Department of Applied Physics and Materials Science - Materials Science


Harry A. Atwater, Jr.

Otis Booth Leadership Chair, Division of Engineering and Applied Science; Howard Hughes Professor of Applied Physics and Materials Science; Director, Liquid Sunlight Alliance

Professor Atwater's research focuses on quantum and nanophotonics, metamaterials and metasurfaces, artificial photosynthesis, two-dimensional materials, nano- and micro-structured photovoltaics, space solar power and plasmonics.

Marco Bernardi

Professor of Applied Physics, Physics and Materials Science

Marco Bernardi's research focuses on theoretical and computational materials physics. His group develops new first-principles methods to investigate electron transport, ultrafast dynamics and light-matter interactions in materials. Applications of this research include electronics, optoelectronics, ultrafast spectroscopy, energy and quantum technologies.

Kaushik Bhattacharya

Howell N. Tyson, Sr., Professor of Mechanics and Materials Science; Vice Provost

Professor Bhattacharya studies the mechanical behavior of solids, and specifically uses theory to guide the development of new materials.  Current research concerns three broad areas: (i) Active materials such as shape-memory alloys, ferroelectrics and liquid crystal elastomers, (ii) Heterogeneous materials and designing unprecedented properties by exploiting heterogeneities, (iii) Coarse-grained density functional theory to understand defects in solids.

Katherine Faber

Simon Ramo Professor of Materials Science

Katherine Faber is interested in the fracture of brittle materials and mechanisms by which such materials can be toughened and strengthened. Her studies comprise ceramics for energy-related applications including thermal and environmental barrier coatings for power generation components and porous solids for filters and flow in applications that extend to medicine. She has also worked with art museums on scientific studies in the arts, where advanced materials characterization and analytical techniques are used in support of conservation science.

Joseph Falson

Assistant Professor of Materials Science; William H. Hurt Scholar

Joseph Falson's research focuses on the synthesis and characterization of quantum materials that display emergent functionalities. The group specializes in the thin-film growth of high quality crystals and their physical evaluation in extreme environments, including at low temperature and high magnetic field.

Brent Fultz

Barbara and Stanley R. Rawn, Jr., Professor of Materials Science and Applied Physics

Professor Fultz focuses on materials physics and materials chemistry, presently with two emphases. One is on the origin of entropy, as studied by neutron scattering and computation. This has expanded to other thermophysical properties. The second is on new materials for energy storage, especially H-storage materials.

William A. Goddard, III

Charles and Mary Ferkel Professor of Chemistry, Materials Science, and Applied Physics

Goddard has been a pioneer in developing methods for quantum mechanics (QM), force fields (FF), reactive dynamics (ReaxFF RD), electron dynamics (eFF), molecular dynamics (MD), and Monte Carlo (MC) predictions on chemical, catalytic, and biochemical materials systems.

Julia R. Greer

Ruben F. and Donna Mettler Professor of Materials Science, Mechanics and Medical Engineering; Fletcher Jones Foundation Director of the Kavli Nanoscience Institute

Professor Greer focuses on nano-scale phenomena: mechanical properties, in-situ deformation, and nano-fabrication.

Stevan Nadj-Perge

Assistant Professor of Applied Physics and Materials Science

Stevan Nadj-Perge is interested in development of mesoscopic devices for applications in quantum information processing. Such devices also provide a playground for exploring exotic electronic states at (sub)-nano length scales. In his research, he is using scanning tunneling microscopy and electrical transport measurement techniques at cryogenic temperatures.


Affiliated Faculty

These faculty are either currently advising Materials Science graduate students or might be open to accepting Materials Science graduate students as advisees.

Rana Adhikari

Professor of Physics

Rana Adhikari's group focuses on new detector technologies for fundamental physics experiments (gravitational waves, dark matter, and near field gravity). These precision measurements require pushing the capabilities in mechanical oscillators, nonlinear optics, acoustic metamaterials, and high efficiency photodetection for quantum measurements.

Scott K. Cushing

Assistant Professor of Chemistry

Professor Cushing’s research focuses on developing new, laser-based instrumentation for chemistry, physics, biology, and materials problems. Currently, the Cushing group is developing a table-top transient x-ray technique, high-flux entangled photon spectroscopy, and few-femtosecond, driven-lattice experiments.

Chiara Daraio

G. Bradford Jones Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Applied Physics; Investigator, Heritage Medical Research Institute

Prof. Daraio’s research focuses on engineering new materials with advanced mechanical and sensing properties, for application in robotics, medical devices, and vibration absorption. Her group developed new materials and methods for acoustic imaging and thermal sensing in medicine and health monitoring. Recently, her group began exploring new materials from engineered living systems, creating plant-based biological matrix composites with new functionalities.

