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Thomas Eugene Everhart

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Thomas Eugene Everhart
Everhart in 1987
5th President of the California Institute of Technology
In office
Preceded byMarvin Goldberger
Succeeded byDavid Baltimore
4th Chancellor of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
In office
Preceded byJohn E. Cribbet
Succeeded byMorton W. Weir
Personal details
Born (1932-02-15) February 15, 1932 (age 92)
Kansas City, Missouri, U.S.
EducationHarvard University (BA)
University of California, Los Angeles (MS)
Clare College, Cambridge (PhD)
AwardsIEEE Centennial Medal (1984)
Clark Kerr Award (1992)
ASEE Centennial Medallion (1993)
IEEE Founders Medal (2002)
Okawa Prize (2002)
Scientific career
FieldsElectrical Engineering, Applied Physics
InstitutionsUniversity of California, Berkeley, Cornell University, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, California Institute of Technology, University of Cambridge
ThesisContrast formation in the scanning electron microscope (1958)
Doctoral advisorCharles Oatley

Thomas Eugene Everhart FREng (born February 15, 1932, Kansas City, Missouri)[1] is an American educator and physicist. His area of expertise is the physics of electron beams. Together with Richard F. M. Thornley he designed the Everhart–Thornley detector. These detectors are still in use in scanning electron microscopes, even though the first such detector was made available as early as 1956.

Everhart was elected a member of the National Academy of Engineering in 1978 for contributions to the electron optics of the scanning electron microscope and to its use in electronics and biology. He was appointed an International Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering in 1990.[2] He served as chancellor of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign from 1984 to 1987 and as the president of the California Institute of Technology from 1987 to 1997.

Early life and education[edit]

Everhart's parents were William E. Everhart and Elizabeth A. West. Everhart received his A.B. in physics from Harvard University in 1953, and his M.S. in applied physics from the University of California, Los Angeles, in 1955. He held a Marshall Scholarship at Clare College, Cambridge, where he completed a PhD in Physics under Professor Charles Oatley in 1958.[1]


Everhart-Thornley detector[edit]

Everhart began working on electron detection and the design of scanning electron microscopes (SEMs) as a student with Charles Oatley at Cambridge in 1955.[3] An initial prototype, the SEM1, had been developed by Dennis McMullen, who published his dissertation Investigations relating to the design of electron microscopes in 1952.[3][4] It was further modified by Ken C. A. Smith, who developed a way to efficiently detect low-energy secondary electrons.[5] Oatley and his students used SEM to develop a variety of new techniques for studying surface topography.[3][6]

Everhart developed techniques to detect low-energy secondaries. His Ph.D. thesis, in 1958, was Contrast formation in the scanning electron microscope.[6] Analyzing the electrons detected by the SEM, he reported that about 67% of the signal measured could be attributed to low energy secondaries from the specimen.[7] About 3% was due to higher-energy reflected electrons.[5] He also presented equations to model the noise introduced.[3][7]

Use of the term "voltage contrast" to describe the relationship between the voltage applied to a specimen and the resulting image contrast, is attributed to Everhart.[8][9] As of 1959, Everhart produced the first voltage-contrast images of p-n junctions of biased silicon diodes.[10] Voltage contrast, the ability to detect variations in surface electrical potentials on a specimen, is now one of several imaging modes used for the characterization, diagnosis and failure analysis of semiconductors. As many as half of the SEMs sold are believed to be used in semiconductor applications.[11]

Everhart studied contrast mechanisms in detail and developed a new theory of reflection of electrons from solids.[12] He also made some of the first quantitative studies of the effects of beam penetration on image formation in the SEM.

In 1960 Everhart and Richard F. M. Thornley published a description for the improved design of a secondary electron detector, since known as the Everhart–Thornley detector. Everhart and Thornley increased the efficiency of existing detectors by adding a light pipe to carry the photon signal from the scintillator inside the evacuated specimen chamber of the scanning electron microscopes to the photomultiplier outside the chamber.[13] This strengthened the signal collected and improved the signal-to-noise ratio. In 1963, Pease and Nixon incorporated the Everhart-Thornley detector into their prototype for the first commercial SEM, later developed as the Cambridge Scientific Instruments Mark I Stereoscan. This type of secondary electron and back-scattered electron detector is still used in modern scanning electron microscopes (SEMs).[14]

