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William L. Harrington received the BS degree in Chemistry from the University of North Carolina in 1961 and the PhD degree in Analytical Chemistry from Cornell University in 1966. He was the first U.S. recipient of a PhD degree to specialize in spark source mass spectrography (SSMS).
In 1966, Dr. Harrington joined E.l. du Pont de Nemours & Co., Inc., where he worked mainly in instrumentation and detection systems for liquid chromatography. In 1967, Dr. Harrington joined RCA Laboratories as a Member, Technical Staff, specializing in the analytical aspects of solids mass spectrography. He also worked on the quantitative analysis of gases and volatile components in solids and liquids, using both magnetic sector and quadrupole mass spectrometry. Starting in 1971, his efforts were directed toward the analysis of surfaces and thin films by both low-energy ion scattering spectrometry and secondary ion mass spectrometry. He received a 1976 RCA Laboratories Outstanding Achievement Award for a team effort in secondary ion mass spectrometry and low-energy ion scattering spectrometry.
In 1976, Dr. Harrington was placed in charge of an analytical-support task force for RCA's VideoDisc project. These efforts broadened his mass spectrometry interests to organics, including gas chromatography/mass spectrometry, headspace volatiles, solids-probe and pyrolysis mass spectrometry, and secondary ion mass spectrometry of organic liquids and solids. In 1982, he was promoted to Senior Member, Technical Staff, and in 1983 was appointed Head of the Materials Characterization Research group within the Materials and Processing Research Laboratory. He directs a centralized effort of specialized professional skills and advanced instrumentation for solving complex problems in physical characterization and chemical analysis. Skill centers for which Dr. Harrington is responsible include optical microscopy, scanning and transmission electron microscopy, x-ray techniques, mass spectrometry, electron spectroscopy surface analysis, MV accelerator capabilities, optical spectroscopy chemical analysis, and computerization for characterization instrumentation.
Dr. Harrington has written or coauthored numerous papers. He is a member of the American Chemical Society, Sigma Xi, Alpha Chi Sigma, and the American Society for Mass Spectrometry.
- RCA 1986 Company Biography
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