Core Faculty

Mark C. Hersam

Bette and Neison Harris Chair in Teaching Excellence

Professor of Materials Science and Engineering

Director, Materials Research Science and Engineering (MRSEC)

2220 Campus Drive

Cook Hall 2036; Office - Cook 1017A

Evanston, IL 60208

m-hersam( at )


Ph.D. Electrical Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana, Champaign, IL

M.Phil. Microelectronic Engineering and Semiconductor Physics, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK

B.S. Electrical Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana, Champaign, IL

Research Interests

Nanomaterials for Electronics, Sensing, and Energy

The Hersam Research Group applies the fundamental paradigm of materials science and engineering (i.e., the development of structure-property-processing-performance relationships) to hybrid hard and soft materials at the nanometer length scale. In many cases, the objective is to apply organic molecules to inorganic substrates in an effort to increase the functionality of the resulting hybrid system (e.g., silicon-based molecular electronics and graphene-based sensing). In other instances, an experimental technique that was originally developed for inorganic materials is adapted for the study of organic or biological systems (e.g., probing ion channels and organic photovoltaic devices using conductive atomic force microscopy).

This highly interdisciplinary research is enabled by a sophisticated suite of instrumentation including ultra-high vacuum (UHV) scanning tunneling microscopy (STM), atomic force microscopy (AFM), and additional equipment for studying the electrical and optical properties of materials.

Ongoing research projects range from fundamental studies (e.g., single molecule spectroscopy with UHV STM) to applied technology development (e.g., optimization of carbon nanotube and graphene materials for electronic and optical devices).

Overall, this research has wide impact in the fields of information technology, energy technology, biotechnology, and nanotechnology.

Significant Recognition

  • APS Fellow, 2012
  • MRS Fellow, 2012
  • SPIE Fellow, 2012
  • AVS Fellow, 2012
  • Materials Research Society Outstanding Young Investigator Award, 2010
  • SES Research Young Investigator Award, Electrochemical Society, 2010
  • Teacher of the Year Award, Materials Science and Engineering, Northwestern University, 2009
  • Teacher of the Year Award, Materials Science and Engineering, Northwestern University 2007
  • Young Alumni Achievement Award, ECE Department, UIUC, 2007
  • AVS Peter Mark Award, 2006
  • TMS Robert Lansing Hardy Award, 2006
  • Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, 2005
  • Office of Naval Research Young Investigator Award, 2005
  • Army Research Office Young Investigator Award, 2005
  • Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship, 2005
  • Teacher of the Year in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, 2003
  • National Science Foundation CAREER Award, 2002
  • Arnold and Mabel Beckman Young Investigator Award, 2001
  • IBM Distinguished Fellowship, 1999
  • National Science Foundation Graduate Fellowship, 1997
  • British Marshall Scholarship, 1996

Selected Publications

    J. Kang, J.-W. T. Seo, D. Alducin, A. Ponce, M. J. Yacaman, and M. C. Hersam, "Thickness sorting of two-dimensional transition metal dichalcogenides via copolymer-assisted density gradient ultracentrifugation," Nature Communications, 5, 5478 (2014).

    M. Gong, T. A. Shastry, Y. Xie, M. Bernardi, D. Jasion, K. A. Luck, T. J. Marks, J. C. Grossman, S. Ren, and M. C. Hersam, "Polychiral semiconducting carbon nanotube-fullerene solar cells," Nano Letters, 14, 5308 (2014).

    E. B. Secor, S. Lim, H. Zhang, C. D. Frisbie, L. F. Francis, and M. C. Hersam, "Gravure printing of graphene for large-area flexible electronics," Advanced Materials, 26, 4533 (2014).

    D. Jariwala, V. K. Sangwan, L. J. Lauhon, T. J. Marks, and M. C. Hersam, "Emerging device applications for semiconducting two-dimensional transition metal dichalcogenides," ACS Nano, 8, 1102 (2014).

    J. M. P. Alaboson, C.-H. Sham, S. Kewalramani, J. D. Emery, J. E. Johns, A. Deshpande, T. Chien, M. J. Bedzyk, J. W. Elam, M. J. Pellin, and M. C. Hersam, "Templating sub-10 nm atomic layer deposited oxide nanostructures on graphene via one-dimensional organic self-assembled monolayers," Nano Letters, 13, 5763 (2013).

    D. Jariwala, V. K. Sangwan, C.-C. Wu, P. L. Prabhumirashi, M. L. Geier, T. J. Marks, L. J. Lauhon, and M. C. Hersam, "Gate-tunable carbon nanotube-MoS2 heterojunction p-n diode," Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 110, 18076 (2013).

    M. L. Geier, P. L. Prabhumirashi, J. J. McMorrow, W. Xu, J.-W. T. Seo, K. Everaerts, C. H. Kim, T. J. Marks, and M. C. Hersam, "Subnanowatt carbon nanotube complementary logic enabled by threshold voltage control," Nano Letters, 13, 4810 (2013).

    D. Jariwala, V. K. Sangwan, L. J. Lauhon, T. J. Marks, and M. C. Hersam, "Carbon nanomaterials for electronics, optoelectronics, photovoltaics, and sensing," Chemical Society Reviews, 42, 2824 (2013).

    J. E. Johns and M. C. Hersam, "Atomic covalent functionalization of graphene," Accounts of Chemical Research, 46, 77 (2013).

    Md. Z. Hossain, J. E. Johns, K. H. Bevan, H. J. Karmel, Y. T. Liang, S. Yoshimoto, K. Mukai, T. Koitaya, J. Yoshinobu, M. Kawai, A. M. Lear, L. L. Kesmodel, S. L. Tait,and M. C. Hersam, "Chemically homogeneous and thermally reversible oxidation of epitaxial graphene," Nature Chemistry, 4, 305 (2012).

Department of Materials Science and Engineering

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