Group members

Group members

Edwin Fohtung

Dr. Edwin Fohtung
Assistant Professor,
LANSCE Professor at NMSU

— LANL Contact —– |
Experimental Physical Sciences (ADEPS)
Los Alamos National Laboratory
MS H805 Los Alamos, NM 87545
phone: 505.667.4972

— NMSU Contact —– |
Department of Physics, New Mexico State University
MSC 3D, N. Horseshoe Dr., las Cruces NM 88003
phone: 575.646.5631 | Fax: 575.646.1932

Curriculum Vitae

Ph.D Students

Erandi WijerathnaErandi Wijerathna

BS (Physics), University of Columbo, Sri Lanka


  Field and Research Interests:
Magnetostriction and Magnetic Nanostructures


Dmitry Karpov

Dmitry Karpov Msc (Physics), Tomsk State Polytechnic University, Russia


  Field and Research Interests:
Magnetoelectronic Phases and Coherent Scattering/Imaging


Richard MbatangRichard Mbatang
BS (Physics), University of Buea, Cameroon


Field and Research Interests:
Novel Electronics, Magnetic and Magnetoelectric Phases


Dennis TrujilloDennis Trujillo
BS (Physics), New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, NM.


Field and Research Interests:
Computational methods, Phase Reconstruction Methods, Magnetic and Magnetoelectric Phases

Ayana GhoshAyana Ghosh
BS (Physics/Abstract Mathematics), University of Michigan-Flint, Flint, MI.


Field and Research Interests:
Theoretical and Experimental Condensed Matter Physics, Material Science, X-Ray Diffraction, Ellipsometric Techniques, Thin film characterization.
About Me:
Hello! My name is Ayana Ghosh. My home resides in the state of West Bengal, India. I graduated from University of Michigan with my Bachelor’s Degrees (BS) in Physics and Abstract Mathematics in May 2015. Besides being a hardcore physics enthusiast, my interests lie in writing, solving mathematical problems, dance and travelling. I believe that Mother Nature has created the universe in a way where everything ties itself together. To be able to express it in terms of mathematics or physics, is the hard part! And that’s what fetches me into studying this subject. As once Tagore mentioned, “Everything comes to us that belongs to us if we create the capacity to receive it” , I think with every scientific discovery, we unfold and let ourselves dive into many more mysteries, to understand the universe better.

Mohammad Al AbullahMohammad Al Abdullah
BS (Physics), University of Dhaka, Bangladesh.


Field and Research Interests:
Novel devices, magnetic and magnetoelectric phases.


Undergraduate StudentsDouglas Brown

Douglas Brown
BS (Physics) in pursuit, New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, NM.


Field and Research Interests:
Coherent diffraction imaging and phase retrival algorithms.

Samuel DijaniSamuel Dijiani
MS (Computer Science) in pursuit, New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, NM.


Field and Research Interests:
Phase retrival algorithms.

Queenie FortalezaQueenie Fortaleza
BS Mechanical Engineering in pursuit, New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, NM.


Field and Research Interests:
Imagning and scattering, magnetic nanostructures for petroleum.

Cameron Radosevich
BS Mechanical Engineering in pursuit, New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, NM.


Field and Research Interests:
Ultrafast dynamics, light and soft X-rays, coherent scattering.


Doing good science is not just about producing data, it should also tell a new story

A list of all group publications as a PDF can be obtained here .
Access to PDF versions of the manuscripts is obtained by clicking on the DOI links. If your domain does not provide you access, please email Dr. Fohtung for reprints.

