Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering
Development and investigation of nano-materials for magnetic, semiconductor, optical, and MEMS/NEMS (micro-/nano- electro mechanical systems) devices.
Professor Bandaru is fascinated and motivated by the underlying physics and chemistry of modern materials science and engineering. His research probes the frontiers of engineering, mainly nano scale materials and systems which offer immense benefits in terms of enhanced functionality and portability, and aims to understand materials at the atomic scale. Prabhakar's research will focus on the discovery, study of electronic and magnetic properties, and application of materials in micro-/nano-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS/NEMS), areas where the spin of the electron provides an additional degree of freedom (spintronics), and biomolecular sensors. He is also extensively involved in the development of novel nanofabrication techniques incorporating electron-beam lithography and self-assembly. His research accomplishments span magnetics, semiconductors, and optics, a few highlights being the solution of a fifty-year old phase transformation problem which resulted in the synthesis of a new material: (Mn,Cr)Bi, the discovery from first principles of the beneficial effect of alpha-hydroxy acids for defect free semiconductor surfaces, and the fabrication of a novel low temperature processed photo-detector. He has published extensively and has received the Vice Chancellor's award for graduate dissertation research at UC Berkeley.
Prabhakar Bandaru received his Ph.D. in Materials Science at the UC, Berkeley in 1998, with a graduate thesis on the thermodynamics of phase transformations in magneto-optic thin films. From 1998-1999, Bandaru gained industry experience as a process research engineer in Applied Materials Inc.'s Capacitor Products division where he worked extensively on Metallorganic Chemical Vapor Deposition (MOCVD) and electrical characterization of ferroelectric thin films, and plasma diagnostics. Subsequently, he joined the Electrical Engineering department at UC, Los Angeles as a post-doctoral fellow, where he studied nano-fabrication, low temperature solid state science for quantum computing, and Silicon-Germanium nanophotonics.