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Viterbi Faculty Directory

Anupam Madhukar

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Kenneth T. Norris Professor in Engineering and Professor of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science, Biomedical Engineering, and Electrical Engineering-Electrophysics


  • 1971, Doctoral Degree, Materials Science and Physics, California Institute of Technology
  • 1968, Master's Degree, Physics, Indian Institute of Technology-Kanpur
  • 1966, Bachelor's Degree, Physics, Mathematics, Statistics, University of Lucknow


Anupam Madhukar heads the Nanostructure Materials and Devices Laboratory (NMDL) at the University of Southern California (USC) and is internationally known for pioneering several elements of semiconductor nanoscience, including the spawning and development of self-organized quantum dots that provide the basis of the next generation of optoelectronic devices for optical communication. He is the Kenneth T. Norris Professor of Engineering and holds appointments in Biomedical Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Electrical Engineerig, Materials Science, and Physics. He is a Founding Member of the Center for Photonics and the Center for Electron Microscopy and Microanalysis at USC. He served as the Chair of the Materials Science department from 1990 to 1993.

Dr. Madhukar received his BSc (1966) and MSc (Physics, 1968) degrees from, respectively, the University of Lucknow and the Indian Institute of Technology (Kanpur) in India. He obtained PhD in Materials Science and Physics from the California Institute of Technology (1971) and joined the Applied Physics department of Caltech at its inception in June 1971. After serving at the IBM T. J. Watson Research Center (1972-74) and the University of Chicago (1974-76), he joined the USC faculty in August 1976 as Assistant Professor in Physics and Materials Science departments.

His group carries out inter- and multi-disciplinary research with a combined theoretical, computer simulation, and experimental approach to investigations of quantum phenomena in novel functional nanostructures. The philosophy and approach is holistic and encompasses studies of the atomic-scale understanding and control of the synthesis of novel nanostructures (employing real-time process monitoring and feedback control), their structural and optical characteristics, their processing into semiconductor devices such as transistors, optical modulators, lasers, and detectors, and their properties that underpin applications in information processing and optical communication. In 2003 the scope was expanded to studies of live cell populations and biomedical biotic-abiotic systems to bring to bear upon such studies new tools / techniques and nanoscale probes typically not in the repertoire of traditional biologists and biomedical researchers. Since then the group's particular emphasis has covered: (I) epitaxial quantum dots for mid- and long wavelength infrared detectors, (ii) the use of solution chemistry based colloidal quantum dot solid this films for conversion of solar photons to power; (iii) surface functionalization for specific live cell adhesion (to create biotic-abiotic interface of interest) and probing, manipulating, or endowing new function in live cells dubbed "Cellular Prosthesis" ; (iv) real-time imaging and spectroscopic probing of multiple markers of intra-cellular biochemical processes in statistically significant large number of live cells under controlled applied stress over prolonged times; and (v) ordered epitaxial quantum dots as single photon sources integrated on-chip with light manipulating elements to enable quantum optical circuits for quantum information processing.

A central education-related objective of the research carried out in the Madhukar group is that it serves as a vehicle for the students to learn how to think clearly, critically, and develop confidence in making sound judgments in the face of incomplete information. Thus emphasis is on understanding and testing that understanding by learning how to articulate thought and express it clearly such that others-- specifically non-specialists-- can readily understand and thus criticize.

Madhukar is a Fellow of the American Physical Society and recipient of an Alfred P. Sloan Fellowship (Physics, 1977-79). He is the recipient of the Outstanding Research Achievement award (1988) of the USC School of Engineering and DARPA/MTO Award of Sustained Excellence (1997). He has led three Multidisciplinary University Research Initiative (MURI) programs involving multiple investigators and institutions starting from 1995, the start of the MURI program. He has served on a variety of professional committees and national panels including the US National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI) Panel on Nanoelectronics, Nanomagnetics, and Nanophotonics (2004), National Solar Energy Workshop Panel (2005), and the Panel on Sustainable Energy of the MPS Division of NSF (2010).

Research Summary

Anupam Madhukar examines fundamental and applied issues relating to growth, in-situ processing, and characterization of III-V semiconductor based ultrathin multilayered structures (i.e., quantum wells, super- lattices, etc.) and nanostructures (quantum wires and dots) of relevance to electronics and optoelectronics.


  • 1977 Sloan Foundation Alfred P. Sloan Fellowship
  • 1988 School of Engineering, USC Outstanding Research Award
  • 2003 American Physical Society Fellow
  • 2004 DoD & NSF Member, National Nanotechnology Initiative Panel on Nanoelectronics, Nanophotonics, Nanomagnetics, 2004
  • 2005 Department of Energy Member & Sub-Committee Co-Chair, National Workshop on Solar Energy, 2005
  • 2009 Nanomedicine: Nanotechnology, Biology, Medicine Member, Editorial Board
  • 2009 Department of Energy Member, First ARPA-E Review Panel on Solar Energy
  • 2010 International Renewable Energy Conference, Delhi, India Invited Panelist
  • 2010 Mathematical & Physical Sciences Division, National Science Foundation Member, Advisory Committee on Sustainable Energy & Environment
  • Mork Family Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Ming Hsieh Department of Electrical Engineering - Electrophysics

  • VHE 502
  • Vivian Hall of Engineering
  • 3651 Watt Way, Los Angeles, CA 90089
  • USC Mail Code: 241

Contact Information
  • (213) 740-4323
  • madhukar@usc.edu


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