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Philip D. Rack

Professor and Leonard G. Penland Chair


Dr. Rack earned his bachelor’s degree Magna Cum Laude in Materials Science and Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology in 1993, and his Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering from the University of Florida in 1997.  His dissertation research included thin film deposition, surface analysis, and theoretical modeling of optical transitions in thin film electroluminescent materials. In 1997, Dr. Rack joined Advanced Vision Technologies Inc. (AVT) as a Senior Research Scientist where he led their research on luminescent and field emitter materials and contributed to process development of their vacuum microelecronic devices.  In 1999, Dr. Rack joined the faculty in the Microelectronic Engineering Department at the Rochester Institute of Technology.  There he taught courses in thin film processing, materials characterization, and microlithography and performed research on VUV optical properties and vacuum microelectronic devices.  In 2001 Dr. Rack joined the faculty at the University of Tennessee and is investigating emergent properties of nanoscale materials and devices, combinatorial thin film processing, fabrication of nanoscale devices, and nanoscale focused electron, ion and photon beam induced processing.  Dr Rack has authored or co-authored over 100 refereed journal articles (including 2 book chapters and 5 invited review articles) and has contributed to over 130 (25 invited) technical presentations at national and international conferences.


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Ph.D., Florida: Electronic and Optoelectronic Materials and Devices, Thin Film Processing and Characterization

Professional Service

  • MRS Member
  • AVS (executive committee of thin film division)

Awards and Recognitions

2011 Leonard G. Penland Chair of the College of Engineering
2011 Chancellor’s Award for Research and Creative Achievement
2011 College of Engineering Allen & Hoshall Engineering Faculty Award
2009 University of Tennessee College of Engineering Research Fellow Award
2009 Department of Materials Science and Engineering Faculty Research Award


Joo Hyon Noh, Jiyong Noh, Eric Kreit, and Jason Heikenfeld, Philip D. RackToward active-matrix lab-on-chip: programmable electrofluidic control enabled by arrayed oxide thin film transistors, Lab on a Chip vol. 12, no. 2 pp. 353-360 (January 2012).

H. M. Wu, L. Stern, J. H. Chen, M. Huth, C. H. Schwalb, M. Winhold, F. Porrati, C. M. Gonzalez, R. Timilsina and P. D. RackSynthesis of Nanowires via Helium and Neon Focused Ion Beam Induced Deposition with the Gas Field Ion Microscope, Nanotechnology vol. 7 no. 17 175302 (pp.1-8) (May 2013).

R. Timilsina, D.A. Smith, P.D. RackA Comparison of Neon versus Helium Ion Beam Induced Deposition via Monte Carlo Simulations, Nanotechnology, vol. 22, no. 11, 115302 (pp.1-9) (March 2013).

R. Sachan, C. Gonzalez, O. Dyck, Y. Wu, H. Garcia, S. Pennycook, P.D. Rack, G. Duscher, and R. Kalyanaraman, Enhanced Optical Absorption within ultra-thin Si Films embedded with silicide nanostructures, Nanomaterials and Energy, vol. 2, no. 1, pp 11-19 (January 2013).

N.A. Roberts, G.A. Magel, J.D. Fowlkes, C.D. Hartfield, T.M. Moore, P.D. RackEnhanced Purity and Resolution via Synchronized Laser Assisted Electron Beam Induced Deposition of Platinum, Nanoscale, vol.5 no. 1 pp 408-415 (January 2013).

Jason D. Fowlkes, Lou Kondic, Javier Diez, Alejandro Gonzalez, Yueying Wu, Nick A. Roberts, Cliff E. McCold, and Philip D. RackParallel Assembly of Particles and Wires on Substrates by Dictating the Evolution of Instability in Liquid Metal Films, Nanoscale, vol.4 no. 23 pp. 7376-7382 (December 2012) image selected for journal cover.

J. T. McKeown, N. A. Roberts, J.D. Fowlkes, T.B. LaGrange, B.W. Reed, G.H. Campbell, Y. Wu, P.D. RackReal-Time observation of nanosecond liquid-phase assembly of nickel nanoparticles via pulsed-laser heating, Langmuir, vol. 28 no. 49 pp.17168-17175 (November 2012).

Trung Dac Nguyen, Miguel Fuentes-Cabrera, Jason D. Fowlkes, Javier A. Diez, Alejandro G. Gonzalez, Lou Kondic, and Philip D. RackCompetition between collapse and breakup in nanometer-sized thin rings using molecular dynamics and continuum modeling, Langmuir vol. 28 no. 39 pp.13960-13967 (October 2012)

J.D. Fowlkes, S.R. Horton, M. Fuentes-Cabrera, P.D. RackSignatures of the Rayleigh-Plateau Instability Revealed by Imposing Synthetic Perturbations on Nanometer Liquid Metals on Substrates, Angewandte Chemie vol. 51 no. 35 pp. 8768-8772 (August 2012).

N.A. Roberts, G.A. Magel, J.D. Fowlkes, C.D. Hartfield, T.M. Moore, P.D. RackIn situ laser processing inside a scanning electron microscope, Journal of Vacuum Science and Technology A vol. 6 no. 4 pp. 041404(1-6) (July 2012).


Philip D. Rack, Paul Holloway, Sey-Shing Sun, Eric R. Dickey, Christian F. Schaus, Richard T. Tuenge, and Christopher N. King, TFEL Device with Injection Layer, US Patent # 5,581,150.

Kofi Korsah, Larry Baylor, John Caughman, Philip D. Rack, Ilia Ivanov, Roger KisnaDoped Carbon Nanostructure  Field Emitter Arrays for Infrared Imaging. US Patent #7,608,824.

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