Selected Publications

  1. S.Adak, M. Hartl, L. Daemen, E. Fohtung, and H. Nakotte.“Study of oxidation states of the transition metals in a series of Prussian blue analogs using x-ray absorption near edge structure (XANES) spectroscopy”. Journal of Electron Spectroscopy and Related Phenomena;;  (2016)
  2. J.W. Kim, A. Ulvestad, S. Manna, R. Harder, E. Fohtung, A. Singer, L. Boucheron,E. E. Fullerton, and O. G. Shpyrko.“Observation of x-ray radiation pressure effects on nanocrystals”. J. Appl. Phys. 120, 163102 (2016).
  3. Dmitry Karpov , Tomy dos Santos Rolo , Hannah Rich , Yuriy Kryuchkov , Boris Kiefer & E. Fohtung, “Birefrigent Coherent Diffraction Imaging”. Proc. SPIE 9931, Spintronics IX, 99312F (September 26, 2016); doi:10.1117/12.2235865.
  4. Mahmoud Hammouri, Edwin Fohtung, Igor Vasiliev “Ab initio study of magnetoelectric coupling in La0.66Sr0.33MnO3/PbZr0.2Ti0.8O3 multiferroic heterostructures”;; J. Phys.: Condens. Matter 28 396004 (2016).
  5. J. W. Kim, S. Manna, S. H. Dietze,  A. Ulvestard,  R. Harder,  E. Fohtung, E. Eric Fullerton, and O. G. Shpyrko. Curvature-induced and thermal strain in polyhedral gold nanocrystals. Appl. Phys. Lett. 105, 173108 (2014).
  6. Matyshev, E. Fohtung. On the Applications and computations of Bessel functions of pure Imaginary indices (orders) in physics and specifically in Corpuscular Optics. Russian Academy of Science, Institute for Analytical instrumentation. (2014).
  7. Andrew Ulvestard, H. Man Cho, R. Harder, J. W. Kim, E. Fohtung, Y. S. Meng. and O. G. Shpyrko. Nanoscale Strain Mapping in Battery Nanostructures. Applied Phys. Letts. 104 073108 (2014).
  8. T. Slobodskyy, P. Schroth, A. A Minkevich, D. Grigoriev, E. Fohtung, M. Riotte, T. Baumbach, M. Powalla, U. Lemmer, T. Slobodskyy. “Three Dimensional reciprocal space profile of an individual nanocrystallite inside of a thin film solar cell absorber layer” J. Phys. D: Appl. Phys – D/476386/PAP/310365 (2013).
  9. E. Fohtung, J. W. Kim, Keith. T. Chan, Ross Harder, Eric E. Fullerton and O. G. Shpyrko. Probing the three dimensional strain inhomogeneity and equilibrium elastic properties of single crystal Ni nanowires. Appl. Phys. Lett. 101,033107 (2012).
  10. P. Schroth, T. Slobodskyy, D. Grigoriev, A. A Minkevich, M. Riotte, S. Lazarev, E. Fohtung, D. Z. Hu , D. M. Schaadt and T. Baumbach. Investigation of buried quantum dots using grazing incidence x-ray diffraction” Material Science and Engineering B 177, 721 (2012).
  11. A. A Minkevich, E. Fohtung*, T. Slobodskyy, M. Riotte, D. Grigoriev, T. Metzger, A.C. Irvine, V. Novak, V. Holy and T. Baumbach. Strain field in periodic GaMnAs/GaAs periodic wires revealed by coherent diffraction imaging”, Europhysics Lett. 94, 6600 (2011)
  12. A. A Minkevich, E. Fohtung*, T. Slobodskyy, M. Riotte, D. Grigoriev, A.C. Irvine, V. Novak, V. Holy and T. Baumbach. Selective coherent diffractive imaging of displacement fields in (Ga,Mn)As/GaAs periodical wires., Phys. Rev. B 84, 054113 (2011).
  13. M. Riotte, E. Fohtung*, D. Grigoriev, A. Minkevich, T. Slobodskyy, M. Schimdbauer, T. Metzger, D.Z. Hu, D.M. Schaadt and T. Baumbach. Lateral ordering, strain and morphology evolution of InGaAs/GaAs quantum dots due to high temperature post growth annealing. Appl. Phys. Lett. 96,083102 (2010).
  14. D. Pelliccia, A. Rack, S. Bauer, A. Cecilia, L. Helfen, L. Tao, P. Vagovic, F. Xu, L. ZhiJuan, A. Minkevich, I. Huber, E. Fohtung,T. Rolo, A. Ershov, T. Baumbach X-ray IMAGING at ANKA, ANKA Annual Report 2008, p. 27-33, CD-ROM
  15. E. Fohtung, A. A Matyshev. New Classes of Spherical-Toroidal Electrostatic Energy Analyzers, Society of Vacuum coaters, 2007 TechCon,
  16. M. Riotte, D. Grigoriev, E. Fohtung. The effect of annealing on InGaAs quantum dots morphology and ordering investigated by triple crystal X-ray scattering in grazing incidence.


