-accuracy surface characterization, which is something that’s applicable to the investigation of x-ray optics for new generation light sources, but also could be applied to various other areas of surface science. I work on the XROL R&D projects, which are dictated by metrology needs for the ALS Upgrade project, ALS-U. I work closely with Valeriy Yashchuk and Ian Lacey, who is a scientific engineering associate with XROL.
What are you enjoying most about being at the ALS?
I really enjoy spending time with the people and the teams at the ALS and LBL. I’m also very excited about collaboration here at Berkeley Lab with people from different departments and with different backgrounds. I’m learning a lot about science at the ALS and teamwork through these experiences. The opportunity to work on the frontier of science and technology is awesome. Also the views and the geographic location are definitely wonderful. The ability to get to so many beautiful places in the United States and California has been great.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
I like hiking and enjoy traveling around the U.S. and California, seeing all the national parks and other beautiful features. I enjoy learning about other cultures and talking with people to improve my English. I like playing board games with friends and checking out all the great museums in San Francisco.