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Prabhakar R. Bandaru


Professor, Department of Mechanical Engineering

Prabhakar Bandaru is a professor in UCSD’s Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering department. He is also an affiliate of the Electrical and Computer Engineering and the Nanoengineering departments. After receiving his Ph.D. from UC, Berkeley, he worked in Applied Materials Inc., on non-volatile random access memories. He was then a postdoctoral fellow in the Electrical Engineering and Physics departments at UCLA on low temperature physics as related to quantum information processing. Dr. Bandaru then joined UC, San Diego as an Assistant Professor. 

Prab Bandaru and his research group are mainly interested in analytical and experimental materials physics and chemistry, broadly looking at the electrical, thermal, electrochemical, magnetic, photonic, and mechanical properties of materials at the mesoscopic and microscopic levels.  Professor Bandaru has been recognized through various awards such as the VC award for graduate dissertation research, Flint Seminar series lectureship in Applied Physics at Yale University, a “Career” grant from the National Science Foundation, and the Scientific American Top 50 Researchers in the world.

Prab Bandaru’s research accomplishments range from synthesis of a new materials with the highest known magneto-optic figure of merit, the discovery of principles for defect free semiconductor surfaces, establishing the maximum efficiency for thermoelectrics, measurement of the electrical conduction and activation energies at the single molecular level, use of helical and Y-shaped carbon nanostructures for inductors and nanoelectronics, seminal non-contact optical measurements of thin film thermal conductivity, sub 1 nanometer pores and diagnostics in single layer graphene and other transition metal dichalcogenides, texture induced surface plasmons, silicon-germanium photonics integration,  etc. Recently, he has focused his efforts on establishing the fundamental limitations for electrochemical energy storage and non-resonant thermal metamaterials involving the manipulation of thermal heat flux, as well as nanoscale conductive and radiative heat transfer.

Prab Bandaru is motivated by the engineering applications of his fundamental research into materials physics and chemistry and utility in frontier bioengineering and innovative biomedical devices.