Research Directions

Do you want to know about the read-head inside your computer works? Why some butterflis are blue, yellow and multi-colored? The arrangement of spins in magnetic nanostructures and how they fluctuate? How your TV remote control works? How information is stored and read in your “pen drives” and flash memory? The quantum fluctuations of atoms in single crystals of solid Helium at temperatures near absolute zero? Or the structure and dynamics of stripe domains and puddles in ferroelectric, ferromagnetic and superconducting phases? These topics and more are investigated by the Fohtung Group, primarily using the interaction of radiation (photons, neutrons ans ions) with condensed matter systems. The focus of our research is the study of the structure and dynamics of condensed matter.

Our We investigate the quantum interaction between electromagnetic radiation (photons and neutrons) with condensed and soft matter at the nanoscale. To this end, we are interested in developing novel optical metrology (lens-less microscopy, coherent diffraction imaging with photons at synchrotrons and XFELs) and neutron scattering techniques to probe spatial and temporal dynamics due to competing charge-, spin-, orbital and lattice degree of freedoms at the nanoscale. Applications of our research includes Magneto-electric based nano-mechanical oscillators, sensing, quantum photonics, Magneto-electric conversion of optical energy to electricity, transparent ceramics and biomimetics.  We also focus on training the next generation of innovative students/scientists. We aim to foster an environment that is conducive to learning, creativity, and personal development.

Our group is broadly engaged in the study of the structure and dynamics of condensed matter using the techniques of optical, x-ray and neutron scattering. For this purpose, we use in-house x-ray sources and diffractometers, Optical Metrology, while most of our studies require an intensity that can only be provided at synchrotron sources and XFELs.

Towards quantum biomemetics  and bio-inspired quantum devices

For decades, humans have mimicked nature for inspiration to create or optimize devices and machines, as well as industrial fabrication, characterization processes and strategies. Besides studying quantized plasma oscillations (plasmons) in metallic nanostructures and at interfaces between metals and dielectrics, we dwell into a branch of science which designs materials and machines inspired in the structure and function of biological systems. Since nature possesses a diversity of photonic structures that have been fine-tuned over millions of years by trial and error; we study a range of bio-inspired features such as structural color vs pigmentary color with the aim of  building new photonic devices.

A Conventional broadband reflection microscope with different angles of illumination (a) is used to image the bright metallic blue colored structures of the Morpho Marcus butterfly wing with illumination from all angles (b) and to show the directional dependency of the reflected light with blue wavelength synthesized in a pseudo-color image (c) where blue channel of the 2pm illumination image is assigned to a blue channel of the synthesized image, blue channel of the 8pm illumination image is assigned to red channel of the synthesized image and blue channel of 5pm illumination image is assigned to the green channel of the synthesized image. This is a direct evidence of structural coloring.


As an alternative to electronic charge, the storage and transport of electronic spin in semiconductor devices – “spintronics”, may revolutionize the electronic device industry, with spin based transistors , opto-electronic devices, and memory. Moreover, the ability to preserve coherent spin states in conventional semiconductors and quantum dots may eventually enable quantum computing in the solid state.



In the so-called intrinsic multiferroics (those that naturally combine magnetic and electric order parameters), the magnetoelectric coupling is however often weak and heterogeneous multiferroics (composite materials) are currently developed to optimize order parameter coupling. Magnetic and ferroelectric materials are thus artificially combined and two main paths are followed to achieve the magnetoelectric coupling: either strains or modulation of charge carrier density. Several works have been recently reported on strains-driven magnetoelectric coupling, generally achieved when combining magnetostrictive and piezoelectric materials and on the control of ferromagnetic properties achieved through the modulation of the carrier density by applying a gate voltage. In this domain, the effects on ferromagnetic semiconductors have been intensively investigated because its ferromagnetic properties are function of carrier concentration; But electric field control of coercivity, anisotropy, Curie temperature in ferromagnetic metallic layers have also been recently reported. Complex magnetic oxides are other interesting candidates for charge-driven magnetoelectric coupling because of high sensitivity of strongly correlated magnetic systems to competing electronic ground states. Charge plays especially a prominent role in double exchange, hopping and orbital overlap. A large charge-driven magnetoelectric coupling effect has thus been reported in Sr-doped lanthanum manganite (LSMO)/ferroelectric (PZT) composite structure.