By using various types of detectors with SEM, it becomes possible to map the topography, crystallography and composition of specimens being examined.[4] In the 1960s, Wells, Everhart, and Matta built an advanced SEM for semiconductor studies and microfabrication at Westinghouse Laboratories in Pittsburgh. They were able to combine signals so to more effectively examine multiple layers in active devices, an early example of EBIC imaging.[15][16]

University of California, Berkeley[edit]

From 1958-1978 Everhart was a professor and latterly department chairman of engineering and computer science, at the University of California at Berkeley.[1] There he supported the construction of the first scanning electron microscope in a U.S. university.[17]

Cornell University[edit]

In January 1979, he became Joseph Silbert Dean of the college of engineering at Cornell University, Ithaca, New York.[18]

University of Illinois[edit]

Everhart served as chancellor of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign from 1984 to 1987. As chancellor, Everhart was involved in proposals for and development of the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology, an interdisciplinary research institute substantially funded by an appeal to Arnold Orville Beckman.[19]: 9–14  In a formal invitation to proposed members of the Administrative Committee for the Beckman Institute, Everhart wrote that creation of the Beckman Institute was "an exceptional opportunity, perhaps the most dramatic and exciting one that we will see in our working lifetimes."[19]: 97 

California Institute of Technology[edit]

Everhart was president of the California Institute of Technology from 1987 to 1997.[20] As Caltech's president, Everhart authorized the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) project, a large-scale experiment that seeks to detect gravitational waves and use them for fundamental research in physics and astronomy.[21]

While at Caltech, Everhart was involved in substantial expansion of the university, heading a $350-million fund-raising drive. In 1989, he helped dedicate the Beckman Institute at Caltech, a research center for biology, chemistry, and related sciences.[22] It was the second of five research centers supported by Arnold Orville Beckman and his wife Mabel. Everhart also was involved in the development of the W. M. Keck Observatory in Hawaii, supported by the W. M. Keck Foundation;[23] the Gordon and Betty Moore Laboratory of Engineering, supported by Gordon Moore of Intel;[24] and the Fairchild Engineering Library, supported by the Sherman Fairchild Foundation.[20][25]

Everhart promoted efforts to hire more female faculty and increase the enrollment of women. In his final year at Caltech the number of women in the freshmen class was double that of the year he joined Caltech.[20]

Since 1998, Everhart has served as a trustee of the California Institute of Technology.[26] He sits on the boards of directors of Raytheon and the Kavli Foundation, among others.[18]

Harvard University[edit]

In 1999, Everhart was elected to a six-year terms as Overseer of Harvard University. In 2001 he became a member of the Overseers executive committee. He was one of three overseers who participated in the university's presidential search committee in 2000-01. In 2004, he was elected president of Harvard's Board of Overseers for 2004-05.[27]

Awards and honors[edit]

Everhart has been elected to a number of scientific societies, including the following:[1]

