Associate Professor

Keshav D​ani

kmdani ('at'

Associate Professor
[April 2018 - present]

Assistant Professor
[November 2011 - March 2018]

I joined OIST as an Asst. Professor in Nov. 2011 after completing a Director’s Postdoctoral Fellowship at the Center for Integrated Nanotechnologies at Los Alamos National Laboratory. I graduated from UC Berkeley in 2006 with a PhD in Physics under the supervision of Prof. Daniel Chemla. I obtained a BS from Caltech in Mathematics with a senior thesis in Quantum Information Theory under John Preskill and Hideo Mabuchi. My recent research interests have been in studying the nonlinear and ultrafast properties of 2D and energy materials, terahertz spectroscopy and devices, and applications of femtosecond pulses to neuroscience.

Keshav Dani


Research Administrator

Yumi Ito

yumi.ito ('at'

[April 2015 - present]

I began my career at Texas State University in September 2004 as a part-time editorial assistant and joined the staff full-time for Dani Unit as an administrative assistant in April 2015. My key element for the unit is caring and warmth in assisting them in achieving their objectives from administrative side, and in helping them have a laugh and fun. Favoring trip and movies, I enjoy spending time with family and friends. An oni-wife and a mother of a King-Kong baby boy.


Staff Scientists

Michael Man (‘at’

Staff Scientist
[December 2017 - present]

[December 2012 - December 2017]

I received both my master and PhD degrees from the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST). My main research interest is in the growth and characterization of nanostructures/ultrafilm films using a powerful and versatile technique called low energy electron microscopy and photoemission electron microscopy (LEEM/PEEM). LEEM/PEEM is capable of performing time and spatially resolved structural, electronic and chemical state measurements at spatial resolution down to the nanometer range. With this instrument, for example, we can study the correlation between morphology and band structure in inhomogeneous nanostructures such as in few layer graphene; we can also examine the surface magnetic state and image the dynamics in magnetic domain structure in variety of magnetic nanomaterials. I joined Prof. Dani’s group in OIST in December 2012. Together, we seek to combine my experience in LEEM/PEEM microscopy with the group’s expertise in ultrafast spectroscopy techniques. One of our goals is in the investigation and visualization of the ultrafast dynamics in nanostructures.


Michael Man

Julien Madéo

julien.madeo ('at'

Staff Scientist
[July 2019 - present]

[July 2014 - June 2019]
[February 2012 - April 2012]

I did my PhD in Laboratoire Pierre Aigrain at Ecole Normale Supérieure in Paris where I studied quantum cascade lasers using THz time-domain spectroscopy and their optical nonlinearities for wavelength conversion. In 2012, I visited OIST for a few months to provide help in building the first lab of the FSU. Then, I came back to Paris for two years in Matériaux et Phénomènes Quantiques, Paris 7 University to study microcavity THz sources and InAs/AlSb based quantum cascade lasers. Since 2014, I am back in the FSU and my current interests cover: THz optoelectronics and devices, ultrafast and nonlinear optics as well as 2D materials and heterostructures.


Abdullah Al-Mahboob

Abdullah.AlMahboob ('at'

Staff Scientist
[October 2019 - present]

Visiting Researcher
[June 2019 - July 2019]

I obtained Doctor of Science from Tohoku University, Sendai, Japan where I studied organic molecular film growth employing low energy electron microscope (LEEM/PEEM), STM and complementary DFT calculations. Following my doctoral study, I continued my study on organic molecular materials at Tohoku University (2007-2009). I extended my study, later, on catalysis and 2D materials at Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL, 2009-2013), USA. At BNL, I worked as research associate in interface science and catalysis and user program of PEEM/LEEM endstation of CFN at NSLS. Subsequently, I worked at the University of Liverpool (2014-2016), UK as research coordinator of intermetallic alloys and quasicrystalline compounds and Elettra Sincrotrone-Trieste (2016-2017), Italy as spectromicroscopy beamline scientist, at the City University of New York (2018-2019) and State University of New York -Farmingdale State College as adjunct faculty in energy science. I visited Femtosecond Spectroscopy Unit (Keshav Dani Unit) on June-July 2019 for exploring Novel Ultra-Fast Spatially Resolved Photo-electron Spectromicroscopy technique developed by Dani Unit. Following my visit, I joined Prof. Dani’s group in OIST October 2019. Together, we seek to combine my experience in electron spectromicroscopy and catalysis with the group’s expertise in ultrafast spectroscopy techniques.



Postdoctoral Researchers

Christopher Petoukhoff

christopher.petoukhoff ('at'

[June 2017 - present]

Special Research Student
[July 2016 - April 2017]

[June 2015 - August 2015]

I obtained my Ph.D. from Rutgers University (NJ, USA) in Materials Science and Engineering in the group of Deirdre O'Carroll. The focus of my dissertation was on designing plasmonic metasurfaces for light-trapping in thin-film photovoltaics. I visited the Femtosecond Spectroscopy Unit for 10 weeks during the summer of 2015, and returned as a Special Research Student from Jul 2016 - Apr 2017. I started as a post-doc in Jun 2017, and my current research interests include: ultrafast dynamics of energy materials, van der Waals heterostructures, organic semiconductors, and plasmonic light-trapping.


