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Physics Department Faculty

Contact List


Jon Abramson, Professor of Physics. B.S. 1968 City College of New York; M.A. 1970, Ph.D. 1975 University of Rochester. Interests: membrane biophysics, reconstitution of membrane bound proteins, control of muscle contraction and relaxation, active and passive Ca2+ transport across biological and artificial membranes, redox control of Ca2+ transport, oxidative stress, reactive oxygen species, ryanodine receptors, muscle fatigue and aging.

Erik Bodegom, Professor of Physics. Ir. 1977 University of Technology, Delft, The Netherlands; Ph.D. 1982 Catholic University of America.
Interests: charged coupled devices as imagers and their use in medicine, dentistry, and astronomy, heat transfer and nucleation in cryogenic liquids, chaos in physical systems.


Chris Butenhoff, Professor of Physics. MS, 1999, and Ph.D., 2010, Portland State University.

Interests: Climate change; sources and sinks of greenhouse gases; natural and anthropogenic forcings of greenhouse gases; atmospheric and bio geochemical modeling of greenhouse gas emissions; computational methods in inverse modeling; climate feedbacks; verification of emission inventories.

Justin Dunlap, Instructor of Physics. B.A. Physics and Astrophysics, University of California, Berkeley 2002; M.S. Physics 2009, Ph.D. Physics 2014 Portland State University.

Interests: Modeling and characterizing dark current in digital imagers including Charge-Coupled Devices (CCDs). Physics education research including developing and adapting physics curriculum targeted at pre-health students as well as implementing a variety of teaching techniques including the flipped classroom model.

John L. Freeouf, Professor of Physics. B.A. 1967 University of Arizona, MS 1969 University of Chicago, Ph. D. 1973 University of Chicago. Interests: Optical properties of solids, optical metrology of electronic materials, spectroscopic ellipsometry, vacuum ultraviolet spectroscopy, surface passivation, high k dielectrics, physics of semiconductors, semiconductor devices, nanotechnology.

Aslam Khalil, Professor of Physics. B.Phys., Physics, B.A., Mathematics, B.A., Psychology, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis 1970; M.S., Physics, Virginia Polytechnic Institute, 1972; Ph.D., Physics, Center for Particle Theory, University of Texas, Austin, 1976; M.S., Environ. Sci., Oregon Graduate Center, 1979; Ph.D., Environmental Science, Oregon Graduate Center, 1979.
Interests: trace gases and their effect on the global climate.

Rolf Könenkamp, Gertrude Rempfer Professor of Physics. M.S. 1980, Ph.D. 1984, Tulane University; habilitation 1998, Freie Universitaet Berlin.
Interests: nano-scale devices, electron optics, photoelectron microscopy, electron transport, semiconductor applications, nano-crystalline, amorphous and organic thin films, photovoltaics.


Nicholas Kuzma, Adjunct Professor of Physics. B.S. Solid State Physics Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology (MFTI), Russia 1993; Ph.D. Physics Yale University 1999; R.H.Dicke Fellow Atomic Physics Princeton University 1999-2005.
Interests: experimental methods in nuclear magnetic resonance and dynamic nuclear polarization, applied optics, computational statistics.


Andres La Rosa, Associate Professor of Physics. B. S. Physics, National University of Engineering, Lima-Peru. M.S. Physics, Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. Ph.D. Physics, North Carolina State University, 1996.
Interests: Development of nano optics, acoustic phase-modulation, and optically-activated electron-beam imaging techniques, for probing the dynamics of mesoscopic fluid films, imaging subsurface materials properties, and characterizing nanostructures with high spatial/temporal resolution.


Pui-Tak (Peter) Leung, Professor of Physics. B.S. 1976 Chinese University of Hong Kong; M.A. 1979, M.Ed. 1979, Ph.D. 1982 State University of New York, Buffalo.
Interests: Theoretical atomic, molecular, and optical physics; studies of plasmonics and metamaterials; surface optics; and problems in fundamental physics such as reciprocal symmetry in wave propagation and the problem with the photon mass.