Everhart has received a number of awards, including the following:[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e Brock, David C.; Mody, Cyrus (3 May 2011). Thomas E. Everhart, Transcript of an Interview Conducted by David C. Brock and Cyrus Mody as a phone interview and in Santa Barbara, California on 28 March 2007 and 3 May 2011 (PDF). Philadelphia, PA: Chemical Heritage Foundation.
  2. ^ "List of Fellows". Royal Academy of Engineering.
  3. ^ a b c d Rodenburg, J.M. (1997). Electron microscopy and analysis 1997 : proceedings of the Institute of Physics Electron Microscopy and Analysis Group conference, Cavendish Laboratory, University of Cambridge, 2-5 September 1997. Bristol: Institute of Physics Pub. pp. 11–16. ISBN 978-0750304412. Retrieved 19 June 2015.
  4. ^ a b Ratinac, Kyle R. (2008). "Great moment 9: Scanning electron microscopy". In Ratinac, Kyle R. (ed.). 50 great moments : celebrating the golden jubilee of the University of Sydney's Electron Microscope Unit. University of Sydney, N.S.W.: Sydney University Press. pp. 71–81. ISBN 9781920898762. Retrieved 19 June 2015.
  5. ^ a b Everhart, T. E. (2004). "Contrast formation in the scanning electron microscope". In Hawkes, Peter W. (ed.). Advances in imaging and electron physics: Volume 133, Sir Charles Oatley and the Scanning Electron Microscope (1st ed.). Oxford: Elsevier Academic Press. pp. 137–145. ISBN 978-0123859853.
  6. ^ a b Holt, D. B.; Joy, D. C. (1989). SEM Microcharacterization of Semiconductors. Elsevier Science. pp. xi–xii. ISBN 9780123538550. Retrieved 18 June 2015.
  7. ^ a b Hawkes, Peter W. (2004). Advances in imaging and electron physics: Volume 133, Sir Charles Oatley and the Scanning Electron Microscope (1st ed.). Oxford: Elsevier Academic Press. ISBN 978-0123859853.
  8. ^ Breton, Bernie C. "The Early History and Development of The Scanning Electron Microscope". University of Cambridge. Retrieved 18 June 2015.
  9. ^ Oatley, CW; Everhart, TE (1957). "The examination of p-n junctions in the scanning electron microscope". Journal of Electronics. 2 (6): 568–570. doi:10.1080/00207215708937060.
  10. ^ Everhart, T.E.; Wells, O.C.; Oatley, C.W. (1959). "Factors affecting contrast and resolution in the scanning electron microscope". Journal of Electronics Control. 7 (2): 97–111. doi:10.1080/00207215908937191.
  11. ^ Newbury, Dale D.; Joy, David C.; Echlin, Patrick; Fiori, Charles E.; Goldstein, Joseph I. (1986). Advanced scanning electron microscopy and x-ray analysis. New York: Plenum Press, Inc. p. 45. ISBN 9780306421402.
  12. ^ Everhart, T. E. (1960). "Simple Theory Concerning the Reflection of Electrons from Solids". Journal of Applied Physics. 31 (8): 1483–1490. Bibcode:1960JAP....31.1483E. doi:10.1063/1.1735868.
  13. ^ Everhart, TE and RFM Thornley (1960). "Wide-band detector for micro-microampere low-energy electron currents" (PDF). Journal of Scientific Instruments. 37 (7): 246–248. Bibcode:1960JScI...37..246E. doi:10.1088/0950-7671/37/7/307.
  14. ^ Bogner, A.; Jouneau, P.-H.; Thollet, G.; Basset, D.; Gauthier, C. (2007). "A history of scanning electron microscopy developments: Towards "wet-STEM" imaging" (PDF). Micron. 38 (4): 390–401. doi:10.1016/j.micron.2006.06.008. PMID 16990007. Retrieved 18 June 2015.
  15. ^ Wells, OC; Everhart, TE; Matta, RK (1965). "Automatic positioning of device electrodes using the scanning electron microscope". IEEE Transactions on Electron Devices. ED-12 (10): 556–563. Bibcode:1965ITED...12..556W. doi:10.1109/t-ed.1965.15607.
  16. ^ Everhart, T. E.; Hoff, P. H. (1971). "Determination of Kilovolt Electron Energy Dissipation vs Penetration Distance in Solid Materials". Journal of Applied Physics. 42 (13): 5837–5846. Bibcode:1971JAP....42.5837E. doi:10.1063/1.1660019.
  17. ^ "IEEE Founders Medal Recipients".
  18. ^ a b "Thomas E. Everhart". The Kavli Foundation. Retrieved 19 June 2015.
  19. ^ a b Brown, Theodore L. (2009). Bridging divides : the origins of the Beckman Institute at Illinois. Urbana: University of Illinois. ISBN 978-0252034848. Retrieved 11 December 2014.
  20. ^ a b c Woo, Elaine (May 23, 1996). "President of Caltech Announces Resignation". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 19 June 2015.
  21. ^ "History & Milestones". Caltech. Retrieved 19 June 2015.
  22. ^ "Dedicating Beckman Institute" (PDF). Caltech News. 23 (6): 1–2. 1989. Retrieved 19 June 2015.
  23. ^ Copman, Linda; Kamisato, Peggi (2007). "Visionary Philanthropy: A Home Run". Cosmic Matters, Keck Observatory. Archived from the original on 2011-04-13.
  24. ^ Flanigan, James (January 10, 1996). "With Its New Lab, Caltech Has a Formula to Survive Uncertainty". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 19 June 2015.
  25. ^ Douglas, Kimberly. "Sherman Fairchild Library: Ten Years Later". Division of Engineering and Applied Science. Caltech. Retrieved 19 June 2015.
  26. ^ "Former Caltech President Tom Everhart Elected to Board". Caltech News and Events. 1998. Retrieved 19 June 2015.
  27. ^ "Everhart named Overseers president for 2004-05". Harvard Gazette. June 10, 2004. Retrieved 19 June 2015.

External links[edit]

Academic offices
Preceded by Chancellor of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
1984 – 1987
Succeeded by
Preceded by President of the California Institute of Technology
1987 – 1997
Succeeded by