Faculty and Staff

David Macaluso

David Macaluso

Associate Professor

Office: CHCB 119
Email: david.macaluso@umontana.edu
Office Hours:

Spring 2018  M,W 3:00 PM - 4:30 PM and by appointment.

I am happy to help students and answer questions outside my normally scheduled office hours and I strongly encourage students to seek my assistance whenever necessary.  If I am not in my office, I can often be found in my lab, CHCB 020, or in the machine shop, CHCB 023.

Personal Website
Curriculum Vitae

Current Position

  • Associate Professor of Physics - Department of Physics & Astronomy
  • Faculty Member, Montana University System Materials Science Doctoral Program
  • Member of the UM Professional Education Council


  • Autumn 2012: Modern Physics (PHSX 343), Electronics (PHSX 220)
  • Autumn 2013: Modern Physics (PHSX 343), College Physics I (PHSX 205N)
  • Spring 2014: Communicating Physics (PHSX 330), Advanced Lab (PHSX 444)
  • Autumn 2014: Modern Physics (PHSX 343), College Physics I Laboratory (PHSX 206N)
  • Spring 2015: College Physics I (PHSX 205N), Kinetics and Phase Transformations (MTSI 512)
  • Autumn 2015: Modern Physics (PHSX 343), College Physics I (PHSX 205N)
  • Spring 2016: Communicating Physics (PHSX 330), Optics (PHSX 327)
  • Autumn 2016: Modern Physics (PHSX 343), College Physics I (PHSX 205N)
  • Spring 2017: College Physics I Laboratory (PHSX 206N), Kinetics and Phase Transformations (MTSI 512)
  • Autumn 2017: Modern Physics (PHSX 343), College Physics I (PHSX 205N)
  • Spring 2018: Communicating Physics (PHSX 330), Optics (PHSX 327)

Personal Summary

I am the proud husband of Maile Macaluso, a critical care certified registered nurse. We have an amazing son, Lyell (named after the highest peak in Yosemite National Park), and a wonderful daughter, Claire (no mountains involved, we just love the name). Somehow during my time earning two bachelors degrees and teaching middle and high school, I was also a working (and busy) professional musician and an avid competitive cyclist: I am no longer the former, but I try to remain the latter. My wife - who was a guide in Yosemite Valley before finding her calling in nursing - and I enjoy backpacking and camping and are learning to incorporate two little munchkins into those activities.


  • B.S. Architectural Engineering, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, 1995
  • B.A. Physics, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, 2002
  • Ph.D. Physics, University of Nevada, 2010

Research Interests

Elemental photoionization in support of ongoing astrophysical and observational astronomy research endeavors.


My research group has two primary projects:

  • Photoionization of ions via synchrotron radiation at the Advanced Light Source (Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory).
  • Scanning Photoionization Microscopy using ultrashort pulses from a ti:saph laser focused to a diffraction-limited spot and directed in-vacuo to a 2D translatable sample stage.

Field of Study

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics
  • Materials Science


Cross sections for photoionization of fullerene molecular ions Cn+ with n = 40, 50, 60, 76, 78, and 84, C. M. Thomas, K. K. Baral, N. B. Aryal, M. Habibi, D. A. Esteves-Macaluso, A. L. D. Kilcoyne, A. Aguilar, A.S. Schlachter, S. Schippers, A. Müller, and R. A. Phaneuf, Phys. Rev. A 95, 053412 (2017).

Absolute single photoionization cross-sections of Rb2+: Experiment and theory, D. Macaluso, K. Bogolub, A. Johnson, A. Aguilar, A. L. D. Kilcoyne, M. Bautista, A. Kerlin, and N.C Sterling, J. Phys. B: At. Mol. Opt. Phys. 49, 23, 235002 (2016).

Photoionization and photofragmentation of the C60+ molecular ion, K. K. Baral, N. B. Aryal, D. A. Esteves-Macaluso, C. M. Thomas, J. Hellhund, R. Lomsadze, A. L. D. Kilcoyne, A. Müller, S. Schippers, and R. A. Phaneuf, Phys. Rev. A 93, 033401 (2016).

Absolute single-photoionization cross sections of Se2+: Experiment and theory, D. Macaluso, R. A. Phaneuf, A. L. D. Kilcoyne, A. Aguilar, R. Bilodeau, E. Red, N.C. Sterling, B.M. McLaughlin, Phys. Rev. A. 92, 063424 (2015).

