Chemistry and Biochemistry

Matthew R. Linford

Matthew Linford

Office: C306 BNSN
Office Phone: 801-422-1699
Lab Room: C389 BNSN
Lab Phone: 801-422-1524
Office Hours


1990 BS Brigham Young University, Chemistry (Magna Cum Laude)

1996 MS Stanford University, Materials Science

1996 Ph.D. Stanford University, Chemistry

1997 Post Doc Max Planck Institute for Colloid and Surface Science

Curriculum Vitae


The Linford Research Group works in chemical analysis and characterization.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for Potential Graduate Students and Others who may be Interested in our Research

What type of research is done in the Linford Group?

Linford researchers work in three connected areas.

  1. Linford researchers make new materials by a variety of means including by thin film deposition, modification of surfaces, and even creation of bulk materials.

For example, students deposit thin films for microfabrication processes by atomic layer deposition (ALD), chemical vapor deposition (CVD), and sputtering. Students also make new materials/phases for chromatography/solid phase microextraction and for data storage.

     2. Linford researchers characterize thin films and materials.

Linford scientists use X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), spectroscopic ellipsometry (SE), time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectrometry (ToF-SIMS), wetting, low energy ion scattering (LEIS), atomic force microscopy (AFM), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), etc. to understand our new materials. The Linford Group has published many papers in this area. In addition, Linford scientists write a monthly article on surface and material characterization for Vacuum Technology and Coating (see

     3. Linford researchers analyze the data we generate from our surface analyses and develop new data analysis methods.

Linford students analyze data by (i) modeling/curve fitting XPS and SE results – this is necessary to get good information out of these techniques, and (ii) analyzing series of related spectra using chemometrics methods like principal component analysis (PCA), multivariate curve resolution (MCR), cluster analysis, and pattern recognition entropy (PRE). The Linford Lab recently developed the PRE method.

If I didn’t study these things as an undergraduate, can I work in the Linford Group? Can I learn this?

Most graduate students that join the Linford group have not had any expertise in the areas Linford researchers work in before they start. However, new members generally find that they understand things well enough to begin to do research after three to six months.

Where do Linford Group members get jobs?

Most of them go to semiconductor companies, e.g., Micron and Intel, and/or to companies interested in materials or surface analysis, e.g., Corning and Restek. The three focuses of the Linford Lab prepare students well for these environments.

What else is unique about the Linford Group?

The Linford Lab Group tends to collaborate and publish with frequency. As a result, students are able to quickly find employment. At the very least, these collaborations provide a great opportunity for graduate students to learn from experts and to build their professional networks.

What can you can tell me about Dr. Linford?

Here’s a summary of Dr. Linford's CV.

Matthew Linford graduated with a B.S. in chemistry from Brigham Young University (BYU) in 1990 and received M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in materials science & engineering and chemistry, respectively, from Stanford University in 1996. While at Stanford he published the first two papers on monolayers on hydrogen-terminated silicon with his adviser Chris Chidsey. By Google Scholar these two papers have been cited more than 800 and 1300 times to date. After a post-doc at the Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces in Golm (previously Berlin), Germany with Helmut Möhwald studying polyelectrolyte multilayers, Linford worked in industry for three years – one year with Rohm and Haas in Pennsylvania and two years with two start-up companies (SEQ, renamed Praelux in New Jersey, and NanoTex in California). In 2000, he took a position as a faculty member at Brigham Young University and is now a full professor there. While at BYU, Linford has studied thin film characterization with X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and spectroscopic ellipsometry (SE), statistical methods for data analysis, new materials for separations science (chromatography), thin film deposition by atomic layer deposition and sputtering, new materials for long-term digital data storage, and the chemomechanical functionalization of silicon. His work in separations science led to the launch of the Flare chromatography column that was sold by Diamond Analytics. His work in data storage led him to co-found Millenniata (now, which sells a DVD disc that lasts 1000 years and a Blu-ray disc that will last at least 300. Linford has more than 420 publications, which include peer-reviewed papers, conference proceedings, book chapters, peer-reviewed contributions to Surface Science Spectra, commercial application notes, tutorial articles, and more than 40 patents. He is an editor for Applied Surface Science, an Elsevier journal with an impact factor of ca. 6.2. He is a contributing editor for Vacuum Technology & Coating (VT&C) for which he writes a ca. monthly column on surface and material characterization. He has now written more than 80 of these articles, which often focus on XPS, SE, and informatics methods. Linford was an associate editor for Surface Science Spectra (SSS) from 2003 – 2019, and was made a member of the editorial board of SSS in 2019. In 2014 he became a fellow of the American Vacuum Society (AVS). In 2015 he was named an Alcuin Fellow at Brigham Young University (an award for excellence in teaching). By Google Scholar (‘Matthew Linford’, April, 2020 – note that these numbers can vary a little), he has more than 10,750 citations, his h-index is 47, and his i10-index is 148. His Erdös number is 4. His hobbies include tennis, piano/organ, and learning languages.

