headshot of Sivanandan Harilal

Sivanandan Harilal

Principal Investigator, RA3–FA1 and RA4–FA2

(509) 372-4926


Hari Harilal is chief scientist in the National Security Directorate, at the DOE Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Washington, USA. Hari has more than 20 years of experience in the fields of laser-plasma interaction, plasma-material interaction, plasma diagnostics, plasma chemistry, plasma and fireball spectroscopy (absorption, emission, fluorescence), plasma sources for lithography and microscopy, materials under extreme environment etc. Hari received the PhD degree in plasma physics from Cochin University of Science & Technology, India in 1998 and was an Alexander Humboldt fellow with the eminent plasma physicist Prof. Hans-Joachim Kunze at Ruhr University of Bochum, Germany during 1999-2001. Prior to joining PNNL in 2014, he worked as an associate professor at the School of Nuclear Engineering, Purdue University, IN (2008-2014) and was a member of the fusion group at the University of California San Diego, CA (2001-2007). He held the Science Foundation of Ireland visiting fellow position at University College Dublin, Ireland (2007-2010) and was a visiting scientist at the Argonne National Laboratory, IL (2007). He is a recipient of numerous prestigious awards which include: Alexander von Humboldt fellowship (Germany), Stocks lectureship award (Ireland), Council of Scientific and Industrial Research fellowship (India), Paul C. Zmola Faculty Scholar of Nuclear Engineering Award (Purdue University) and excellence in research awards from PNNL and Purdue University. He has authored over 170 peer-reviewed publications and 5 book chapters. He is a fellow of Optical Society of America, associate editor of Optics Letters and guest editor of IEEE Transactions on Plasma Science.

Disciplines and Skills

  • Laser and plasma spectroscopy
  • Laser ablation
  • Actinide and fireball chemistry
  • Plasma diagnostics
  • Material under extreme environment


  • Postdoctoral, Ruhr University Bochum, Germany, 1999-2001
  • Ph.D. (Physics), Cochin University of Science and Technology, 1998
  • M.Sc. (Physics), University of Kerala, 1992
  • B.Sc. (Physics), University of Kerala, 1989

Affiliations and Professional Service

  • Fellow, Optical Society of America
  • Senior Member, IEEE and SPIE
  • Associate Editor, Optics Letters
  • Guest Editor: IEEE Transactions of Plasma Science
  • Conference Chair: 2022 International conference on Plasma Science, Seattle WA

Awards and Recognitions

  • NNSA MTV Consortium lab scientist fellowship (2020)
  • PNNL NSD OTY Author of the Year award (2018)
  • Fellow, Optical Society of America (2018)
  • PNNL Research Excellence award (2018)
  • NNSA Consortium for Verification Technology (CVT) lab scientist fellowship (2018)
  • PNNL’s top FY2017 DNN R&D highlight (2017)
  • Senior member, Optical Society of America (2015)
  • PNNL OTY Author of the year Nominee (2016)
  • PNNL Applied Physics Core Value Award (2015)
  • Senior member, IEEE (2014)
  • Excellence in Research Award, Purdue University (2013)
  • Paul C. Zmola Faculty Scholar of Nuclear Engineering Award, Purdue University (2010)
  • Science Foundation of Ireland visiting Fellow (2007-2010)
  • Stokes Lectureship, Science Foundation of Ireland (2008)
  • Alexander Humboldt Fellowship Award, Germany (1998)
  • CSIR Senior research Fellowship, India (1994)
  • CSIR Junior research Fellowship, India (1992)