Drake C. Mitchell, Professor of Physics. B.S. 1980 Central Washington University; M.A. 1982, Ph.D. 1987 University of Oregon.
Interests: Membrane biophysics, lipid and hybrid lipid-metal nanostructures for encapsulation and targeting of drugs to specific tissues and cell types, effects of diet and nutrition on membrane composition and membrane physical properties, rhodopsin function and stability, role of membrane composition in visual function in the retina, probing protein structure-function relationships with differential scanning calorimetry and time-resolved fluorescence.

Peter Moeck, Professor of Physics; Diploma (equivalent to BS/MS) in Crystallography, Leipzig University, 1983; Dr. rer. nat. (equivalent to PhD) in Crystallography, Humboldt University of Berlin 1991.
Interests: nano and micrometer scale materials science and engineering, application of physical crystallography to materials science and engineering problems of semiconductor technologies, self assembled semiconductor quantum dots, transmission electron microscopy in both parallel illumination and scanning probe modes (including atomic resolution Z-contrast imaging), high energy transmission electron diffraction and goniometry of direct and reciprocal lattice vectors, X-ray diffraction and topography.

Group Website:

Andrew Rice, Assistant Professor of Physics. B.S. Chemistry, University of California at Berkeley, 1995; Ph.D. Chemistry, University of California, Irvine, 2002.
Interests: Understanding the roles of atmospheric trace gases in climate and chemistry through the use of naturally occurring stable isotopes.


Erik Sánchez, Associate Professor of Physics. B.A. Physics (Honors Program), Portland State University, 1989; M. S., Physics, Portland State University, 1993; Ph.D., Environmental Sciences: Physics, Portland State University/Pacific NW National Lab (PNNL/EMSL), 1999.
Interests: Development and implementation of nano-scale imaging techniques. Study of the optical interaction of light and nanometric objects in order to generate enhanced fields for fluorescence and Raman spectroscopy/microscopy. Determination of new applications for Focused Ion / Electron Beam systems towards the study of biological systems using near-field and far-field microscopies.


Raj Solanki, Professor of Physics. Ph.D. Physics, Colorado State University, 1982.
Interests: Electronic and photonic materials and devices, applications of atomic layer deposition for photovoltaic devices, nano-scale electronics. Integration of electronics and biology for bio-sensors.


Jack C. Straton, Associate Professor, Physics & University Studies; Bachelor of Fine Art in Graphic Design (with emphasis in Photography), 1977; M.S. Physics, 1983; Ph.D. Physics, 1986, all at the University of Oregon.
Interests: Theoretical investigations of atomic scattering, nanometrology, electron optics, and near-field optics.  Pedagogical investigations of how to warm the classroom climate for men of color and women of all ethnicities, particularly in the sciences.


Robert C. Word, Research Assistant Professor. B.S.  Physics, Oregon State University, Ph.D.  Physics, Portland State University.
Interests: nanoscale physics, photoelectron microscopy, electron and light optics, computational physics, and chemical physics.


Ralf Widenhorn, Associate Professor. Vordiplom 1997 Universitaet Konstanz, M. S. in Physics 2000 Portland State University, Ph.D., 2005, Portland State University.
Interests: Characterization of Charge-Coupled Devices (CCDs) and other solid state sensors: dark current in CCDs , Residual images in CCDs, charge diffusion in CCDs. Thermally activated processes and the origin of the Meyer-Neldel rule. Physics education research: Curriculum development for undergraduate physics, applications of physics in the life sciences, lab development, assessment.


Special Faculty

John Carruthers, Adjunct Research Professor of Physics, BaSc University of Toronto, 1959, M.S. Lehigh University, 1961, Ph.D. Materials Science and Engineering, University of Toronto, 1967
Interests: Nanoelectronics, nanobiotechnology, and nanometrology including the development of nanoscale, nonlinear, time-dependent memristive devices for inference computing and nanoscale biosensor and biomarker development with the OHSU Center for Spatial Systems Biology.

