Material Science & Engineering (MSE) Program Faculty Members

​​​​ ​Stefaan De Wolf
Program Director
Associate Professor, Material Science and Engineering

Ph.D., Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium
stefaan.dewolf@kaust.edu.sa

Stefaan De Wolf's expertise lies in the science and technology of photovoltaics for terrestrial applications. His research focuses on the fabrication of high-efficiency silicon-based solar cells, with specific attention to the fundamental understanding of interface structures and electrical contact formation, relevant to solar cells and electronic devices.
 
He is also interested in new device architectures and applications, such as back-contacted solar cells and silicon-based multi-junction solar cells, aimed at the improved utilization of the full solar spectrum for electricity generation. A prime example of these devices are perovskite-silicon tandem solar cells. 
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Aram Amassian
Associate Professor, Material Sciences and Engineering
Ph.D., Ecole Polytechnique de Montreal, Canada

Professor Amassian's research interests are in the area of molecular materials for electronic and solar energy applications. Such materials are of high interest due to their potential to become an inexpensive platform for manufacturing pervasive, disposable electronic and solar energy devices. 

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Aurelien Manchon 
Associate Professor, Material Science and Engineering
Ph.D., Université Joseph Fourier, France

Professor Manchon's interests include the interaction between spin-dependent electronic transport and magnetization in heterogeneous magnetic systems. He developed his research studying the manipulation of magnetization using a spin-polarized current, known as the spin torque effect. This field of investigation is of great importance for technological applications, such as Magnetic Random Access Memories and data storage. 
 
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​Derya Baran
Assistant Professor, Material Science and Engineering
Ph.D., Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nurnberg, Germany
derya.baran@kaust.edu.sa 

Professor Baran's research interests lie in the area of solution processable organic/hybrid soft materials for electronic devices. Such soft semiconductor materials possess a viable platform for printed, large area, stretchable and wearable electronics that can be used as solar cells, smart windows, OFETs, thermoelectrics, sensors and bio-electronics.

Professor Baran is particularly interested in interface engineering for organic/hybrid solar cells, transparent solar cells for building integrated photovoltaics and stability/degradation studies for long lifetime organic solar cells. She has led projects on i) conjugated polymers for electrochromic devices; ii) non-fullerene acceptors for organic solar cells; iii) multi-component and multi-layered solar cell devices; and iv) understanding the correlation between recombination and nano-morphology in solution processed solar cells.

Professor Baran aims to expand the applications of solution processable organic/hybrid semiconductors and to explore their limits in organic/hybrid thermoelectric devices and bio-electronics in the future.
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​​​Enzo Di Fabrizio
Professor, Material Science and Engineering
PhD., University of Rome (La Sapienza), Italy
 
Professor Di Fabrizio conducts an interdisciplinary activity between physics and biology that includes basic and applied research in nanotechnology. His main interests concern: design and nanofabrication of advanced plasmoinic, semiconductor and magnetic devices and materials, optical tweezers based microscopy (applied to biophysics and nanomedicine), Raman spectroscopy for single molecules detection, design and fabrication of nano-devices dedicated to drug delivery, proteomics and single molecule detection, and biophotonic (including photonic crystal and plasmonic based devices
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Frédéric Laquai
Associate Professor, Material Science and Engineering
Ph.D., University of Mainz​ 

Professor Laquai's current research focuses on the photophysics of excitonic solar cells, specifically processes such as exciton dissociation, charge carrier generation, transport and recombination in polymer and small molecule organic and hybrid solar cells. He studies these processes by various steady-state and transient all-optical and electro-optical techniques, for instance, transient absorption pump-probe spectroscopy and time-resolved photoluminescence spectroscopy.
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Husam N. Alshareef
Professor, Ma​terial Science and Engineering​
Ph.D., North C​arolina State University, USA 
husam.alshareef@kaust.edu.sa​​
 
Dr. Alshareef's research interests are in Emerging Electronics, Energy Harvesting, and En​ergy Storage. Current projects include development of nanomaterials (particularly oxides) for supercapacitors and Li-ion batteries, thermoelectric power generation, flexible and transparent electronics.
 
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Iman S. Roqan 
Assistant Professor, Material Science and Engineering
Ph.D., University of Strathclyde, Scotland

Professor Roqan's research interests include optical, magnetic and structural properties of rare-earth-doped wide-band-gap semiconductors, with an aim to improve the quality of the grown films and their luminescence and ferromagnetic properties. She uses energy-dispersive and wavelength-dispersive x-ray spectroscopy, as well as atomic force microscopy to characterize the materials and their surface morphologies.

