Ph.D. from Centre for Nano and Soft Matter Sciences
Tel.: +91 (0)80 2293 2059
Two dimensional (2D) materials in general have unique properties when compared to their bulk counterparts, whether the material is a molecular monolayer or a single layer of graphene. My research interest lies in understanding these 2D materials at various interfaces.
I am a trained experimental physicist in the field of soft matter physics that deals with formation and characterisation of monolayers and multilayers of organic thin films at interfaces. Liquid crystals (LCs) have made enormous contributions to the field of display technology as well as micro-electronics. Our interest was to explore some of the well known LCs in the form of monolayer and multilayers to find suitable applications in micro-electronics. In particular, studying rod like n-alkyl cyanobiphenyls and polymers of disc shaped LCs for their phase transition in monolayers at air-water interface and the charge transport studies across the monolayers at air-solid interface. We have also explored the dynamics of wetting and dewetting in nematic micro domains, which can help in understanding emulsions, recovery in oil spillage and so on.
My other area of research interest is in the field of inorganic two-dimensional materials. We are carrying out liquid exfoliation of two-dimensional materials like BN and study their effects in polymer composites.
M.Sc. Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi (2012)
PhD Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi (2018)
Two-dimensional materials have attracted a great deal of attention within the scientific
community over the past decade owing to the unique new physics that emerges as we
transition from bulk to monolayer materials. My research interest involves the development
and study of two-dimensional materials aimed at optoelectronic devices. Also, I am interested
in metal based nanocomposites (M-TiO 2 , M-Graphene oxide (M: Ag, Au)) for photocatalytic
application and energy transfer mechanism.
Ph.D.: Bio-Nano Science Fusion (Oct 2011 – Sep 2014), Graduate School of
Interdisciplinary New Science, Toyo University, Japan.
Post-Doctoral Fellow, (Oct 2014 – Jul 2018), Bio-Nano Electronics Research Centre,
Toyo University, Japan.
Research Assistant (2011 – 2014), Bio-Nano Electronics Research Centre, Toyo
Project Assistant (2009 – 2011), National Physical Laboratory-CSIR, Delhi, India.
For pushing miniaturization limits of optical and electronic devices, it is extremely important
to achieve nanometric precision control over placement of single and multiple nanoparticles
at selective areas on a given substrate. My current research is focused on developing a novel
way for building single and multi-component devices that may have interesting emergent
optical and electronic properties.
My core research interests involve large-scale synthesis, directed assembly and advanced
characterization of 2D nanomaterials with specific application areas in multifunctional
nanocomposites, flexible-electronics, optoelectronics and sensor technologies.
Born and raised in Kolkata, India, I did my Bachelors & Masters in Physics from BidhanNagar Govt. College & Razabazar Science College, University of Calcutta, in 2006 and 2008 respectively. I then joined Prof. Dipankar Chakravorty and Dr. Sourish Banerjee for my Ph.D. in experimental Condensed Matter Physics in Indian Association for the Cultivation of Science, India. During PhD, I worked on the transport and magnetic properties of low dimensional systems, graphene and nanocomposites prepared thereof. After completion of my Ph.D. in 2013, I joined Prof. Dan Shahar in the Condensed Matter Physics department of The Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel, to work on the superconductor to insulator transition in nanowire devices made up of amorphous indium oxide. Post that, I joined Nanyang Technological University, Singapore for my second post-doctoral study in 2015, with Prof. Christos Panagopoulos and Prof. Pinaki Sengupta where my research interest was in the low-temperature magnetotransport properties in Archemidean quantum magnets. Recently, I joined this group, where my current research interest is the electrical transport and optoelectronic properties in Van der Waals heterostructure devices.
Electronic and Structural properties of Interface engineered atomically thin 2-D crystals:
Transition Metal Di-Chalcogenides (TMDCs) have gained enormous attention due to their rich electronic and structural properties i.e. direct Eg in 1L, thickness dependent Eg, spin valley coupling etc. Although TMDCs are normally semiconductors, It has been theoretically predicted that they can have a variety of crystalline phases which are normally unstable. A novel technique to stabilize one such ferroelectric phase in MoS2 has been discovered. Our spectroscopic and electronic evidences confirm that 1L MoS2 can be converted into a ferroelectric. The ferroelectric negative capacitance is being subsequently used to break the theoretical lower limit of subthreshold slope in FET.
Thermo-electric transport in Van der Waal junctions.