FAQs for Potential Collaborators

How could we work together?

The Linford Group would be delighted to talk with you about how the Group and you might work together in one of the areas of strength in our research group (see above). Please feel free to contact Dr. Linford at

Is there any particular area that might lead to a collaboration?

Here are two possibilities.

  1. The Linford Group is interested in working with collaborators to deposit thin films by ALD. Linford researcgers have high quality capabilities at BYU for doing this.
  2. The Linford Group has a lot of strength in surface analysis. For example, if you need to do XPS, and you aren’t already an expert in this area, there is a good chance Linford scientists can help you better fit and understand your XPS data – there are a lot of poorly fit XPS spectra in the literature. Linford researcgers could also discuss ways to help you with your spectroscopic ellipsometry, ToF-SIMS, and LEIS analyses.

Click to visit Dr. Linford's Google Scholar page and Research Gate page.

Click here to listen to Dr. Linford discuss his lab's latest research on BYU Radio.

Representative Publications

  1. Varun Jain, Mark C. Biesinger, Matthew Linford “The Gaussian-Lorentzian Sum, Product, and Convolution (Voigt) Functions in the Context of Peak Fitting X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy (XPS) Narrow Scans” Applied Surface Science 2018, 447, 548 – 553.
  2. Shiladitya Chatterjee, Bhupinder Singh, Anubhav Diwan, Zheng Rong Lee, Mark H. Engelhard, Jeff Terry, H. Dennis Tolley, Neal B. Gallagher, Matthew R. Linford “A perspective on two chemometrics tools: PCA and MCR, and introduction of a new one: Pattern recognition entropy (PRE), as applied to XPS and ToF-SIMS depth profiles of organic and inorganic materials” Applied Surface Science 2018, 433, 994 - 1017.
  3. Shiladitya Chatterjee, George H. Major, Massoud Kaykhaii, Matthew Linford “Using Pattern Recognition Entropy to Select Mass Chromatograms to Prepare Total Ion Chromatograms from Raw LC-MS Data” J. Chrom. A. 2018, 1558, 21 – 28.
  4. Cody V. Cushman, Philipp Bru╠łner, Julia Zakel, Cameron Dahlquist, Brandon Sturgell, Thomas Grehl, Barry M. Lunt, Joy Banerjee, Nicholas Smith, Matthew R. Linford “Low Energy Ion Scattering (LEIS) of As-Formed and Chemically Modified Display Glass: Significant Differences between Surface and Bulk Compositions as Revealed by LEIS Peak Fitting of the Al/Si Envelope” Applied Surface Science 2018, 455, 18 - 31.
  5. Saini, Gaurav; Trenchevska, Olgica; Howell, Loren; Boyd, James; Smith, David; Jain Varun; Linford, Matthew “Performance Comparison of Three Chemical Vapor Deposited Aminosilanes in Peptide Synthesis: Effects of Silane on Peptide Stability and Purity” Langmuir 2018, 34 (40), 11925–11932.
  6. Joseph Ryan, Tiffany Kaspar, Carlo Pantano, Jarrett Rice, Cory Trivelpiece, Neil Hyatt, Claire Corkhill, Colleen Mann, Russell Hand, Michael Kirkham, Charles Crawford, carol jantzen, Jincheng ‎ Du, Xiaonan Lu, Mike Harrison, Cody Cushman, Matthew Linford, Nicholas Smith “Physical and optical properties of the International Simple Glass”. Accepted 2018 npj Materials Degradation
  7. Cody V. Cushman, Julia Zakel, Brandon Sturgell, George I. Major, Barry M. Lunt, Phillip Brüner, Thomas Grehl, Nicholas J. Smith, Matthew R. Linford “Time-of-Flight Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry of Wet and Dry Chemically Treated Display Glass Surfaces” J. Am. Ceram. Soc. 2017, 100 (10), 4770 - 4784.

see complete publication list