Nanomaterials Research Lab

Apparao M. Rao
Robert A. Bowen Professor of Physics, and Director of the Clemson Nanomaterials Center


Professor Rao received his PhD in 1989 in Condensed Matter Physics from the University of Kentucky, and joined the Clemson University faculty in 2000. He has held appointments at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Post-doctoral Research Associate (1989-1991) and the University of Kentucky (Assistant Research Professor (1991-1996), Senior Research Scientist (1996 – 2000). Prof. Rao has contributed to the advancement of nanomaterials research through his pioneering spectroscopic studies of low dimensional carbon allotropes, which include the polymerized fullerenes and carbon nanotubes. He has developed novel scalable synthesis methods for oxide nanomaterials and carbon nanotubes with controlled morphologies such as, the branched or coiled carbon nanotubes. His research has strongly enhanced the field of carbon science and technology in terms of discovery of novel phenomena in carbon nanomaterials, and device development. Besides his domestic research activities, he guides several students in India in their research, and has established nanoscience and nanotechnology programs in India.

Selected Recent Publications | Complete List of Publications

The intrinsic thermal conductivity of SnSe”, PC Wei, S Bhattacharya, J He, S Neeleshwar, R Podila, YY Chen, AM Rao, Nature 539 (7627), E1-E2 (2016). PDF

Defect-Engineered graphene for high-energy and high-power density supercapacitor devices”, J Zhu, AS Childress, M Karakaya, S Dandeliya, A Srivastava, Y Lin, AM Rao, R Podila, Advanced Materials 28 (33), 7185-7192 (2016). PDF
Shape-controlled carbon nanotube architectures for thermal management in aerospace applications”, Focused issue of Materials Research Society Bulletin 40, 850 (2015). PDF

Modulation of the electrostatic and quantum capacitances of few layered graphene through plasma processing”, R. Narayanan, H. Yamada, M. Karakaya, R. Podila, A. M. Rao, and P. R. Bandaru, Nano Letters, 15, 3067 (2015). PDF

Illuminating nano-bio interactions: A spectroscopic perspective”, R. Podila, J. M. Brown, A. Kahru, and A. M. Rao, Focused issue of Materials Research Society Bulletin 39, 990 (2014). PDF

Roll-to-Roll Synthesis of Vertically Aligned Carbon Nanotubes for Electrical Double Layer Capacitors”, Margarita R. Arcila-Velez, Jingyi Zhu, Anthony Childress, Mehmet Karakaya, Ramakrishna Podila, Apparao M. Rao and Mark E. Roberts, Nano Energy 8, 9 (2014). PDF

Mechanical Resonances of Helically Coiled Carbon Nanowires”, D. Saini, H. Behlow, R. Podila, D. Dickel, B. Pillai, M. J. Skove, S. M. Serkiz, and A. M. Rao, Nature Scientific Reports 4, 5542 (2014). PDF

Preferential Scattering by Interfacial Charged Defects for Enhanced Thermoelectric Performance in Few-layered n-type Bi2Te3”, Pooja Puneet, Ramakrishna Podila, Mehmet Karakaya, Song Zhu, Jian He, Terry M. Tritt, Mildred S. Dresselhaus, and Apparao M. Rao,  Nature Scientific Reports 3, Article number 3212 (2013). PDF

Optical Diode Action from Axially Asymmetric Nonlinearity in an All-Carbon Solid-State Device” B. Anand, R. Podila, K. Lingam, S. R. Krishnan, R. Philip, S. S. S.Sai, and A. M. Rao, Nano Lett. 13, 5771 (2013). PDF

Enhancement of Thermoelectric Performance of Ball-Milled Bismuth Due to Spark-Plasma-Sintering-Induced Interface Modiļ¬cations”, Pooja Puneet, Ramakrishna Podila, Song Zhu, Malcolm J. Skove, Terry M. Tritt, Jian He and A. M. Rao, Advanced Materials 25, 1033 (2013). PDF

A Novel Carbon Nanotube Toxicity Paradigm Driven by Mast Cells and IL-33/ST2 Axis” P. Katwa, X. Wang, R.N. Urankar, R. Podila, S.C. Hilderbrand, R.B. Fick, A.M. Rao, P.C. Ke, C.J. Wingard, and J.M. Brown, Small  8, 2904–2912 (2012). PDF

Catalytic Reduction of 4-Nitrophenol using Biogenic Gold and Silver Nanoparticles Derived from Breynia rhamnoides.” A. Gangula, R. Podila, M. Ramakrishna, L. Karanam, C. Janardhana, A. M. Rao, Langmuir 27, 15268 (2011). PDF

Honors & Awards
  • 2016 Recognized by the Board of Trustees as one of the top three faculty members in the College of Engineering and Science, Clemson University.
  • 2014 Governor’s Award for Excellence in Scientific Research, South Carolina.
  • 2012 Alumni Award for Outstanding Achievement in Research, Clemson University.
  • 2011 Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science.
  • 2010 R. A. Bowen Professor of Physics, Clemson University.
  • 2008 Fellow, American Physical Society.
  • 2007 Panel member for the World Technology Evaluation Center to evaluate carbon nanotube manufacturing capabilities in Europe and Asia.
  • 2006 Faculty Achievement Award, Clemson University, for exemplary leadership in the sciences.