University of California, Riverside

Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

Balandin Awarded the University of California Presidential Chair Professorship

Balandin Awarded the University of California Presidential Chair Professorship

Balandin Awarded the University of California Presidential Chair Professorship

August 4, 2014

Dr. Alexander A. Balandin, Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Founding Chair of Materials Science and Engineering Program at UC Riverside was named the University of California Presidential Chair Professor. His honorary appointment, announced by the UCR Chancellor, started this summer. In addition to the honorary title, the UC Presidential Chair appointment provides special funds on per year basis for interdisciplinary research activities of Professor Balandin's Nano-Device Laboratory. Professor Balandin is recognized internationally for his discovery of the unusual thermal properties of graphene and two-dimensional crystals, development of new experimental technique for the investigation of thermal properties of samples with atomic-layer thickness and theoretical explanation of the unique features of the thermal transport in graphene. Balandin pioneered the graphene thermal field, which resulted in major advances in understanding the thermal properties of low-dimensional materials, physics of phonons, and led to development of practical applications of graphene in heat removal and thermal management. His contributions range from the first-principle theory to experiments and to demonstration of prototype devices. Phonons are quanta of crystal lattice vibrations that carry the heat, affect the optical response of materials and scatter electrons, thus limiting electrical conduction. Phonons reveal themselves in all electrical, thermal and optical phenomena in materials. More than decade ago, Professor Balandin recognized that nanostructures open opportunities for tuning the properties of phonons in a way similar to electrons. An approach for controlling the phonon spectrum of materials for specific applications was termed phonon engineering. It was coined in his Physical Review B (1998) paper on reduction of thermal conductivity of quantum wells due to the phonon confinement effects. At UC Riverside, Professor Balandin supervised more than 25 PhD students. Some of those who graduated with PhD degrees have chosen academic careers but majority has gone to carry out research and development work at the leading high-tech companies.

Balandin received his MS (1991) degree Summa Cum Laude in Applied Physics and Mathematics from the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology (MIPT), Russia, and PhD (1997) degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Notre Dame, USA. Prior to joining UCR, he worked as a Research Engineer at UCLA. In 2005, he spent his sabbatical as a Visiting Professor at the University of Cambridge, U.K. His research interests are in the area of advanced materials, nanostructures and devices for electronic and energy applications. He conducts both experimental and theoretical research. His work resulted in over 200 journal publications, which were cited more than 17,000 times (h index >61). He is an elected Fellow of APS, MRS, IEEE, SPIE, OSA, IOP and AAAS. Professor Balandin is a recipient of the IEEE Pioneer Award in Nanotechnology for 2011 and MRS Medal for 2013.

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