Absolute measurements of chlorine Cl+ cation single photoionization cross section E.M. Hernández, A.M. Juárez, A.L.D. Kilcoyne, A. Aguilar, L. Hernández, A. Antillón, D. Macaluso, A. Morales-Mori, O. González-Magaña, D. Hanstorp, A.M. Covington, V. Davis, D. Calabrese, G. Hinojosa, J. J. Quant. Spectrosc. Radiat. Transfer, 151, 217-223 (2014).

Valence-shell single photoionization of chlorine-like K2+ ions: Experiment and theory G. Alna’Washi, M. Lu, M. Habibi, D. Esteves-Macaluso, J.C. Wang, R. A. Phaneuf, A. L. D. Kilcoyne, C. Cisneros, B.M. McLaughlin, Phys. Rev. A, 90, 023417 (2014).

Probing confinement resonances by photoionizing Xe inside a molecular cage R. A. Phaneuf, A. L. D. Kilcoyne, N. B. Aryal, K. K. Baral, D. A. Esteves-Macaluso, C. M. Thomas, J. Hellhund, R. Lomsadze, T. W. Gorczyca, C. P. Ballance, S. T. Manson, M. F. Hasoglu, S. Schippers, and A. Müller, Phys. Rev. A 88, 053402 (2013).

Single-photon multiple detachment in fullerene negative ions: absolute ionization cross sections and the role of the extra electron, R. C. Bilodeau, N. D. Gibson, C.W. Walter, D. A. Esteves-Macaluso, S. Schippers, A. Müller, R. A. Phaneuf, A. Aguilar, M. Hoener, J. M. Rost, and N. Berrah, Phys. Rev. Let.111, 4, 043003 (2013).

State purity of decelerated beams, N. J. Fitch, M. I. Fabrikant, T. C. Briles, D. A. Esteves-Macaluso, Y. Shyur, L. P. Parazzoli, H. J. Lewandowski, J.Mol.Spec. 278, 1-6 (2012).

Absolute photoionization cross-section measurements of Se3+ and Se5+, D. A. Esteves-Macaluso,  A. Aguilar,  R. C. Bilodeau,  R. A. Phaneuf , A. L. D. Kilcoyne, E. C. Red,  N. C. Sterling, J. Phys. B, At. Mol. Opt. Phys. 45 115201 (2012).

Absolute high-resolution Se+ photoionization cross-section measurements with Rydberg-series analysis, D. A. Esteves-Macaluso, N. C. Sterling, A. L. D. Kilcoyne, R. C. Bilodeau, E. C. Red, R. A. Phaneuf, A. Aguilar, Phys. Rev. A 84, 013406 (2011).

Experimental photoionization cross-section measurements in the ground and metastable state threshold region of Se+, N. C. Sterling , D. A. Esteves-Macaluso, A. Aguilar, A. L. D. Kilcoyne, R. C. Bilodeau, E. C. Red, R. A. Phaneuf, J. Phys. B 44, 025701 (2011).

New atomic data for trans-iron elements and their application to abundance determinations in planetary nebulae, N. C. Sterling , M. C. Witthoeft, D. A. Esteves-Macaluso, R. C. Bilodeau, A. L. D. Kilcoyne, E. C. Red, R. A. Phaneuf, G. Alna’Washi, A. Aguilar, Can. J. Phys. 89, 4, 379 (2011).

Confinement resonances in photoionization of Xe@C60, A. L. D. Kilcoyne, A. Aguilar, A. Müller, S. Schippers, C. Cisneros,  G. Alna’Washi, N. B. Aryal, K. K. Baral, D. A. Esteves-Macaluso, C. Thomas, R. A. Phaneuf, Phys. Rev. Let. 105, 23, 239901 (2010).

Site-selective ionization and relaxation dynamics in heterogeneous nanosystems, M. Hoener, D. Rolles, A. Aguilar, R. C. Bilodeau, D. A. Esteves-Macaluso, P. Olalde Velasco, Z. D. Pešić, E. Red, N. Berrah,  Phys. Rev. A 81, 021201 (2010).