When two planar atomic membranes are placed within the van der Waals distance, the charge and heat transport across the interface are coupled by the rules of momentum conservation and structural commensurability, lead to outstanding thermoelectric properties. My research focuses on exploring the electric and thermoelectric transport across the van der Waals gap formed in twisted bilayer graphene (tBLG). The Tunability of cross-plane Seebeck effect in van der Waals junctions may be valuable in creating a new genre of versatile thermoelectric systems with layered solids.
Publications: “Seebeck coefficient of a single van der Waals junction in twisted bilayer graphene”, P. S. Mahapatra, K. Sarkar, H. R. Krishnamurthy, S. Mukerjee and A. Ghosh(accepted Nano Letters DOI:10.1021/acs.nanolett.7b03097)
Ph.D.: Department of Physics, Indian Institute of Technology Delhi, New Delhi, India
M.Sc.: Department of Physics, Indian Institute of Technology Delhi, New Delhi, India
B.Sc. (Hons.) Physics: University of Delhi, New Delhi, India
Electrical transport across rectifying metal-semiconductor interface, Noise and fluctuations in electrical characteristics of Schottky diodes, Surface modification of semiconductors for resolving issues due to defect-related surface states and charged surface states, Optoelectronics of wide bandgap semiconductor material, Straintronics in two-dimensional layered materials, Thermal transport in twisted two-dimensional materials
Current Research Area:
The discovery of the unusually high thermal conductivity, , of graphene and the unique nature of its value scaling with the thickness in suspended few-layer graphene have encouraged different experimental and theoretical investigations. The developing thermal field of graphene makes it a potential candidate for being used as thermal interface material, thermal phase change material and heat spreader. However, it is interesting to understand how the thermal conductivity will be effected by rotating the atomic planes in twisted bilayer graphene structures (t-BLG). Will the main heat carriers in t-BLG behave in the same way as in single layer graphene? Will extraordinary heat flux be observed via stacks of t-BLG structures or heat conduction will be suppressed in the weakly bound twisted atomic planes? What mechanisms would be responsible for the either case! In order to answer these questions, my current research work is focused on analysing the thermal transport in low-angle twisted bilayer graphene structures, both fundamentally and practically.
M.Sc: Dept. of Physics, Indian Institute of Technology, Madras.
Ph.D: Dept. of Condensed Matter Physics and Material Sciences, S. N. Bose National Centre for Basic Sciences, Kolkata.
Currently, my research focuses on probing opto-electronic properties of twisted bilayer van der Waals heterostructures. Recent theoretical studies have predicted that the electronic band structure of two-dimensional materials modify with twist angle between the layers leading to emergent phenomenon such as superconductivity, Mott insulating states etc. The Moire pattern formed between the monolayers leads to a periodically modulated Moire potential, that can strongly modify optical properties. It will be exciting to probe and understand the inter-layer excitonic properties in a Moire superlattice through opto-electronic and transport studies.
During my doctoral thesis, I worked on transport properties of single semiconductor nanowires, particularly Germanium. My work involved growth, characterization and fabrication of single nanowire devices for low temperature electrical and opto-electronic studies.
Electronic, optoelectronic and low frequency noise measurements in transition metal dichalcogenide (TMDC) field effect transistors. Fabrication and characterization of TMDC based heterostructures aimed at optical and ferroelectric applications.
My research focuses on probing magnetism along grain boundaries in 2D materials. Grain boundaries have long been considered a bane in the large scale fabrication of 2D materials such as graphene and transition metal dichalcogenides (TMDCs) by chemical vapour deposition (CVD) leading to polycrystallinity and poor structural and electrical performance. However, recent theoretical studies have predicted the manifestation of magnetism along such grain boundaries due to the nature of defects that constitute them. It will be interesting to probe and quantify the magnetic field strength arising out of these structural defects and suggest potential applications for their use in spintronics, spin filters or even in the hunt for the elusiveMajorana fermions.
Strain engineering in TMDCs (WSe2) through Van der Waals epitaxy: Relative stabilization of the 1T’ phase (which has a higher electrical conductivity) against the 1H phase has been observed in MoS2 via VdW epitaxy. We try investigating a similar phenomenon in WSe2 by investigating the optical and electronic properties of the heterostructure and relating the signatures to the strain developed in the system.
