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Los Alamos National LaboratoryCenter for Integrated Nanotechnologies
Helping you understand, create, and characterize nanomaterials

Scientist Spotlight

The latest news from CINT scientists and affiliates.


  • Communications and Outreach Coordinator
  • Beth Stelle
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New CINT scientist: Michael Pettes

Dr. Michael PetterWe 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.