Arka Karmakar

Arka.Karmakar ('at'

[April 2019 - present]

I finished my PhD in Electrical Engineering from University at Buffalo (SUNY Buffalo) in February 2019 under the supervision of Prof. Erik Einarsson. My PhD research work was focused on CVD growth of graphene and fabrication of metal-graphene hybrid antenna array for THz communications. The project was funded by US Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL). After completing PhD, I joined OIST as a postdoctoral researcher in Dani Unit. Here in Okinawa, my research is focused on fabrication of 2D vdW heterostructures with clean interfaces for studying optoelectronic properties.


David Bacon

David.Bacon ('at'

[August 2019 - present]

I received the M.Eng degree and PhD in electronic and electrical engineering from the Pollard Institute at the University of Leeds, UK, in 2013 and 2017 respectively. The focus of the master project was on the characterisation of terahertz quantum cascade laser active regions. This was then expanded upon during my PhD where I investigated the time-resolved gain dynamics within the device using terahertz time-domain spectroscopy. From this work, I awarded a 2-year-long EPSRC fellowship prize within the Pollard Institute, where I studied the use of photoconductive array structures for the generation of high-field THz radiation. Following that, I joined the femtosecond spectroscopy unit at OIST in August 2019. My research interests include the generation and application of high-field THz radiation, terahertz time-domain spectroscopy and ultrafast electro-optics.



Junior Research Fellows

Andrew Winchester

andrew.winchester ('at'

Junior Research Fellow
[November 2020 - present]

PhD Student
[September 2015 - October 2020]

[January 2014 - July 2014]

I received my BSc and MSc in physics from Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, where I studied various nanomaterials such as carbon nanotubes and layered 2D materials. I joined the FSU to study the ultrafast properties of novel semiconductor systems for use in optoelectronic devices. My PhD work mainly involved studying hybrid organic-inorganic perovskite (HOIP) thin film materials, which are candidates for next generation high efficiency photovoltaic devices. My studies focused on using a novel time resolved electron microscopy technique (TR-PEEM) to investigate the nanoscale electronic properties of traps in HOIP films, and how these traps are involved in the recombination pathways of free carriers.



Technology Pioneer Fellows

Viktoras Lisicovas

viktoras.lisicovas ('at'

Technology Pioneer Fellow
[May 2021 - present]

Junior Research Fellow
[April 2020 - March 2021]

PhD Student
[March 2014 - April 2020]

I graduated from Jacobs University in Bremen, Germany with a degree in Biochemistry and Cell Biology. Later, I have worked in the Laboratory of Biophysics and Applied Pharmacology at ENS Cachan. At OIST my interest lies in studying the basic mechanisms of memory in small networks. I joined Femtosecond Spectroscopy Unit to pursue improvements in optical imaging techniques for basic neuroscience applications.


PhD Students

Vivek Pareek

vivek.pareek ('at'

PhD Student
[September 2016 - present]

Rotation Student
[January 2016 - April 2016]

I received my dual BS-MS degree from IISER-Kolkata, India. During my master's thesis, I studied the high pressure dependence of multiferroics using Raman spectroscopy. My rotation project with FSU has increased my interest in the field of femtosecond spectroscopy. Therefore, I decided to join FSU to pursue my PhD. I will be studying the optical properties of 2D semiconductors for my thesis.


Joel Pérez Urquizo

joel.perezurquizo ('at'

PhD Student
[September 2017 - present]

Rotation Student
[September 2016 - December 2016]

I got both my bachelor and master degree at “Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM)”. I majored in Telecommunications Engineering where I worked at the microwave regime designing and fabricating planar resonant devices for near field microwave microscopy. For my masters I scaled up in frequencies and worked in the THz regime designing and fabricating photoconductive probes for THz near field imaging. Today I’m a PhD student of the 2016 class at OIST and I’m joining the Femtosecond Spectroscopy Unit where I will focus on the research of Quantum Cascade Lasers for THz generation.


Sofiia (Sonya) Kosar

sofiia.kosar ('at'

PhD Student
[September 2018 - present]

Rotation Student
[January 2018 - April 2018]

I received my BSc and MSc degree in solid state physics from Chernivtsi National University in Ukraine. My thesis was focused on studying semiconducting materials for photocatalytic water splitting under solar illumination. I have also spent one year at the University of Groningen in Netherlands studying nanoscience during my masters. I first joined FSU as a rotation student and started investigating charge transfer in mixed-dimensional heterojunctions using ultrafast spectroscopy. Now, as a graduate student in unit, I continue investigating opto-electronic properties of semiconducting energy materials by means of time-resolved photoemission electron microscopy.


Xing Zhu

xing.zhu1 ('at'

PhD Student
[September 2019 - present]

Rotation Student
[May 2019 - August 2019]

[October 2017 - June 2018]

I received my bachelor from South University of Science and Technology of China. I join the femtosecond spectroscopy unit as research intern for six months. Previously I worked on the magnetic and optical properties of new-rising 2D materials from first-principles calculation. And now my research interests focus on the terahertz and its applications in imaging and spectroscopy. In FSU, I’ll study strong-field/broadband THz generation and THz spectroscopy of magnetic materials.




Nicholas Chan

nicholas.chan2 ('at'

[June 2019 - present]

[January 2018 - June 2018]

I recently graduated from Northeastern University with a B.S. in Electrical Engineering.  As part of Northeastern's co-op program I researched point-to-point communications at the Wright-Patterson Air Force Research Lab (AFRL Rome) in 2017 and 2D semiconductors with Dani Unit in 2018.  I am now returning to Dani Unit as a research technician to assist in 2D Van der Waals device fabrication.



Previous Group Members

Previous Rotation Students


Page last updated on Feb. 1, 2021 (CP).