Prize Recipient

Ramamoorthy Ramesh
University of California, Berkeley


"For his contributions to materials physics that have enabled a deeper understanding of ferroelectric materials, the discovery of colossal magnetoresistance, and leadership in communicating the excitement of materials physics to a broad audience."


Professor Ramesh graduated from the University of California, Berkeley with a Ph. D. in 1987. As a Staff Scientist at the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory from 1987-1988 he carried out pioneering research on high temperature superconductors and was among the first to identify the 110K superconducting phase in the bismuth cuprate system. From 1989-1995 at Bellcore he initiated research in several key areas, including ferroelectric nonvolatile memories. His landmark contributions in ferroelectric perovskites came through the recognition that conducting oxide electrodes are the solution to the problem of polarization fatigue, which for 30 years, remained an enigma and unsolved problem. This contribution is now recognized worldwide with many industrial and research laboratories implementing such an approach. In 1994, in collaboration with S. Jin (Lucent Technologies), he initiated research into manganite thin films and they coined the term, Colossal Magnetoresistive (CMR) Oxides ; the paper published in Science is the 4th highest cited paper with more than 2000 citations. He joined the University of Maryland in 1995 and was promoted to Professor in 1999 and Distinguished University Professor in 2003 and is currently a Professor at the University of California, Berkeley. At Berkeley, he continues to pursue key scientific and technological problems in complex oxide thin films and heterostructures. His recent work has pioneered the resurgence of research activity in multifunctional materials. His group demonstrated the existence of a large ferroelectric polarization in epitaxial BiFeO3 films (Science 2003), in agreement with first principle predictions. His group has also demonstrated a very novel approach to create self assembled multiferroic nanostructures. This work (Science 2004) demonstrated, through a 3-dimensional heteroepitaxy, the formation of ferroelectric-magnetic nanostructure with strong lattice coupling due to heteroepitaxy. His work in the areas of materials physics of complex oxide thin films and heterostructures, is recognized worldwide. He has over 250 publications, 15 patents issued and 11 pending and his research is extensively cited (over 10000 citations putting him among the top 500 cited researchers in Physics). In 2000, he was awarded the Outstanding Achievement Award from the International Symposium on Integrated Ferroelectrics. In 2001, he received the Humboldt Senior Scientist Prize from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation for his pioneering work on the fundamental nanoscale science of size scaling in ferroelectric thin films, the A. James Clark College of Engineering Faculty Outstanding Research Award and Fellowship to the American Physical Society.

Selection Committee:

Chris Palmstrom (Chair), Andrew Rappe, Chia-Ling Chien ('04 winner), Maria Tamargo (V. Chair), Steven Louie