We aim at taking an alternative path to multiferroics by designing a piezoelectric-ferromagnetic-semiconductor heterostructures or nanoscale devices in which the applied electric field induces strain field that propagates into the ferromagnetic material and alters the its magnetization.
In magneto-electronic materials such as multiferroics an external electric field displaces ions from their equilibrium positions, which alters the magnetostatic and exchange interactions yielding magnetoelectric coupling. There has been extensive effort to realize multiferroic materials in thin films and nanostructures. In ferromagnetic/piezoelectric composite structures (which is the focus of this proposal), electric field induced strain in the piezoelectric material can alter the magnetization of the ferromagnetic material due to magnetostrictive effects. Recent theoretical calculations suggest that in ferroelectric insulator/ferromagnetic heterostructures that ferroelectric displacements of the interfacial atoms may be reversed by electric fields, significantly altering the interfacial moment or anisotropy. More generally magneto-electric effects may be a common feature of interfaces between dielectrics and metals. Understanding and control of these effects may ultimately lead to new memory and spintronics logic elements.


Dr. Edwin Fohtung earned his bachelor’s and master’s degree from the institute of physics, nanotechnology and telecommunication of the St Petersburg State Polytechnic University Russia, and his PhD. from University of Freiburg in Germany.

While pursuing his PhD studies in Germany from 2007 to 2010, he was employed as a scientific research assistant at the ANKA synchrotron light source facility at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT). During this time he became fascinated and with the use of neutrons and (in)coherent photons produced from light sources such as ANKA, ESRF, DESY to study a wide range of condensed matter systems. His interest turned into a career prospect as he moved to the University of California at San Diego as a postdoc in the physics department.

Dr. Edwin Fohtung received his tenure at New Mexico State University; he also held the position of Lansce (Los Alamos Neutron Scattering) Professor of Physics and Materials at the Assistant level.

Currently Dr. Fohtung is an Associate Professor of Material Science at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

His Current research explores (via experimental and numerical modeling) the use of neutron, synchrotron based novel coherent x-ray scattering techniques, optical (laser-based) pump-probe experimental techniques, pulsed electric and magnetic fields to probe a variety of emergent condensed matter systems, ranging from multiferroics, magnetoelectric, electronic, straintronics, orbitronic and magnetic phases arising due to competing and/or coupled charge, spin, orbital ordering and lattice interactions. Other soft matters systems such as colloids, nanoparticles, polymers, fluids and glasses are of interest. Dr. Edwin Fohtung also aims to foster an environment that is conducive to learning, creativity, and personal development.

News archive


Prof. Fohtung presents an invited talk titled Magneto-electric Coupling Effects using Coherent Diffraction Imaging: Physics Colloquium & Seminar, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg Virginia, March 28th 2016. (03.28.2016)

Prof. Edwin Fohtung presents his groups latest results on Diffraction Imaging at a Physics Colloquium in Virginia Tech, Blacksburg. The work is funded by the LANS/DOE, and DOD.

Prof. Fohtung presents an invited talk at the Karlsruhe Nano Micro Facility (KNMF) Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Karlsruhe-Germany, (03.01.2016).

Prof. Edwin Fohtung presents his groups latest results on tunable non-linear optical elements. This work is a joint collaboration with colleagues at KIT and LANL. The work is funded by the LANS/DOE, and DOD.


Welcome new group members Ayana Ghosh, Mohammad Abdullah-Al-Mamun and  Dennis Trujillo (07.30.2015)

Ayana, Mohammad and Dennis join the Fohtung Research Group as PhD research assistants.

Cameron Radosevich is awarded a summer internship at Intel Corp Fab11x located in Rio Rancho, NM  (06.02.2015)

Cameron receives a summer internship working at  Intel Fab11x location in Rio Rancho, NM.

Douglas Brown is awarded a summer internship at Oakridge National Laboratory ORNL(06.01.2015)

Doug receives a summer internship working with Dr. Tom Pelaia a senior R&D staff and the Applications Leader for Accelerator Physics at ORNL on the Open XAL program.