I am currently looking into the electrical transport properties as well as the optical response of ultra-thin semiconducting Tellurium (Te) nanowires (NWs). The preliminary transport results show that the transport in Te NWs is thermally activated in high temperature (>170K) and in the low temperature (<170K), Mott Variable Range Hopping (VRH) takes place. On the other hand, Te NW serves as an excellent candidate for near-infra red detector, as it is a narrow band-gap semiconductor (~0.6 eV). This allows us to investigate this interesting and highly popular field full of new novel physics of light-matter interaction as well as basic applications.
My research work focuses on optoelectronic properties associated to defects in two-dimensional materials. Defects have been known to influence the mechanical and electronic properties in two-dimensional materials and are considered to be undesirable. However, recent studies have exploited in-gap defect states for emission of single photons. Employing techniques such as high resolution confocal microscopy and resonant excitation it will be interesting to reveal the morphological and electronic properties of these emitters.
My research interests have been the development and study of novel low dimensional materials (2D van der Waal heterostructures) through building atomically-thin-Lego from graphene, molybdenum disulfide (MoS2) and other similar van der Waals materials for highly sensitive photodetection and quantum sensing applications e.g. number resolved single photon detection etc.
Our experimental investigations have confirmed that the electrical property of one van der Waals material (graphene, bilayer-graphene) can be combined with the optical property of the other van der Waals material (molybdenum disulphide (MoS2)) by physically stacking these together and forming heterostructures (Nature Nanotechnology 8, 826-830 (2013)). Irrespective of the nanoscale thickness (< 10 nm), such combination allows achieving extremely large photoresponsivity which is not observed in conventional photo-sensitive materials/devices. Our recent results with bilayer-graphene-MoS2 heterostructures show that such devices can be operated as number-resolved single photon detectors (Advanced Materials, In press (October-2017)).
In collaboration with Paria et al., we have also demonstrated that nanostructure of dimers can be used to enhance light matter interaction in a monolayer graphene leading high photoresponsivity (Advanced Materials 27, 1751-1758 (2015)).
I study conductance properties of pristine graphenenano-ribbons, which are created by a novel mechanical nano-exfoliation technique using an STM tip. Graphene created this way, has pristine edges as it has not been exposed to any chemicals or the atmosphere. It has been possible to study the change in the conductance of a graphene nano-ribbon caused by atomic level structuralchanges.
I am an experimental physicist. My research focusses on electronic transport in mesoscopic devices. These are micron-scale structures defined on a semiconductor platform which, in my case, are GaAs/AlGaAs heterostructure or bilayer graphene. In my pursuit, I have become well versed with fabrication, measurements, data acquisition and analysis. I design and fabricate most of these devices myself, starting from base materials to several processes such as electron beam lithography, etching recipes, and metallization, all the way to device packaging. One of my distinguished experience in fabrication is in the assembly of heterostructures of 2D crystals, such as graphene, boron nitride and transition metal dichalcogenides.
My experiments on these devices are mainly in two low temperature set-ups that I operate, dilution refrigerator and He3 cryostat which can cool my devices down to 20 mK and 265 mK respectively. The experiments involve sensitive measurements of electrical signals in the nano-amperes and micro-volts range, which require careful optimizations with measuring instruments. My thesis work has been mainly to study the low carrier density regime in these devices. A significant aspect of my investigations have been to study the intrinsic electrical noise in the system (that’s why the sensitivity of measurements are important) and extract information about the nature of electronic transport.
Dissertation – Impact of disorder and topology in two dimensional systems at low carrier densities
A two-dimensional electron system (2DES) formed in a GaAs/AlGaAs heterostructure offers an avenue to build a variety of mesoscopic devices, much of which is achieved by the capability to construct complex potential landscapes using surface gates. Trapping charge carriers in low densities on them gives the prospects for a broad range of phenomena to emerge. This was the central idea behind my studies in these systems.
Linear magnetoresistance in two-dimensional electron systems
Linear magnetoresistance in strongly inhmogeneous regime
Bilayer graphene (BLG), made of two layers of graphene sheets in Bernal stacking, is fundamentally different from an individual graphene layer. The most striking property is that a tunable band gap can be induced in BLG by applying an electric field perpendicular to its plane. As a result, BLG can be electrically driven from a metallic state, with high carrier mobility, to a strongly insulating state, thus being suitable for a diverse range of novel device applications. However, experiments revealed that a significant density of states exist inside the band gap, which leads to new transport mechanisms. My goal has been to understand its true nature by examining noise in the form of flicker noise and mesoscopic conductance fluctuations when it is strongly gapped.