Wei Gao

Assistant Professor of Medical Engineering; Investigator, Heritage Medical Research Institute; Ronald and JoAnne Willens Scholar

Professor Gao’s primary research interest is in the development of novel bioelectronic devices for personalized and precision medicine: wearable and flexible biosensors that can analyze the various biomarkers in body fluids for real-time continuous health monitoring and early diagnosis, and synthetic micro/nanomachines for rapid drug delivery and precision surgery. His research thrusts include fundamental materials innovation as well as practical device and system level applications in translational medicine.

Morteza (Mory) Gharib

Hans W. Liepmann Professor of Aeronautics and Medical Engineering; Booth-Kresa Leadership Chair, Center for Autonomous Systems and Technologies; Director, Graduate Aerospace Laboratories; Director, Center for Autonomous Systems and Technologies

Professor Gharib researches conventional fluid dynamics and aeronautics including vortex dynamics, active and passive flow control, nano/micro fluid dynamics, autonomous flight and underwater systems, as well as advanced flow-imaging diagnostics. The Gharib group is further interested in biomechanics and medical engineering via the study of fluid dynamics within the human cardiovascular system and opthamology, as well as the development of medical devices.

Harry B. Gray

Arnold O. Beckman Professor of Chemistry; Founding Director, Beckman Institute

Professor Gray's interdisciplinary research program addresses a wide range of fundamental problems in inorganic chemistry, biochemistry, and biophysics. Electron-transfer (ET) chemistry is a unifying theme for much of this research.

Julia A. Kornfield

Elizabeth W. Gilloon Professor of Chemical Engineering

Professor Kornfield’s research focuses on molecular and microscopic aspects of polymer viscoelasticity and the application of optical, NMR and x-ray techniques to observe order and dynamics in polymers, including associative polymers, block copolymers, liquid-crystalline polymers, semicrystalline polymers and polymer gels.

Karthish Manthiram

Professor of Chemical Engineering and Chemistry; William H. Hurt Scholar

The Manthiram Lab is developing a synthetic paradigm in which carbon dioxide, nitrogen, and water can be converted into a wide range of chemicals and materials using renewable electricity. The lab creates electrocatalytic materials which facilitate the molecular-level dance through which chemical bonds are broken and formed, so that desired molecules can be made more selectively, efficiently, and at faster rates.

Thomas F. (Tom) Miller, III

Professor Miller researches new techniques that can bridge dynamical hierarchies and simulate complex dynamics. The Miller Group develops theoretical and computational methods to understand a variety of molecular processes including catalysis, solar energy conversion, battery materials, and the dynamics of soft matter and biological systems.

Austin Minnich

Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Applied Physics

Professor Minnich's research focuses on advancing microwave and millimeter-wave technology used in radio astronomy, quantum information science, and other applications. Current topics include investigation of electronic noise and nanofabrication processes for ultralow noise transistor amplifiers and quantum simulation using superconducting qubit quantum computers.

Guruswami (Ravi) Ravichandran

John E. Goode, Jr., Professor of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering

Prof. Ravichandran focuses on the mechanics of materials including active materials and structures (ferroelectrics, shape memory alloys, MEMS), biomaterials, cell mechanics, composite materials, fracture and adhesion mechanics, and dynamic deformation and failure behavior of solids.

Maxwell J. Robb

Assistant Professor of Chemistry

Professor Robb’s research is at the intersection of synthetic organic chemistry, polymer chemistry, and materials science. The Robb Group’s primary focus is the development of mechanically sensitive molecules called mechanophores and their application in stimuli-responsive polymers and soft materials.

Kimberly See

Assistant Professor of Chemistry

Professor See's research is focused on solid-state chemistry, ionics, electrochemistry, liquid-phase and solid-state electrolytes, and advanced characterization as they apply to energy applications. The See Group uses these tools to develop a fundamental understanding of next-generation battery chemistry with a focus on multivalent and multielectron chemistry.

Nai-Chang Yeh

Thomas W. Hogan Professor of Physics

Prof. Yeh specializes in experimental condensed matter physics, focusing on fundamental studies and technological applications of quantum materials and nanoscience. Her current research topics include correlated electrons (e.g., high-temperature superconductors and colossal magnetic perovskites), topological materials (e.g., topological insulators/superconductors), low-dimensional systems (e.g., van der Waals materials/heterostructures based on graphene, hexagonal boron nitride, and transition-metal dichalcogenides), and energy research (e.g., photovoltaic cells, lithium-ion batteries, and supercapacitors).



William L. Johnson

Ruben F. and Donna Mettler Professor of Engineering and Applied Science, Emeritus

William Johnson's research includes studies of metallic materials including liquid alloys, bulk metallic glasses, nanostructured metals, and metal-matrix composites. Also, applications of metallic glasses as structural materials in sporting goods, aircraft, and military hardware, etc.