Laboratory of Materials Morphology and Structure Investigations (MMoSt Lab) has been established at the Institute of Solid State Physics, University of Latvia in 2017 and focuses on the study of materials structure, morphology and composition using modern experimental and theoretical methods, employing also high performance cluster computing.

Our experimental possibilities include but are not limited to several techniques such as scanning and transmission electron microscopies, scanning probe microscopies and confocal microscopy, X-ray diffraction and synchrotron-radiation X-ray absorption spectroscopy.

We use advanced theoretical calculations and simulations of experimental data to gain insight on the structure-property relationships in materials.

Our laboratory is also involved in the teaching process at the University of Latvia and provides students with opportunities to participate in research activities during Bachelor, Master and Doctoral level programs.

Scientific degree Name Surname Position Phone number E-mail
Dr.phys. Alexei Kuzmin Head of laboratory 67251691
Dr.phys. Andris Anspoks Senior researcher
Dr.phys. Aleksandrs Kalinko Senior researcher 67251691
Dr.phys. Ilze Manika Senior researcher 67261132
Dr.habil.phys. Janis Maniks Senior researcher 67261132
Dr.phys. Faina Muktepavela Senior researcher 67261132
MSc. Karlis Kundzins Researcher 67187875
MSc. Arturs Cintins Research assistant 67251691
MSc. Inga Jonane Research assistant 67251691
BSc. Rolands Grants Engineer 67261132

Molecular dynamics and reverse Monte Carlo simulations of X-ray absorption spectra (EXAFS/XANES).

We develop advanced data analysis methods for extracting structural information from X-ray absorption spectra. 

Investigation of structure-property relationships of advanced functional materials.

We conduct systematic studies based on modern experimental and theoretical methods to better understand and optimize the functional properties of various oxide materials.

Local structure relaxation in nanomaterials.

We study the effect of crystallite size reduction on the local atomic and electronic structure in nanomaterials using modern experimental techniques and theoretical simulations.

Radiation damage in materials.

We study the formation of nano-defects and the modification of related properties in LiF single-crystals by irradiating them with energetic (MeV-GeV) ions.

CAMART2 - H2020-WIDESPREAD-2014-1 (2017-2023).


"ODS steel with high creep strength", EUROfusion WPMAT - Advanced Steels Project (MAT-2.3.2-T005-D004), 2014-....

LSC grant:

X-ray absorption studies of metal hydrides under extreme pressure (2018-2020).

  • The work “Neural network approach to EXAFS analysis” (doi: 10.1103/physrevlett.120.225502) was recognized among the best at the ELETTRA synchrotron center in 2018.
  • The work “Origin of pressure-induced metallization in Cu3N: an X-ray absorption spectroscopy study” (doi: 10.1002/pssb.201870141) was featured on Physica Status Solidi B journal cover.


  • DESY/HASYLAB synchrotron center
  • Institute for Applied Materials-Applied Materials Physics
  • Karlsruhe Institute of Technology


  • SOLEIL synchrotron center


  • ELETTRA synchrotron center
  • Institute for Photonics and Nanotechnology
  • Foundation Bruno Kessler


  • ALBA synchrotron center


  • KTH
  • RISE Acreo


  • Stony Brook University


  • Wigner Research Centre for Physics


  • Department of Chemistry, St.Petersburg State University
  • Joint Institute for Nuclear Research

S. Rahman, S. Samanta, A. Kuzmin, D. Errandonea, H. Saqib, D.L. Brewe, J. Kim, J. Lu, L. Wang, Tuning the photoresponse of nano-heterojunction: Pressure-induced inverse photoconductance in functionalized WO3 nanocuboids, Adv. Sci. (2019) 1901132:1-9.

I. Jonane, A. Anspoks, G. Aquilanti, A. Kuzmin, High-temperature X-ray absorption spectroscopy study of thermochromic copper molybdate, Acta Mater. 179 (2019) 26-35.

T. Schenk, A. Anspoks, I. Jonane, R. Ignatans, B.S. Johnson, J.L. Jones, M. Tallarida, C. Marini, L. Simonelli, P. Hönicke, C. Richter, T. Mikolajick, U. Schroeder, Local structural investigation of hafnia-zirconia polymorphs in powders and thin films by X-ray absorption spectroscopy, Acta Mater. 180 (2019) 158-169.

I. Manika, J. Maniks, R. Zabels, R. Grants, A. Kuzmin, K. Schwartz, Depth profiles of damage creation and hardening in MgO irradiated with GeV heavy ions, Nucl. Instrum. Methods Phys. Res. B 461 (2019) 77-82.

J.Timoshenko, A.Anspoks, A.Cintins, A.Kuzmin, J.Purans, A.I.Frenkel, Neural network approach for characterizing structural transformations by x‐ray absorption fine structure spectroscopy, Phys. Rev. Lett. 120 (2018) 225502:1‐6.

E. Butanovs, S. Vlassov, A. Kuzmin, S. Piskunov, J. Butikova, B. Polyakov, Fast-response single-nanowire photodetector based on ZnO/WS2 core/shell heterostructures, ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces 10 (2018) 13869-13876.

I. Jonane, A. Anspoks, A. Kuzmin, Advanced approach to the local structure reconstruction and theory validation on the example of the W L3-edge extended X-ray absorption fine structure of tungsten, Modelling Simul. Mater. Sci. Eng. 26 (2018) 025004 (11 pp).

I. Manika, R. Zabels, J. Maniks, K. Schwartz, R. Grants, T. Krasta, A. Kuzmin, Formation of dislocations in LiF irradiated with 3He and 4He ions, J. Nucl. Mater. 507 (2018) 241-247.

I. Jonane, A. Cintins, A. Kalinko, R. Chernikov, A. Kuzmin, Probing the thermochromic phase transition in CuMoO4 by EXAFS spectroscopy, Phys. Status Solidi B 255 (2018) 1800074:1-5.

A. Kuzmin, A. Anspoks, A. Kalinko, J. Timoshenko, L. Nataf, F. Baudelet, T. Irifune, Origin of pressure-induced metallization in Cu3N: an X-ray absorption spectroscopy study, Phys. Status Solidi B 255 (2018) 1800073:1-6.

J. Timoshenko, A. Anspoks, A. Kalinko, A. Kuzmin, Thermal disorder and correlation effects in anti-perovskite-type copper nitride, Acta Mater. 129 (2017) 61-71.

B. Polyakov, A. Kuzmin, S. Vlassov, E. Butanovs, J. Zideluns, J. Butikova, R. Kalendarev, M. Zubkins, A comparative study of heterostructured CuO/CuWO4 nanowires and thin films, J. Cryst. Growth 480 (2017) 78-84.

R. Zabels, I. Manika, K. Schwartz, J. Maniks, A. Dauletbekova, R. Grants, M. Baizhumanov, M. Zdorovets, Formation of dislocations and hardening of LiF under high-dose irradiation with 5-21 MeV 12C ions, Appl. Phys. A 123 (2017) 320:1-8.