Percolative and edge transport in gapped bilayer graphene
Random potential fluctuations enable percolative paths in gapped bilayer graphene
Observable by both standard electrical and flicker noise measurements
Possible evidence for edge transport
Publications are in preparation.
Mesoscopic conductance statistics in gapped bilayer graphene
Mesoscopic conductance fluctuations in gapped bilayer graphene
Anomalous increase in conductance variance near metal-insulator transition
Exploration of the scaling theory of localization in strongly gapped regime
Observation of log-normal spectrum of conductance in strong disorder
Plasmonic coupling for optoelectronics of 2D hetrostructures:
Recent advances in growth and synthesis 2D transition metal dichacogindes (TMDCs) have opened new avenues for their implementation into electronic as well as optoelectronic devices. However, weak absorption in ultrathin semiconducting 2D TMDCs is a critical issue for photovoltaic application. For enhancing light matter interaction we are coupling 2D hetrostructures with plasmonic nanostructures.
Ph. D Physics (2008-2014)
University of Pune, India
Topological Insulators :The in-built topological protection against direct backscattering and absence of localization makes two-dimensional (2D) surface states of bismuth chalcogenide-based strong topological insulators (TIs) a promising platform for electronic and spintronic applications. Our study of noise in these samples not only allow us to evaluate the quality of signal but also find out the mechanisms responsible for dynamic scattering for the surface states. Our experiments reveal that the noise induced in these surface states does not stem from any external factors like substrate-sample interface or sample adsorbates, rather it involves the generation-recombination processes involving different impurity bands in the bulk of the TI .
Magnetically Doped TI : Interplay of topologically protected states and broken time-reversal symmetry makes Ferro-magnetically doped topological insulators (FMTI) interesting systems for both fundamental science and technological applications. The interplay of ferromagnetic defects and magnetism makes FMTI a very interesting field of study but although average transport measurements and spectroscopic studies very efficiently captures the average characteristics, microscopically intuitive study of defect dynamics (1/f noise) has been lacking. Our experiments in magnetically doped TI films has shown that localized states induced by magnetic (Cr) impurities gives rise to exponentially enhanced resistance fluctuations at both low temperature and density.
The thesis endeavored to theoretically understand electronic properties of finite trapezoidal shaped graphene sheets, and understand zero energy edge states. The motivation for this thesis was experimental work at Low Temperature Nano-electronics Laboratory under Prof. Arindam Ghosh (Amogh et al Nature Nanotechnology 2017). This work systematically tries to understand graphene, a two dimensional material, and it ‘s confinement in spacial dimensions. We started with analytical study of bulk graphene with various hoppings (scalar and Kane Mele type) in a tight-binding formulation and its bandstructure. Then we confine graphene in one-dimension to form semi-infinite graphene nano-ribbons and numerically determine its energy spectra and wave-functions. Then graphene is confined in both spacial dimensions and starting from simplest case of finite rectangular sheet, we move on to the two different ways in which graphene can be torn. Here, numerical studies were done to determine the density of states and local density of states.Finally we study various kinds of edge and bulk disorders and how they result in localization of wave-functions along the edges using Inverse Participation Ratio and Spectral Statistics.
Bhupendra Kumar Sharma, currently engaged in various research activities such as low temperature solution process synthesis of semiconductor and dielectric metal oxides, 2D materials (Graphene and MOS2) and its hybrid with inorganic materials for electronic applications. He consider to develop the materials engineering, its compatibility, and new architecture for flexible, printable and various electronic applications.
I mainly work on opto-electronics of 2 dimensional materials; Graphene, MoS2 and their hetro-structures. I am also interested in automation of techniques for low temperature nano scale measurements. I am currently working in single photon detection on Gr/MoS2 hetro-structure.
Graphene and other 2D materials like transition metal dichalcogenides (TMDCs) have attracted a lot of attention in optoelectronics and sensing technology due to their extraordinary electronic and optical properties. The optoelectronic devices can be integrated with the plasmonic nanostructures to tailor the bandwidth and photoresponse. Our aim is to understand how the localization of electric field due to the plasmonic nanostructures affects the photoresponse of graphene heterostructures. I use computational electromagnetic techniques like BEM and FEM to simulate the localized surface plasmon resonance (LSPR) for a structure of random shape and size.