top of page

Dr Maria Pia Valdivia Leiva



P    Group Senior Researcher 

Assistant Research Scientist, Center for Energy Research

Email :
Office: SERF 244
Lab: SERF 158, SERF 153
Phone: (858) 822-XXXX
Fax: (858) 534 7716

LinkedIn profile:
Google Scholar profile:
ResearchGate profile:


Background & Current Research interests

Dr. Maria Pia Valdivia Leiva is an Associate Project Scientist at the University of California San Diego, Center for Energy Research and a Visiting Associate Researcher in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at The Johns Hopkins University. She has led the development of advanced Phase-Contrast X-ray imaging diagnostics for High Energy Density Laboratory Plasmas experiments in the high-intensity laser and pulsed-power environments since 2013. She has developed x-ray imaging techniques to obtain electron density, small-angle scatter, and mixing information through x-ray phase, transmission, and dark-field mapping.
Dr. Valdivia has fielded Talbot-Lau X-ray Deflectometry (TXD) diagnostics on laser and facilities such as: Omega EP, MTW, LULI2000, ECLIPSE, SACLA, and LCLS-MEC. She has led experimental campaigns at the Laboratory for Laser Energetics to systematically study and optimize x-ray backlighters for advanced phase-contrast imaging to benchmark a TIM-based electron density (≥10^23 cm-3) phase-contrast diagnostic for the Omega EP laser.

Dr. Valdivia earned her PhD in Exact sciences at Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile in 2011. Her current research interests include high-intensity laser-matter interactions, dense Z-pinches, and alternative x-ray radiation sources for HEDLP applications, and the development of advanced diagnostics for High Temperature Plasmas. She also participates in Physics Education Research, Science Communication, and Outreach volunteering programs focused on the advancement and inclusion of girls, women, gender diverse, and other underrepresented groups in STEM.

Current Service in the High Energy Density Science Community

      Omega Laser Users Group Vice-Chair
      NIF/JLF Laser Users Group Executive Committee
      LaserNetUS Diagnostics and Data Analysis Committee







bottom of page