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Los Alamos National LaboratoryCenter for Integrated Nanotechnologies
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Scientist Spotlight

The latest news from CINT scientists and affiliates.


  • Communications and Outreach Coordinator
  • Beth Stelle
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New CINT scientist: Andy Mounce

Dr. Andy MounceWe are pleased to welcome our newest CINT scientist, Andy Mounce. Andy received his PhD in physics in 2013 from Northwestern University and then spent two years as a LANL postdoc before joining SNL as a technical staff member in 2015. His research interests include magnetic interactions in quantum materials; mechanisms and manifestations of unconventional superconductivity; and integrating machine learning and optimization into physical measurements and modeling.

Andy will be positioned in the Quantum Materials Systems thrust.

New CINT scientist: John Watt

New CINT scientist: John Watt

Dr. John WattWe are pleased to welcome our newest CINT scientist, John Watt. John is an electron microscopist and materials scientist. He received his PhD in chemistry in 2010 from Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand. He joined CINT at the Core Facility in 2013 on a post-doctoral appointment and continued his work there are as a materials scientist through 2018. John brings expertise in the characterization of nanomaterials using various electron microscopy techniques and will focus on cryogenic electron microscopy to observe soft matter and nanomaterials in their native, hydrated state.

John will be positioned in the Soft, Biological, and Composite Nanomaterials thrust.

CINT scientists honored with APS, LANL fellowships

CINT scientists honored with APS, LANL fellowships

By Nancy Ambrosiano, LANL Media Relations

Jennifer Hollingsworth, APS Fellow

Jennifer HollingsworthThe American Physical Society (APS) has selected the Society's 2018 Fellows, four of which are Los Alamos National Laboratory scientists: Brian Albright, Jennifer Hollingsworth, Brian J. Jensen and Brian Kendrick.

"I congratulate Brian, Jennifer, Brian, and Brian on their selection as American Physical Society Fellows," said John Sarrao, principal associate director for Science, Technology and Engineering at Los Alamos. "These individuals highlight the breadth of scientific innovation and expertise that support the Lab's national security mission. Recognition of their accomplishments by the American Physical Society demonstrates the vibrant engagement that the Laboratory's physicists have with the external scientific community and their contributions to physics research."

"On behalf of the APS, I'm pleased to congratulate all of the Society members who have been recognized by their peers through their selection as 2018 APS Fellows," said APS Chief Executive Officer Kate Kirby. "It's particularly gratifying to see that so many of the Fellows elected this year are women." Of the 155 new APS Fellows, 23 percent are women; a 77 percent increase in the fraction of women Fellows over the 2017 class.

Jennifer Hollingsworth (MPA Center for Integrated Nanotechnologies) was nominated "for the discovery and development of non-blinking giant quantum dots (gQDs), spanning pioneering contributions to materials chemistry, the photophysics of excited-state processes in nanomaterials and applications in optoelectronics." She was nominated by the APS Division of Material Physics. Of her 100 publications (more than 10,800 citations, h-index of 42), she has, as principal investigator or in close collaboration with colleagues, detailed her gQD research in a series of more than 35 papers (more than 3,200 citations), including two invited review articles. Her initial work on this topic led to a US patent for both the novelty of the QD structure and the resulting photophysical properties. Moreover, the implications of the novel gQD performance behavior have been demonstrated for a range of applications from solid-state lighting to 3D single-molecule tracking in live cells and nanoscale thermometry. Lastly, through the CINT User Program, her uniquely photostable quantum emitters are enabling the work of materials physicists around the world. Hollingsworth received the LANL Fellows Prize for Research in 2013 and became a Laboratory Fellow in 2016.

The APS Fellowship Program was created to recognize members who may have made advances in physics through original research and publication or made significant innovative contributions in the application of physics to science and technology. They may also have made significant contributions to the teaching of physics or service and participation in the activities of the Society.

Sergei Tretiak, LANL Laboratory Fellow

Sergei TretiakFive Los Alamos National Laboratory scientists are being honored as Laboratory Fellows this year: James Boncella, Angel Garcia, Lawrence Hull, David Jablonski and Sergei Tretiak.

"To be named a Fellow is one of the Laboratory’s highest honors," said Terry C. Wallace, Jr., Los Alamos National Laboratory director. "All Fellows have demonstrated remarkable scientific achievement that has benefited not just the Laboratory and its mission, but the scientific community as a whole. These are leaders in their fields and it is an honor to name them Fellows."

Sergei Tretiak of the Theoretical Division is an exceptionally creative chemical physicist. The overarching theme of his research is to develop a theoretical framework for electronic properties in complex molecular structures. These materials are at the center of current scientific research, with potential applications in photonics, displays and sunlight harvesting, such as photovoltaic devices based on organic and organic–inorganic active materials. His numerous significant contributions to the understanding of optical processes in advanced, reduced-dimensional materials are being developed for optoelectronics applications. His theoretical studies have provided extremely important descriptions of photo-physical-chemical phenomena in novel molecular systems. The suite of powerful theoretical techniques and elaborate codes that Tretiak developed has substantially influenced the way computational materials chemistry is currently studied worldwide. He is one of the world leaders in understanding non-linear excitations, such as in optical materials. Tretiak has mentored and trained more than 20 postdoctoral associates and 80 summer students, and he won the LANL Postdoctoral Distinguished Mentor Award in 2015. He is a world-leading electronic structure theorist who has transformed optical material science to enable next-generation energy systems.

