harrisonn griffin Harrisonn Griffin

harrisonn griffin

mcgill university, dept of physics
grütter research group
montréal, qc, canada
griffin dot harrisonn at gmail.com

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Physics researcher with considerable experience in UNIX/Linux, python scripting, and data analysis. Interest in open source software, data visualization, and reproducible science. Thrives on challenges and learning new technologies and concepts. Experience from academic research and personal projects.


2020 MSc Physics | McGill University, Montreal, GPA 4.00/4.00

2016 BSc Physics | Union College, NY, GPA 3.84/4.00

Research Experience

02/2018–present | McGill University, Montreal

Masters student in the Grütter scanning probe microscopy group in the Department of Physics. My research has focused on using a home-built low temperature atomic force microscope to study single electron charging events.

  • Implement optical excitation of AFM cantilever ("blue drive"), including design, electronics, and instrumentation.
  • Convert home-built low temperature atomic force microscope (AFM) to fully open source instrumentation in both software and hardware, including scanner controller and DSPs.
  • Synthesize alkanethiol samples with self assembled monlayers functionalized with ferrocene heads for experiments.
  • Develop python model for simulating single electron charging events, for eventual forward modeling machine learning.
  • Develop numerical package to compute the back-action of electron tunneling on the dynamic of AFM in python.
  • Present results at NC-AFM 2018 and NC-AFM 2019.

Publications: Optical excitation of atomic force microscopy cantilever for accurate spectroscopic measurements. Harrisonn Griffin, Yoichi Miyahara, Antoine Roy-Gobeil, Peter grütter. (under review)

08/2016–01/2017 | Concordia University, Montreal

Research assistant in the Champagne research group in the Department of Physics. My research focused on designing and nanofabricating strain transistors out of single layer graphene.

  • Build Mathematica model to simulate varying strain and magnetic field on suspended graphene devices.
  • Microfabrication of monolayer suspended graphene channels for transport measurement studies while applying uniaxial strain to the graphene in helium-3 cryostat.
  • Microfab techniques include photolithography, e—beam lithography, thermal evaporation, RIE, wet etching. Characterization techniques include optical microscope, tilted SEM, Raman Spectroscopy.

Professional Experience

04/2017–02/2018 | GLOBALFOUNDRIES, New York

Process engineer in the contamination free manufacturing deparment at Fab 8. As a member of the darkfield and electron microscoy defect team, I was involved in developing automated infrastructure for finding and characterizing defects on process wafers.

  • Train and manage machine learning algorithms and recipes for automatic defect mage-based classification.
  • Formulate effective inline defect inspection techniques and recipes on darkfield microscopy and SEM tools.
  • Work with Process Integration and Advance Module Engineering teams to improve capture rate of defects of interest.
  • Improve speed and efficiency of existing recipes to increase throughput of wafers through the process line.

Undergraduate Research Experience | Union College, Schenectady NY

2015-2016 Thesis Project | Nano-confined Alcohols

Senior Thesis Project in which I studied the effects of nano-confinement on the phase transitions of alcohols.

  • Prepare samples of silica nanopores filled with 1-Decanol.
  • Precisely heat and cool sample via Differential Scanning Calorimeter to measure energy of phase transitions.
  • Explore and understand the effects of nanoscale confinement and overnormalization of Heat of Fusion.
  • Present results at American Physical Society March Meeting.

2015 Summer | Self Ordered Nanopores

Summer research where I investigated the fabrication of self ordering aluminum oxide nanopores.

  • Prepare samples of pure aluminum via mechanical polishing, electroploshing, and thermal annealing.
  • Anodize aluminum to create self-ordered array of AAO nanopores with diameters of 200-300 nm.
  • Characterize pores via SEM and AFM.

2014 Summer | Home-built Optical Tweezers

Summer research in which I built a table top optical tweezers set up for trapping microbeads.

  • Machined aluminum parts and aligned optical components.
  • Successfully trapped 0.5 and 1$\mu m$ polystyrene beads.
  • Created programs using MATLAB to control piezoelectric stage to move particles at precise velocities in different patterns.
  • Quantify optical trapping forces associated with tweezers.

Teaching Experience

Fall 2018 — Present | 3D Printing Lab Manager, McGill University

Assemble and maintain printers, design space for lab, build and maintain website(p3dl.github.io), teach workshops for undergraduates, host weekly meetings.

Fall 2016 | Teaching Assistant, Concordia University

Taught the lab component of an optics course for Physics 252.

Fall 2013 — Spring 2016 | Teaching Assistant, Union College

Taught the lab component of introductory Mechanics and Electromagnetism, Physics 120 and 121.



I have several years of programming experience and have enjoyed using python, but like learning new ones. I appreciate reading, aesthetically pleasing code.

I have been using linux as my full time operating system, while still experimenting with interesting distros, for example NIXOS.

  • Python is the main language I have been using during my graduate studies. It is my go-to language for smaller jobs and hacky scripts, but I have also used it to write software to operate our open source home-built AFM.
  • MATHEMATICA is a language that I used mostly during my undergraduate degree, but will still use if I need to solve systems absolutely and not numerically.
  • Julia is the new language that I have been experimenting with, intrigued by the dynamic language that can run at speeds of its static counterparts.

Scientific Techniques

  • Characterization: Atomic Force Microscopy, Kelvin Probe Microscopy, Electron Microscopy, Raman Spectroscopy, Cyclic Voltometry.
  • Microfabrication: Photolithography, E-Beam Lithography, Reactive Ion Etching, Wet Bench, Wire Bonder, Thermal Evaporator.
  • 3D printing: Fused Filament, Stereolithography, CAD.


  • English native.
  • French A1.
  • Norwegian A1.


  • Sigma Pi Sigma (Physics Honor Society), Sigma Xi (Scientific Research Honor Society), Dean’s List, Eagle Scout, High School Valedictorian.


  • I am fond of cycling, both the athletic and mechanical aspects, as well as collecting too many bicycles.
  • I enjoy cross country skiing, and have recently become obsessed with the art of waxing.
  • I like yeast, consequently I both brew my own beer and bake my own bread.