Google Scholar Link


  • Kautz, E. J., Yeak, J., Bernacki, B. E., Phillips, M. C., & Harilal, S. S. (2020b). The role of ambient gas confinement, plasma chemistry, and focusing conditions on emission features of femtosecond laser-produced plasmas,  Journal of Analytical Atomic Spectrometry, doi:https://doi.org/10.1039/D0JA00111B
  • Harilal, S. S., Diwakar, P. K., & Miloshevsky, G. (2020). Ultrafast and filament LIBS. In J. P. Singh & S. N. Thakur (Eds.), Laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy, Elsevier, Amsterdam: https://doi.org/110.1016/B1978-1010-1012-818829-818823.800006-X
  • Kautz, E. J., Yeak, J., Bernacki, B. E., Phillips, M. C., & Harilal, S. S. (2020a). Expansion dynamics and chemistry evolution in ultrafast laser filament produced plasmas Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics, 21, 16161-16169. doi:https://doi.org/10.1039/C9CP02250C
  • Phillips, M. C., Bernacki, B. E., Harilal, S. S., Yeak, J., & Jones, R. J. (2020). Standoff chemical plume detection in turbulent atmospheric conditions with a swept-wavelength external cavity quantum cascade laser Optics Express, 28(5), 7408-7424. doi:https://doi.org/10.1364/OE.385850
  • Harilal, S. S., Muryzn, C. M., Phillips, M. C., & Martin, J. B. (2020). Hyperfine structures and isotopic shifts of uranium transitions using tunable laser spectroscopy of laser ablation plumes Spectrochimica Acta B, 169, 105828. doi:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.sab.2020.105828


  • Burger, M., Skrodzki, P. J., Jovanovic, I., Phillips, M. C., & Harilal, S. S. (2019). Laser-produced uranium plasma characterization and Stark broadening measurements. Physics of Plasmas, 26, 093103. doi:https://doi.org/10.1063/1.5099643
  • Finney, L. A., Skrodzki, P. J., Burger, M., Nees, J., Harilal, S. S., & Jovanovic, I. (2019). Single-shot, multi-signature remote detection of uranium by filament-induced breakdown spectroscopy. Optics Letters, 44(11), 2783. doi:https://doi.org/10.1364/OL.44.002783
  • Harilal, S. S., Kautz, E. J., Bernacki, B. E., Phillips, M. C., Skrodzki, P., Burger, M., & Jovanovic, I. (2019). The physical conditions for UO formation in laser-produced uranium plumes Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics, 21, 16161. doi:https://doi.org/10.1039/c9cp02250c
  • Kautz, E. J., Skrodzki, P., Burger, M., Jovanovic, I., Bernacki, B. E., Phillips, M. C., & Harilal, S. S. (2019). Time-resolved imaging of atoms and molecules in laser-produced uranium plasmas. Journal of Analytical Atomic Spectrometry, 34, 2236-2243. doi:https://doi.org/10.1039/c9ja00228f
  • Phillips, M. C., Bernacki, B. E., Harilal, S. S., Brumfield, B. E., Schwallier, J. M., & Glumac, N. G. (2019). Characterization of High-Explosive Detonations using Broadband Infrared Laser Absorption Spectroscopy Journal of Applied Physics, 126, 093102. doi: https://doi.org/10.1063/1.5107508
  • Skrodzki, P. J., Burger, M., Jovanovic, I., Phillips, M. C., Brumfield, B. E., Yeak, J., & Harilal, S. S. (2019). Plume dynamics and gas-phase molecular formation in transient laser-produced U plasmas. Physics of Plasmas, 26, 083508. doi:https://doi.org/10.1063/1.5087704
  • Zhang, Y., Lecaplain, C., Weeks, R. R. D., Yeak, J., Harilal, S. S., Phillips, M. C., & Jones, R. J. (2019). Time-Resolved Dual-Comb Measurement of Number Density and Temperature in a Laser-Induced Plasma. Optics Letters, 44(14), 3458. doi:https://doi.org/10.1364/OL.44.003458