Website: Semiconductor & Material Spectroscopy Laboratory

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Lain-Jong (Lance) Li
Professor, Material Science and Engineering
Ph.D., University of Oxford, UK

Professor Lance Li’s main research interests include the chemical vapor deposition and characterizations of two dimensional materials such as transition metal dichalcogeni​des, graphene and their hetero-structures. His group is also working on the devices based on two dimensional materials including Li ion battery, hydrogen generation and future electronics.

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Osman M. Bakr  
Associate Professor, Material Science and Engineering
Ph.D., Harvard University, USA 

Professor Bakr's research interests are concerned with the physics and chemistry of nanomaterials. His group studies the synthesis and assembly of organic and organic–inorganic hybrid nanomaterials of novel optical, electronic and magnetic properties. The purpose of these studies is to fabricate advanced materials​ that promise to feature in the future building blocks for solar cells, batteries, photonic and optoelectronic devices. 

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Pedro M. Da Costa
Assistant Professor, Material Science and Engineering
Ph.D., University of Oxford, UK
pedro.dacosta@kaust.edu.sa 

Professor Da Costa's research interests embrace a range of synthesis and characterization techniques for one- and two-dimensional materials, with particular focus on carbon nanostructures, semiconductor materials and electron microscopy. He is also engaged in the manipulation of discrete nanoscaled structures and the study of their response to externally applied stimuli. The aim of this work is to understand how novel materials behave at minute s​cales under near-operational conditions and use that information to optimize their design for specific technological applications. 

Website: Laboratory for Carbon Nanostructures​

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Pierre M. Beaujuge
Assistant Professor, Material Science and Engineering
Ph.D., University of Florida, USA

Professor Beaujuge's research interests are interdisciplinary and span the synthesis, characterization, and practical applications of functional organic materials and organic-inorganic hybrids with unique structure-property relationships. 
 
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Tao (Tom) Wu
Associate Professor, Materials Science and Engineering
Ph.D., University of Maryland, USA
 
Professor Wu's research group focus on exploring the synthesis and properties of novel materials, particularly perovskite-structured oxides and halides, in the form of both thin films and nanomaterials, targeting at diverse energy and electronics related applications ranging from field effect transistors, nonvolatile memories to lighting devices and solar cells.​

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​​Thomas Anthopoulos
Professor, Material Science and Engineering
Ph.D., 
Staffordshire University, UK

Professor Anthopoulos' research interests are centered on understanding the properties of materials and applying this fundamental understanding to develop improved materials and devices for a wide range of applications in energy harvesting and generation, electronics, displays, lighting and sensors. He is also interested in innovative manufacturing technologies for large-area nano-electronics where the device, and ultimately system level performance, is determined by the device's physical dimensions rather than strictly by the active material(s) employed. 
​​Udo Schwingenschlögl
Professor, Material Science and Engineering
Ph.​D., Universitat Augsburg, Germany

udo.schwingenschlogl@kaust.edu.sa


Dr. Schwingenschlögl's research interests concentrate on the electronic and structural properties of nanostructured systems, in particular those including surfaces and interfaces. He has an extensive publication record approaching 50

articles.


Website: Computational Physics & Materials Science

Xixiang Zhang
Professor, Material Science and Engineering​
Ph.D., University of Barcelona

Prof. Zhang's research interests include magnetism, magnetic materials, magneto-transport, spintronics , magnetic cooling, nano materials, multiferroics materials, graphene and carbon-based materials, and bio-materials.
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​ ​Affiliated Faculty with MSE​​ Program
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Charlotte A. E. Hauser
Professor, Bioscience
Ph.D., University of Cologne, Germany
 
Charlotte Hauser’s research interests lie at the interfaces of chemistry, biomedicine, bioengineering and nanotechnology. Her focus is on the development of platform technologies using smart nanomaterials for regenerative biomedical and environmental applications. Hauser is currently working on the rational molecular design, synthesis and mechanistic understanding of novel supramolecular structures. She investigates peptide-based nanostructures with an innate propensity to self-assemble as well as biomimetic architectures applicable for biomedical applications such as cell substrates, sensors and 3-D tissue scaffolds for regenerative medicine. She is working on the rational molecular design, synthesis and mechanistic understanding of novel supramolecular structures. She investigates peptide-based nanostructures with an innate propensity to self-assemble as well as biomimetic architectures applicable for biomedical applications such as cell substrates, sensors and 3-D tissue scaffolds for regenerative medicine.
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