Jun Jiao, Adjunct Professor. B.S., Optics, Shandong University (P.R.China), 1982; M.S., Physics, University of Arizona, 1994; Ph.D., Materials Science and Engineering, University of Arizona, 1997.
Interests: Structure-property relationships of materials on the atomic scale. Growth mechanism of carbon nanoclusters including carbon nanotubes and carbon encapsulated magnetic particles. Defects in semiconductors, in particular in silicon-on-insulator structures. Analytical techniques in electron microscopy and spectroscopy including high resolution TEM, STEM, FESEM, and EDS.


Andy Martwick, Adjunct Professor. M.S. Physics 2008 Portland State University.Interests: High speed signaling, waveguides, radiating systems, clocking, digital signal processing, meta-materials, and surface plasmonics

John D. Ramshaw, Research Professor. B.S., The College of Idaho, 1965; Ph.D., Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1970. Interests: theoretical and computational fluid dynamics and plasma physics, theoretical statistical physics.


Sergei Rouvimov, Research Assistant Professor, M.S. Physics (Semiconductor Physics), St. Petersburg (Leningrad) State University, Ph.D. Physics (Materials Science) 1987 A.F. Ioffe Physico-Technical Institute, St-Petersburg, Russia
Interests: Atomic structure and physical properties of epitaxial hetero-structures (III-V, II-VI) and interfaces, including quantum structures and novel materials, with emphasis on the structure-physical properties relationship, advanced metrology (high resolution electron microscopy, electron crystallography, EELS, EDX, XPS, photo-luminescence, x-ray diffraction, etc.), semiconductor technology and manufacturing, including nano-technology, crystal growth, defect engineering and analysis, structure modeling and simulation.

Björn Seipel, Adjunct Assistant Professor. Diploma (equivalent to BS/MS) in Mineralogy University of Tübingen, 1999; Dr. rer. nat. (equivalent to PhD) in Mineralogy, University of Tübingen, 2003.
Interests: nano and micrometer scale materials science and engineering, x-ray and neutron diffraction, crystal structure refinement (Rietveld-analysis) corrosion of ceramic materials in several environments.

Emeritus Faculty

Carl Bachuber, Professor Emeritus of Physics. Ph.D. 1964 University of Washington.

John Dash, Professor Emeritus of Physics. B.S. 1955 Pennsylvania State University; M.S. 1960 Northwestern University; Ph.D. 1966 Pennsylvania State University.
Interests: electrodeposition of metals, application of electron microscopy to research in physical science.

Ray Egerton, Professor Emeritus of Physics. Interests: electron microscopy, electron energy-loss spectroscopy, radiation damage.

Donald C. Howard , Professor Emeritus of Physics. A.A. 1957, A.B. 1959, Ph.D. 1964 University of California, Berkeley.
Interests: Mössbauer spectroscopy, solid state studies of naturally occurring minerals and rocks, chemical and physical study of molecules adsorbed onto surfaces.

Guang-jiong Ni, Emeritus Professor of Physics, formerly Professor of Physics at Fudan University in China.
Research interest: fundamental problems in theoretical physics including quantum mechanics, relativity, quantum field theory, and the role of antimatter in general relativity. He is author/coauthor of 6 books and over 200 papers, including the recent text in English on Advanced Quantum Mechanics:

Arnold Pickar, Professor Emeritus of Physics.

Pieter Rol, Professor Emeritus of Physics.

Jack S. Semura, Professor Emeritus of Physics. B.A. 1963, M.S. 1964 University of Hawaii; Ph.D. 1972 University of Wisconsin.
Interests: statistical physics, information, maximum entropy, complex systems.   

Pavel K. Smejtek, Professor of Physics. M.S. 1961 Leningrad Polytechnic Institute (USSR); Ph.D. 1965 Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences (Prague).
Interests: membrane biophysics, scanning tunneling microscopy, chemical and solid state physics.