Latha Venkataraman

Lawrence Gussman Professor of Applied Physics, Professor of Chemistry, and Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs

Applied Physics / Chemistry
Office: 807 NW Corner Bldg.
Mail: 200 S.W. Mudd, Mail Code: 4701
New York, NY 10027

Research Specialty

single molecule electronics and mechanics, scanning tunneling microscopy & spectroscopy, x-ray photoemission spectroscopy


B.S. Physics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1993

Ph.D. Physics, Harvard University, 1999


Fellow, American Physical Society 2015

Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship, 2011

Kim Award for Faculty Involvement, Columbia University, 2010

Packard Fellowship in Science and Engineering, 2008

NSF Career, 2008

Professional Schools Research Fellowship Award, Columbia University, 2007


We measure fundamental properties of single molecule devices, seeking to understand the interplay of physics, chemistry and engineering at the nanometer scale. The underlying focus of our research is to fabricate single molecule circuits, a molecule attached to two electrodes, with varied functionality, where the circuit structure is defined with atomic precision. We measure how electronic conduction and single bond breaking forces in these devices relate not only to the molecular structure, but also to the metal contacts and linking bonds. Our experiments provide a deeper understanding of the fundamental physics of electron transport, while laying the groundwork for technological advances at the nanometer scale.

Selected Publications

BY. Zang, Q. Zou*, T. Fu, F. Ng, B. Fowler, J. Yang, H. Li, M. L. Steigerwald*, C. Nuckolls*, L. Venkataraman*, Directing Isomerization Reactions of Cumulenes with Electric Fields, Nature Communications, Volume 10, 4482 (2019).

M. S. Inkpen*, Z.-F. Liu, H. Li, L. Campos, J. B. Neaton, L. Venkataraman*, Non-chemisorbed gold-sulfur binding prevails in self-assembled monolayers, Nature Chemistry, 11, p. 351–358 (2019).

M. H. Garner, H Li, Y. Chen, T. A. Su, Z. Shangguan, D. W. Paley, T. Liu, F. Ng, H Li, S. Xiao*, C. Nuckolls*, L. Venkataraman*, G. C. Solomon*, Comprehensive suppression of single-molecule conductance using destructive σ-interference, Nature, 558, 415–419 (2018).
G. Lovat, B. Choi, D.W. Paley, M.L. Steigerwald, L. Venkataraman*, X. Roy*, Room-temperature current blockade in atomically defined single-cluster junctions, Nature Nanotechnology, 12, 1050–1054, (2017).

B. Capozzi, J. Xia, O. Adak, E. Dell, Z. Liu, J.C. Taylor, J. B. Neaton, L. Campos and L. Venkataraman Single-Molecule Diodes with High Rectification Ratios through Environmental Control, Nature Nanotechnology, 10, 522-527 (2015).

S. Aradhya and L. Venkataraman 'Single-Molecule Junctions Beyond Electronic Transport', Nature Nanotechnology 8, 399–410 (2013).
L. Venkataraman, J.E. Klare, C. Nuckolls, M.S. Hybertsen and M. L. Steigerwald, 'Dependence of Single Molecule Junction Conductance on Molecular Conformation', Nature, vol. 442, p904-907 (2006).

Publications List

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