  • Anoop, K. K., Verma, N., Joy, N., Harilal, S. S., & Philip, R. (2018). Enhancement of optical emission and ion currents in a laser produced silicon plasma by femtosecond laser-induced periodic surface structuring. Physics of Plasmas, 25(6), 063304. doi:https://doi.org/10.1063/1.5038913
  • Bergevin, J., Wu, T.-H., Yeak, J., Brumfield, B. E., Harilal, S. S., Phillips, M. C., & Jones, R. J. (2018). Dual-Comb Spectroscopy of Laser-Induced Plasmas. Nature Communications, 9, 1273. doi:https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-018-03703-0
  • Harilal, S. S., Brumfield, B. E., Glumac, N. G., & Phillips, M. C. (2018). Elucidating uranium monoxide spectral features from a laser-produced plasma. Optics Express, 26(16), 20319. doi:https://doi.org/10.1364/oe.26.020319
  • Harilal, S. S., Brumfield, B. E., LaHaye, N. L., Hartig, K. C., & Phillips, M. C. (2018). Optical spectroscopy of laser-produced plasmas for standoff isotopic analysis. Applied Physics Reviews, 5(2), 021301. doi:https://doi.org/10.1063/1.5016053
  • Harilal, S. S., Brumfield, B. E., & Phillips, M. C. (2018a). An evaluation of equilibrium conditions and temperature-dependent speciation in a laser-produced air plasma. Physics of Plasmas, 25(8), 083303. doi:https://doi.org/10.1063/1.5041987
  • Harilal, S. S., Brumfield, B. E., & Phillips, M. C. (2018b). Standoff analysis of laser-produced plasmas using laser-induced fluorescence. Optics Letters, 43(5), 1055-1058. doi:https://doi.org/10.1364/OL.43.001055
  • Phillips, M. C., Brumfield, B. E., & Harilal, S. S. (2018). Real-time standoff detection of nitrogen isotopes in ammonia plumes using a swept external cavity quantum cascade laser. Optics Letters, 43(17), 4065. doi:http://doi.org/10.1364/ol.43.004065


  • Harilal, S. S., LaHaye, N. L., & Phillips, M. C. (2017). High-Resolution Spectroscopy of Laser Ablation Plumes Using Laser-Induced Fluorescence. Optics Express, 25 ( 3), 2312. doi:10.1364/OE.25.002312
  • Harilal, S. S., Skordzki, P., Miloshevsky, A., Brumfield, B., Phillips, M. C., & Miloshevsky, G. (2017). On- and Off-axis spectral emission features from laser-produced gas breakdown plasmas  Physics of Plasmas, 24(06), 063304. doi:https://doi.org/10.1063/1.4985678
  • Hartig, K., Brumfield, B., Phillips, M. C., & Harilal, S. S. (2017). Impact of oxygen chemistry on the emission and fluorescence spectroscopy of laser ablation. Spectrochimica Acta Part B-Atomic Spectroscopy, 135, 54-62. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.sab.2017.07.002
  • Hartig, K., Harilal, S. S., phillips, M. C., Brumfield, B. E., & Jovanovic, I. (2017). Evolution of uranium monoxide in femtosecond laser-induced plasmas Optics Express, 25 (10), 11477-11490. doi:https://doi.org/10.1364/OE.25.011477
  • Miloshevsky, A., Phillips, M. C., Harilal, S. S., Dressman, P., & Miloshevsky, G. (2017). Generation of nanoparticles by ultrafast laser ablation of Al: molecular dynamics study. Physical Review Materials, 1, 063602. doi:DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevMaterials.1.063602
  • Phillips, M. C., Brumfield, B. E., LaHaye, N. L., Harilal, S. S., Hartig, K. C., & Jovanovic, I. (2017). Two-dimensional fluorescence spectroscopy of uranium isotopes in femtosecond laser ablation plumes. Scientific Reports, 7, 3784. doi:https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-017-03865-9


  • Al-Shboul, K. F., Hassan, S. M., & Harilal, S. S. (2016). Carbon dimer formation in the stagnation region of colliding laser-produced plasmas Plasma Sources Science & Technology, 25, 065017. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1088/0963-0252/25/6/065017
  • Anoop, K. K., Harilal, S. S., Philip, R., Bruzzese, R., & Amoruso, S. (2016). Laser fluence dependence on emission dynamics of ultrafast laser induced copper plasma. Journal of Applied Physics, 120(18), 185901. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.4967313
  • Harilal, S. S., Brumfield, B. E., Cannon, B., & Phillips, M. C. (2016). Shock wave mediated plasma chemistry of AlO formation in laser ablation plumes Analytical Chemistry, 88(4), 2296-2302. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.analchem.5b04136
  • Harilal, S. S., LaHaye, N. L., & Phillips, M. C. (2016). Two-dimensional fluorescence spectroscopy of laser-produced plasmas. Optics Letters, 41(15), 3547-3550. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1364/OL.41.003547
  • Harilal, S. S., Yeak, J., Brumfield, B. E., & Phillips, M. C. (2016a). Consequences of femtosecond laser filament generation conditions in standoff LIBS   Optics Express, 24(16), 17941. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1364/OE.24.017941
  • Harilal, S. S., Yeak, J., Brumfield, B. E., & Phillips, M. C. (2016b). Dynamics of molecular emission features from nanosecond, femtosecond laser and filament ablation plasmas. Journal of Analytical Atomic Spectrometry, 31, 1192-1197. doi:DOI: 10.1039/c6ja00036c
  • LaHaye, N. L., Phillips, M. C., Duffin, A., Eiden, G., & Harilal, S. S. (2016). The influence of ns- and fs-LA plume local conditions on the performance of a combined LIBS/LA-ICP-MS sensor  Journal of Analytical Atomic Spectrometry, 31(2), 515-522 doi:DOI: 10.1039/c5ja00317b
  • Skrodzki, P. J., Becker, J. R., Diwakar, P. K., Harilal, S. S., & Hassanein, A. (2016). A Comparative Study of Single-pulse and Double-pulse Laser-Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy with Uranium-containing Samples. Applied Spectroscopy, 70(3), 467-473. doi:DOI: 10.1177/0003702815626670
  • Skrodzki, P. J., Shah, N., Taylor, N., Hartig, K., LaHaye, N., Brumfield, B., . . . Harilal, S. S. (2016). Significance of plasma-ambient conditions in U absorption  and emission features in laser ablation plasmas. Spectrochimica Acta Part B-Atomic Spectroscopy, 125 112–119. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.sab.2016.09.012


