Venkataraman Named Lawrence Gussman Professor of Applied Physics Chair
Latha Venkataraman, a Professor of Applied Physics and Chemistry, has been named the Lawrence Gussman Professor of Applied Physics Chair (effective July 1, 2019).
Professor Venkataraman received her Bachelor’s degree in Physics from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1993, where she did her undergraduate thesis with Prof. Mildred Dresselhaus. She then moved to Harvard University and obtained her Ph.D. in 1999, working under the guidance of Prof. Charles Lieber. She worked as a research scientist at Vytran Corporation from 1999 to 2002. In 2003, she joined Columbia University as a research scientist. She started her independent career as an assistant professor in the Department of Applied Physics and Applied Mathematics at Columbia University in 2007. She is currently Professor of Applied Physics and Applied Mathematics and holds a joint appointment with the Department of Chemistry.
Prominent awards she has received include the National Science Foundation Career Award, Packard Fellowship for Science and Engineering, and the Alfred P. Sloan Fellowship in Chemistry.
Professor Venkataraman's research group measures fundamental properties of single molecule devices, seeking to understand the interplay of physics, chemistry and engineering at the nanometer scale. The underlying focus of her 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. Her group measures 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. Their experiments provide a deeper understanding of the fundamental physics of electron transport, while laying the groundwork for technological advances at the nanometer scale.