Prof. Fohtung is named the 2015 Rosen Scholar at Los Alamos National Laboratory(04.02.2015)

Dr. Edwin Fohtung has been named the 2015 Rosen Scholar at the Los Alamos Neutron Science Center (LANSCE) of Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL).The Rosen Scholar is a fellowship created to honor the memory of Louis Rosen, his accomplishments, hard work, and affection for the broad range of science performed at LANSCE. Louis Rosen’s outstanding leadership and scientific career at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) covered six-and-a-half decades and included conception of the Los Alamos Meson Physics Facility (LAMPF), during 1960, that culminated with its commissioning in 1972. LAMPF was a unique nuclear science research tool through the 1990s. Now called Los Alamos Neutron Science Center (LANSCE), the facility continues to play a paramount role in basic sciences and national security needs for the country. From his scientific vision to his kind and effective mentoring, Rosen’s tenure, from the Manhattan Project in 1943 till his passing in 2009, exemplified the best in leadership at all levels.

Prof. Fohtung is appointed Guest Editor of Journal of Optics special issue on ‘coherent diffractive imaging’ (03.20.2015)

The Journal of Optics,  specials issue on coherent diffractive imaging is dedicated to publishing peer reviewed articles on progress in diffractive imaging.

Prof. Fohtung presents an invited talk at the minerals metals & materials society (TMS) conference in Orlando, FL (03.16.2015)

Prof. Edwin Fohtung presents his groups latest results on Imaging of Magnetostriction in Nickel nanostuctures using Coherent X-ray diffraction imaging. This work is a joint collaboration with colleagues at NMSU, UCSD and LANL. The work is funded by the LANS/DOE, DOD and NSF.

Prof. Edwin Fohtung receives a Los Alamos National Laboratory ( LANL) funded subcontract award through the Theory-T division (03.05.2015)

Prof. Edwin Fohtung has been awarded a two year $100,000 grant to explore emergent phenomena in correlated oxides and Pb- free ferroelectrics using a combination of advanced coherent photon scattering techniques and theoretical computation. The ultimate goal is to develop new methods of fabricating materials that might be technologically important for new-generation energy research.

Erandi Wijerathna presents a contributed talk at the APS March Meeting in San Antonio, TX (03.04.2015)

Erandi Wijerathna presents her latest results on Strain and defects in Core-Shell Ni-NiO nanoparticle at the Annual American Physical Society (APS) March meeting in San Antonio, Texas.

Erandi Wijerathna receives a Graduate Student Travel Award  from the NMSU College of Arts & Sciences (02.04.2015)

Erandi Wijerathna receives a $500 USD travel award from the College of Arts and Sciences to support her trip to the Annual American Physical Society (APS) March meeting in San Antonio, Texas.

Welcome new group member Dmitry Karpov (01.09.2015)

Dmitry Karpov joins the Fohtung Research Group as a PhD research assistant.


Article Published in Applied Physics Leters.  (10.29.2014)

Our article titled “Curvature-induced and thermal strain in polyhedral gold nanocrystals” has been published in AIP publishing Applied Physics Letters Appl. Phys. Lett. 105, 173108 (2014). This paper details recent advances in using Coherent x-ray diffraction imaging techniques to study the local strain distribution in polyhedral gold nanocrystals.

Prof. Edwin Fohtung receives Department of Defence (DOD) Award through the Air force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR)  (09.15.2014)

Prof. Edwin Fohtung has received a three year $380,000 DOD-AFOSR grant  to explore how new types of magnetoelectronic phases can be engineered at the interface between piezoelectric (PZT) and magnetic (LSMO) under extreme conditions.

Douglas Brown receives a 500 USD award (09.04.2014)

Douglas Brown presents his latest results on gradient and density constraints applicable to Iterative Phase retrieval algorithms at the International Workshop on Phase Retrieval and Coherence 2014 poster session in Chicago. He receives a $500 USD  award.

Welcome new group members Cameron, Mbatang and Wijerathna (08.18.2014)

Erandi Wijerathna and Richard Mbatang join the Fohtung Research Group as PhD research assistants while Cameron Radesovic joins as an undergradute research assistant.

The website is open (08.07.2014)