The Fellow appointment at Los Alamos is an honor bestowed in recognition of outstanding achievement in science and/or engineering, recognizing the full breadth of Laboratory accomplishment from basic research to applied missions. Nominations are assessed on the basis of three criteria:

  • Sustained, high-level achievements in programs of importance to the Laboratory
  • A fundamental or important discovery that has led to widespread use
  • Having become a recognized authority in the field.

LANL APS Fellows news release
LANL Laboratory Fellows news release

New CINT scientist: Michael Pettes

New CINT scientist: Michael Pettes

Dr. Michael PettesWe are pleased to welcome our newest CINT scientist, Michael Pettes. Michael joins us from the University of Connecticut where he was an Assistant Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering. He received his PhD in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin in 2011. Prior to his graduate work, Michael served as an infantry officer with the 1st Marine Division of the United States Marine Corps (2/1).

Michael's research is aimed at developing fundamental insights into the effects of elastic strain engineering (relevant to optoelectronics and quantum computing) and ordered nanoscale porosity (relevant to nanomanufacturing of energy materials) on technologically-relevant nanomaterial systems. His innovative research and commitment to scientific leadership and education has been recognized by the NSF in the form of a Faculty Early Career Development Program (CAREER) Award.

Michael will be positioned in CINT's In-Situ Characterization and Nanomechanics thrust.

CINT welcomes three new scientists

CINT welcomes three new scientists

We are pleased to welcome our newest CINT scientists: Khalid Hattar, Aiping Chen, and Nan Li.

Man standing next to electron microscope.Khalid Hattar is a materials scientist and will be positioned in the In-Situ Characterization and Nanomechanics thrust. Khalid received his PhD in Materials Science and Engineering in 2009 from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He joined Sandia National Laboratories as a Senior Member of the Technical Staff in 2008 and become a Principal Member of the Technical Staff in 2015. Khalid brings expertise in elucidating the response of microstructures to overlapping extreme conditions via combinations of in-situ TEM techniques, as well as utilizing film growth and ion beam modification techniques to produce nanostructured systems with tailored thermal, electrical, and mechanical properties.

Aiping ChenAiping Chen will be positioned in the Quantum Materials Systems thrust. Aiping received his PhD in Electrical Engineering in 2013 from Texas A&M. After three years at Los Alamos National Laboratory as a postdoctoral fellow, during which time he held a Director's Fellowship, Aiping joined CINT as an affiliate scientist in 2016. Aiping's research specializations include epitaxial growth of functional oxide thin films and nanoscale materials including vertical nanocomposites, heterostructures and multilayers by pulsed laser deposition and laser molecular beam epitaxy. He also brings expertise in oxide interfaces engineering and structure-properties correlation in functional materials.

Nan LiNan Li will be joining Khalid in the In-Situ Characterization and Nanomechanics thrust. Nan received his PhD in Materials Science and Engineering in 2010 from Texas A&M. As a postdoctoral fellow at Los Alamos National Laboratory he received the Distinguished Postdoctoral Performance Award. Nan joined the Lab's technical staff in 2013. His research interests include in-situ and ex-situ electron microscopy straining, multiscale mechanical deformation and fracture behavior, and various defect phenomena in materials under irradiation or shock extremes.

Prasankumar elected secretary-treasurer of APS's Division of Laser Science

Prasankumar elected secretary-treasurer of American Physical Society's Division of Laser Science

By H. Kris Fronzak, ADEPS Communications

Rohit PrasankumarRohit Prasankumar (Center for Integrated Nanotechnologies, MPA-CINT) was elected secretary-treasurer of the American Physical Society's (APS) Division of Laser Science. The division promotes laser science interests within the APS and other societies and sponsors numerous awards, conferences, and educational programs.

As secretary-treasurer, Prasankumar will serve through October 2020 and be responsible for maintaining the records and funds in the division.

Prasankumar earned his PhD in electrical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2003. His thesis focused on developing and applying saturable absorbers to femtosecond solid-state laser mode-locking. He joined Los Alamos National Laboratory as a postdoctoral researcher with CINT's Laboratory for Ultrafast Materials and Optical Science team and became a staff member in 2006. He oversees two optical laboratories at CINT, where he pursues new research at the intersection of ultrafast laser science, condensed matter physics, and nanotechnology. In particular, his research focuses on ultrafast dynamics and phenomena in complex quantum materials from terahertz to x-ray frequencies. Prasankumar has published more than 50 peer-reviewed articles and has more than 1,500 citations.

CINT is a DOE Office of Basic Energy Sciences national user facility jointly operated by Sandia National Laboratories and Los Alamos National Laboratory. Prasankumar's research supports the Lab's Materials for the Future strategy by advancing research vital to the Lab's quest for controlled functionality and by examining the properties of quantum materials.

The American Physical Society is a non-profit membership organization working to advance and disseminate the knowledge of physics through its outstanding research journals; scientific meetings; and education, outreach, advocacy, and international activities. APS represents more than 53,000 members, including physicists in academia, national laboratories, and industry around the world.