Alexander Bataller

Assistant Professor of Nuclear Engineering

Research Description:

The Ultrafast Spectroscopy Group in the Department of Nuclear Engineering investigates several topics in plasma science and nuclear engineering. Dr. Bataller’s research group specializes in the application of ultrafast laser techniques for probing matter in extreme environments with a particular focus on molten salts for advanced nuclear energy applications. Molten salt research topics include thermophysical property characterization and their microscopic origins, photochemistry of solvated electrons, interfacial corrosion dynamics of metals, and plasma engineering for nuclear material accountancy.


  • Lippy, M., Bland, H., and Bataller, A. “Fundamental Interactions in a Classical Wigner System.” Phys. Rev. E, 104.2 (2021).
  • Nevola, D., Bataller, A., Kumar, A., Sridhar, S., Frick, J., O’Donnell, S., Ade, H., Maggard, P.A., Kemper, A.F., Gundogdu, K. and Dougherty, D.B., 2021. Timescales of excited state relaxation in α−RuCl3 observed by time-resolved two-photon photoemission spectroscopy. Phys. Rev. B, 103(24), p.245105.
  • Wilmington, R. L., Ardekani, H., Rustagi, A., Bataller, A., Kemper, A. F., Younts, R. A., & Gundogdu, K. (2021). Fermi liquid theory sheds light on hot electron-hole liquid in 1L− MoS2. Physical Review B, 103(7), 075416.
  • Bataller, A., Latshaw, A., Koulakis, J., and Putterman, S. “Dynamics of Strongly Coupled Two-Component Plasma via Ultrafast Spectroscopy.” Optics Letters, 44(23), 5832-5835 (2019).
  • Yu, Y., Bataller, A.*, Younts, R., Yu, Y., Li, G., Puretzky, A., Geohegan, D., Gundogdu, K., and Cao, L. “Room-Temperature Electron-Hole Liquid in Monolayer MoS2.” ACS Nano., 13(9), 10351-10358 (2019)
  • Younts, R., Bataller, A., Ardekani, H., Yu, Y., Cao, L., Gundogdu, K. “Near Band Edge Excitation Leads to Catastrophic Ionization and Electron-Hole Liquid in Room-Temperature Monolayer MoS2.” Physica Status Solidi B, 19000223 (2019).
  • Bataller, A., Younts, R., Rustagi, A., Yu, Ardekani, H., Y., Cao, L., Kemper, A., Gundogdu, K. “Dense Electron-Hole Plasma Formation and UltraLong Charge Lifetime in Monolayer MoS2 via Material Tuning.” Nano Letters, (2019).
  • Nevola, D., Hoffman, B., Bataller, A., Ade, H., Gundogdu, K., and Dougherty, D. “Rigid Valance Band Shift due to Molecular Surface Counter-Doping of MoS2.” Surface Science, 679 (2019).
  • Zheng, A., Awartani, O., Gautam, B., Liu, D., Qin, Y., Li, W., Bataller, A., Gundogdu, K., Ade, H., and Hou, J. “Efficient Charge Transfer and Fine-tuned Energy Level Alignment in a THF-Processed Fullerene-Free Organic Solar Cell That Yields 11.3% Efficiency.” Advanced Materials, 29(5) (2017).
  • Bataller, A., Putterman, S., Pree, S., and Koulakis, J. “Observation of Shell Structure, Electronic Screening, and Energetic Limiting in Sparks.” Physical Review Letters, 117, 085001 (2016).
  • Bataller, A., Koulakis, J., Pree, S. and Putterman S. “Nanosecond High-Power Dense Microplasma Switch for Visible Light.” Applied Physics Letters, 105, 223501 (2014).
  • Bataller, A., Plateau, G. R., Kappus, B., and Putterman, S. “Blackbody Emission from Laser Breakdown in High-Pressure Gases.”  Physical Review Letters, 113(7), 075001 (2014).
  • Bataller, A., Kappus, B., Camara, C., and Putterman, S. “Collision Time Measurements in a Sonoluminescence Plasma with a Large Plasma Parameter.”  Physical Review Letters, 113(2), 024301 (2014).

Highlight:  Profiled as a Focus Story in Physics, 7(72), (2014) and online

  • Kappus, B., Bataller, A., and Putterman, S. “Energy Balance for a Sonoluminescence Bubble Yields a Measure of Ionization Potential Lowering.”  Physical Review Letters, 111(23), 234301 (2013).


Postdoctoral Fellow 2015-2017


North Carolina State University

Ph.D. 2014


University of California Los Angeles

B.S. 2007


University of Arizona


Plasma-Bubble Spectroscopy: A Method for Real-Time Material Quantification in Molten Salts
US Dept. of Energy (DOE)(10/01/21 - 9/30/23)
Fluid Measurements of Molten Salts Using Nonlinear Fluid Dynamics
Oak Ridge Associated Universities(10/01/20 - 9/30/21)
Investigating Contact Electrification via Operando Ultrafast Nonresonant Spectroscopy
Julian Schwinger Foundation (JSF)(1/01/19 - 12/31/20)