Nanomaterials Research Lab



Exfoliated n-type Bismuth Telluride
Graphene Quantum Dot (HRTEM image)
Zinc Oxide Nano-Tetrapods
Coiled Carbon Nanowires
Carbon Nanocoil in Resonant Mode
Silver Nanoplatelets
Harmonic Detection of Resonance
Nanoparticle Protein Corona
Apparao M. Rao
Robert R Bowen Professor of physics
Director of the Clemson Nanomaterials Institute





The Clemson Nanomaterials Institute specializes in studying the properties and applications of nanomaterials. Our work combines science and engineering to improve energy storage and energy generation devices, as well as studying fundamental aspects of nanoscale systems. In conjunction with the Nano-Bio laboratory overseen by Dr. Ramakrishna Podila, the effects of nanomaterials on living systems is also investigated.  Some of the areas of research include:

-Implementing graphene and carbon nanotubes to improve performance in energy storage systems such as lithium-ion batteries and supercapacitors.

-Using graphene in triboelectric nanogenerators.

-Scalable synthesis methods for nanomaterials.

-Studying the effects of intrinsic and extrinsic defects on the electronic properties of nanomaterials.

-Investigating the Raman modes of 2-D materials

-Non-linear optical properties of nanomaterials

-Mechanical properties of carbon nanotube arrays

For more information, visit the research section in the tabs above. We are always looking for motivated students (graduate and undergrad) who are willing to learn and work on several challenging projects.


Selected Recent Publications | Complete List of Publications


“Simultaneous Suppression of the Dendrite Formation and Shuttle Effect in a Lithium-Sulfur Battery by Bilateral Solid Electrolyte Interface”, Ling Fan, Suhua Chen, Jingyi Zhu, Ruifang Ma, Shuping Li, Ramakrishna Podila, Apparao M. Rao, Gongzheng Yang, Chengxin Wang, Qian Liu, Zhi Xu, Lixia Yuan, Yunhui Huang, and Bingan Lu, Advanced Science, 1700934 (2018). DOI: 10.1002/advs.201700934

“Saturable Absorption in 2D Ti3C2 MXene Thin Films for Passive Photonic Diodes”, Yongchang Dong, Sergii Chertopalov, Kathleen Maleski, Babak Anasori, Longyu Hu, Sriparna Bhattacharya, Apparao M. Rao, Yury Gogotsi, Vadym N. Mochalin, Ramakrishna Podila, Advanced Materialshttps://doi.org/10.1002/adma.201705714 (2018).

“A wireless triboelectric nanogenerator”, S. S. K. Mallineni, Y. Dong, H. Behlow, A. M. Rao, R. Podila, Advanced Energy Materials, 8, 1702736 (2018). DOI: 10.1002/aenm.201702736. 

"A Raman spectroscopic study of graphene cathodes in high-performance aluminum ion batteries", A Childress, P Parajuli, J Zu, R Podila, AM Rao, Nano Energy, 39, 69-76 (2017)

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
  • 2018 University Research, Scholarship and Artistic Achievement Award
  • 2018 TEDxGreenville speaker TEDxGreenville
  • 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.