Physics Department Faculty

Tenured and Tenure Track Faculty


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, Assistant 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.

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 1970, B.A. Mathematics 1970, B.A. Psychology 1970 University of Minnesota, Minneapolis; M.S. Physics 1972 Virginia Polytechnic Institute; Ph.D. Physics 1976 Center for Particle Theory, University of Texas, Austin; M.S. Environmental Science 1979 Oregon Graduate Center; Ph.D. Environmental Science 1979 Oregon Graduate Center. 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.

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 1996 North Carolina State University. 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, effects of diet and nutrition on membrane composition and membrane physical properties, receptor function and stability, liquid-liquid coexistence in biological membranes, detailed membrane structure, interaction of biological membranes with nanoparticles, role of membrane composition in G-protein coupled signaling, probing protein structure-function relationships and membrane architecture with isothermal titration calorimetry and time-resolved fluorescence.

Peter Moeck, Professor of Physics; Diploma (equivalent to BS/MS) in Crystallography 1983 Leipzig University; Dr. rer. nat. (equivalent to PhD) in Crystallography 1991 Humboldt University of Berlin. 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:

Jay Nadeau, Professor of Physics. Ph.D 1996 University of Minnesota, theoretical nuclear physics. Interests: imaging techniques and instruments for bacterial imaging in extreme environments and space, biomedical imaging, fluorescent and metal nanoparticles, scintillators and radiation therapy, interferometric microscopy, superresolution techniques, single-cell spectroscopy, biocompatible materials, biophysics education.

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

Erik Sánchez, Professor of Physics. B.A. Physics (Honors Program) 1989 Portland State University; M. S., Physics 1993 Portland State University; Ph.D. Environmental Sciences: Physics 1999 Portland State University/Pacific NW National Lab (PNNL/EMSL). 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. B.S. Physics 1973 Dallas University, Texas; M.S. Physics 1975 University of Illinois Urbana; Ph.D. Physics 1982 Colorado State University. 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. BFA 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.

Ralf Widenhorn, Professor of Physics. Vordiplom 1997 Universitaet Konstanz; M.S. Physics 2000 Portland State University; Ph.D. 2005 Portland State University. Interests: Physics education research: Curriculum development for undergraduate physics, applications of physics in the biomedical field, Introductory Physics for the Life Sciences (IPLS), lab development, active learning and use multimedia in education, assessment of student engagement, Kinesthetic learning of physics and sports science. Solid state physics and digital image sensors: Characterization of CCD and CMOS image sensors: impurities, noise correction, dark current, residual images, charge diffusion, thermally activated processes and the origin of the Meyer-Neldel rule.


Instructional, Research, and Adjunct Faculty


Dave Evans, Adjunct Instructor

Priya Jamkhedkar, Instructor. M.S. Physics 1997 Indian Institute of Technology Bombay; Ph.D. Physics 2002 University of Arizona. Interests: astrophysics and cosmology, physics and mathematics education for undergraduate students, data analysis and modeling techniques.

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

Yongwen G. Lampert, Adjunct Instructor. B.S. Physics 2009 East China Normal University, Shanghai, China; Ph.D. Applied Physics 2014 Portland State University. Interests: undergraduate education of physics.

Andy Martwick, Adjunct Instructor. M.S. Physics 2008 and Ph.D. Applied Physics 2018 Portland State University. Interests: High speed signaling, waveguides, radiating systems, clocking, digital signal processing, meta-materials, and surface plasmonics

Robert Word, Adjunct Research Instructor. B.S. Physics Oregon State University. Ph.D. Physics Portland State University. Interests: nanoscale physics, photoemission electron microscopy, electron and light optics, computational physics, and chemical physics.


Emeritus Faculty


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 calcium transport across biological and artificial membranes, redox control of calcium transport, oxidative stress, reactive oxygen species, ryanodine receptors, muscle fatigue and aging.

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

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, Professor Emeritus of Physics, formerly Professor of Physics at Fudan University in China. Research interests: 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.