  • Anoop, K. K., Polek, M. P., Bruzzese, R., Amoruso, S., & Harilal, S. S. (2015). Multidiagnostics analysis of ion dynamics in ultrafast laser ablation of metals over a large fluence range. Journal of Applied Physics, 117(8), 083108. http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.4967313
  • Diwakar, P. K., Harilal, S. S., Phillips, M. C. (2015). Characterization of ultrafast laser-ablation plasma plumes at various Ar ambient pressures. Journal of Applied Physics, 118(4), 043305. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.4927625
  • El-Atwani, O., Hattar, K., Hinks, J. A., Greaves, G., Harilal, S. S., & Hassanein, A. (2015). Helium bubble formation in ultrafine and nanocrystalline tungsten under different extreme conditions. Journal of Nuclear Materials, 458, 216-223 doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jnucmat.2014.12.095
  • El-Atwani, O., Suslova, A., Novakowski, T. J., Hattar, K., Efe, M., Harilal, S. S. (2015). In-situ TEM/heavy ion irradiation on ultrafine-and nanocrystalline-grained tungsten: effect of 3 MeV Si, Cu and W ions. Materials Characterization, 99, 68-76. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.matchar.2014.11.013
  • Harilal, S. S., Brumfield, B. E., & Phillips, M. C. (2015). Lifecycle of laser-generated air sparks. Physics of Plasmas, 22(6), 063301. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.4922076
  • Harilal, S. S., Diwakar, P. K., LaHaye, N. L., & Phillips, M. C. (2015). Spatio-temporal evolution of U in laser-produced plasma. Spectrochimica Acta Part B-Atomic Spectroscopy, 111, 1-7. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.sab.2015.06.003
  • Harilal, S. S., Diwakar, P. K., Polek, M. P., & Phillips, M. C. (2015). Morphological changes in ultrafast laser ablation plumes with varying spot size. Optics Express, 23(12), 15608. doi:DOI:10.1364/OE.23.015608
  • Harilal, S. S., Yeak, J., & Phillips, M. C. (2015). Plasma temperature clamping in fLIBS. Optics Express, 23(21), 27113. doi:DOI:10.1364/OE.23.027113
  • LaHaye, N. L., Diwakar, P. K., Kurian, J., Alff, L., & Harilal, S. S. (2015). Precise stoichiometric analysis of thin films using fs-LA-ICP-MS. Scientific Reports, 5, 13121. doi:DOI: 10.1038/srep13121
  • Roy, A., Harilal, S. S., Hassan, S. M., Endo, A., Mocek, T., & Hassanein, A. (2015). Collimation of laser-produced plasmas using axial magnetic field. Laser and Particle Beams, 33(2), 175-182. doi:10.1017/S0263034615000075
  • Suslova, A., El-Atwani, O., Harilal, S. S., & Hassanein, A. (2015). Material ejection and surface morphology changes during transient heat loading of tungsten as plasma-facing component in fusion devices Nuclear Fusion, 55(3), 033007. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1088/0029-5515/55/3/033007

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