Photoionization cross sections for ions of the cerium isonuclear sequence, A. Müller, S. Schippers, R. A. Phaneuf, M. Habibi, D. A. Esteves-Macaluso, J. C. Wang, A. L. D. Kilcoyne, A. Aguilar, L. Dunsch, Phys. Rev. A 80, 3, 033407 (2009).

Improved neutron-capture element abundances in planetary nebulae, N. C. Sterling, H. L. Dinerstein, S. Hwang, S. Redfield, A. Aguilar, M. C. Witthoeft, D. A. Esteves-Macaluso, A. L. D. Kilcoyne, M. Bautista, R. A. Phaneuf, R. C. Bilodeau, C. P. Ballance, B. McLaughlin, P. H. Norrington, Publications Of The Astronomical Society Of Australia 26, 3, 339-344 (2009).

Significant redistribution of Ce 4d oscillator strength observed in photoionization of endohedral Ce@C82+ ions, A. Müller, S. Schippers, R. A. Phaneuf, M. Habibi, D. A. Esteves-Macaluso, J. C. Wang, A. L. D. Kilcoyne, A. Aguilar, L. Dunsch, Phys. Rev. Let. 101, 13, 133001 (2008).

Photoionization and electron-impact ionization of Ar5+, J. C. Wang, M. Lu, D. A. Esteves-Macaluso, M. Habibi, G. Alna’Washi, R. A. Phaneuf, A. L. D. Kilcoyne, Phys. Rev. A 75, 062712 (2007).



Doctoral Fellow In-Residence, The Advanced Light Source, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, 2008-2010.

Specialized Skills

  • Measurement and analysis of atomic and molecular photoionization spectra
  • Extensive CAD design and machining skills
  • Mechanical engineering and design
  • Eggo waffle making
  • Bicycle maintenance
  • Diaper changing (a skill I happily retired in 2014)

Home Department

Department of Physics and Astronomy 

Area of Expertise

Atomic and Molecular Physics; Kinetics and Phase Transformations; Scanning Photoionization Microscopy

Teaching Experience

During my time as an undergraduate student, I was surprised by the number of professors who found themselves teaching in spite of their disinterest in classroom instruction. I was also surprised by the lack of teaching experience of many of my undergraduate professors. While most made up for their teaching inexperience with enthusiasm, hard work, preparation, and natural talent, others would clearly have benefitted from additional instructional training and experience before assuming the role of university professor. So in between earning my first bachelors degree and my PhD, I spent six very rewarding years teaching in secondary education. I taught both middle and high school during that time in preparation for my eventual career as a university professor to learn more about teaching, to discover my own teaching style, and to test my mettle in front of the most challenging students on Earth: hormonal 7th graders. After my successful stint in secondary education, I taught several sections of both algebra- and calculus-based introductory physics laboratory at the University of Nevada as a graduate student and in the latter stages of my graduate career became the defacto guest lecturer for the department. At UM, I have taught Electronics (PHSX 322), Modern Physics (PHSX 343), College Physics I (PHSX 205N),  College Physics I Lab (PHSX 206N), Communicating Physics (PHSX 330), Kinetics and Phase Transformations (MTSC 512), Advanced Laboratory (PHSX 444), and Optics (PHSX 327).  I am also an active member of the Montana University System multi-campus doctoral program in Materials Science and have taught Kinetics and Phase Transformations for that program (MTSI 512) and have participated on the UM Professional Education Council.

Professional Experience

  • Doctoral Fellow In-Residence at the Advanced Light Source, LBNL, 2008 - 2010.
  • Ph.D. in experimental atomic physics, University of Nevada, 2010.
  • Postdoctoral Research Associate at the Joint Institute of Laboratory Astrophysics (JILA), CU-Boulder, 2010 - 2012.
  • Faculty member in the Department of Physics & Astronomy at the University of Montana, 2012 - present.


International Experience

  • Extensive international collaborations (Germany, Mexico, Sweden, Great Britian)
  • Extensive snowboarding experience in France and Canada.
  • I've been to Tijuana and Cancun too!


American Physical Society


  • Cycling (mountain, road, cyclocross, fat, etc.)
  • Music (writing, recording, guitar, drums, bass)
  • The Outdoors (camping, cycling, snowboarding, cross-country skiing, hiking, floating the river, etc.)