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Dr. Pulickel Ajayan

Group Leader

Dr. Pulickel Ajayan is the leader of the Ajayan Research Group, which is involved in the research of advanced nanomaterials with specific application areas in alternative energy, multifunctional nanocomposites, and electronics/sensor technologies. Ongoing projects focus on the materials science and engineering of several technologies that will impact society in the future. Energy generation and storage, chemical sensors, nanoelectronics, flexible displays, high performance composites, membrane technologies, coatings, and biomedical technologies are some of the areas explored. With several collaborations at Rice and outside the group is involved in a multi-disciplinary team effort with the goal of developing functional nanomaterials for a rich variety of applications. The Ajayan Research Group is committed to changing the world through discoveries and development of new materials.

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Dr. Robert Vajtai

Research Professor

Dr. Robert Vajtai joined Ajayan’s group at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in July 2000 to spend his sabbatical with a NATO-NSF Fellowship. Robert received his M.S. degree in physics and his Ph.D. degree in solid-state physics from the University of Szeged, Hungary, in 1986 and 1997, respectively. From 1987 to 2002 he was a faculty member of the Experimental Physics Department of Szeged University, Hungary. He received the Bolyai Fellowship of the Hungarian Scientific Academy from 1999 to 2000. He also spent sabbatical time as a Fellow of the Swedish Institute in The Ångström Laboratory in Uppsala, Sweden, from 1998 to 1999; as an Eötvös Fellow at the EPFL in Lausanne, Switzerland, from 1995 to 1996, and he also visited the Max Planck Institute in Göttingen, Germany in 1993 via the Max Planck Fellowship. Between 2003 and 2008 he was a Laboratory Manager at the Rensselaer Nanotechnology Center, RPI, Troy, NY managing the nanoparticle generation by inert gas deposition and the carbon nanotechnology laboratories. He is currently a Faculty Fellow at Rice University. His work is focused on synthesis and applications of nanomaterials.

Research Scientists


Dr. Abhijit Biswas

Dr. Abhijit Biswas joined Ajayan’s group in January 2021, as a research scientist in the Rice University National Security...

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Dr. Anand Puthirath

Dr. Anand B. Puthirath studied Physics at Cochin University of Science and Technology (CUSAT), India. After research experiences at VSSC Trivandrum and...

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Dr. Xiang Zhang

Dr. Xiang Zhang joined Ajayan’s group as a Ph.D. student in the Applied Physics Program at Rice University and then as a postdoc and a research scientist in Materials...

Postdoctoral Research Fellows

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Dr. Sohini Bhattacharyya

Dr. Sohini Bhattacharyya is a Rice Academy fellow, she obtained her bachelors’ degree in Chemistry from Presidency College, Kolkata in 2012. She completed MS in Materials Sciences from...

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Dr. Shreyasi Chattopadhyay

Dr. Shreyasi Chattopadhyay joined Prof. Ajayan’s Research Group in 2023. Her research involves development of energy materials and their application...

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Dr. Atin Pramanik

Dr. Atin is from Kolkata, India and obtained his BSc (2010) from Jadavpur University (India) and MSc (2012) from Indian Institute of Technology, Madras...

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Xinting Shuai

Xinting Shuai received his Ph.D. degree in August 2023 from MSNE department at Rice University, co-advised by Dr. Ajayan and Dr. Mohite....

Graduate Students

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Sathvik Ajay Iyengar

Sathvik joined the Ajayan Research Group as a Ph.D. student in Fall 2020. He has an undergraduate background in materials science engineering and...

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Hatham Alotaibi

Hatham joined professor Ajayan’s group in fall of 2023. He received his B.S in Mechanical Engineering from Texas Tech University in 2015. Before...

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Maria Astrid Campos Mata

Astrid Campos is originally from Monterrey, Mexico. She received her bachelor's degree in Industrial Chemistry from Universidad Autonoma de Nuevo Leon...

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Xi Chen

Xi Chen joined Prof. Ajayan's group in Spring of 2022. She received her B.S. in Physics in Nanjing University in China. Xi has experience...

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Jeremy Daum

Jeremy Daum received his B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Cincinnati with minors in Chemistry and German. Before joining Ajayan...

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Jacob Elkins

Jacob Elkins is from Corsicana, Texas. He received both a B. S. in Physics and a M. S. in Materials Science and Engineering at the University of Texas at Arlington. During...

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Tia Gray

Tia Gray first joined the Ajayan Research Group as an undergraduate student in Fall 2019 and continued as a PhD student in Fall 2021. She graduated...

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Jiawei Lai

Jiawei Lai received her bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from Hangzhou Dianzi University, Zhejiang China (2014), and her...

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Alianna Maguire

Alianna Maguire joined the Ajayan Research group in the Fall of 2020. She received her Bachelor’s in Material Science and Engineering from ...

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Nitisha Mehrotra

Nitishareceived her Master's degree in Nanoscience and Technology, with a specialization in material synthesis, from Mount Carmel College in India. After completing...

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Tymofii Pieshkov

Tymofii Pieshkov got his B.S in Applied Physics and Nanotechnology from Lviv Polytechnic National University in Ukraine in 2020 after which, he...

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Neethu T Pottackal

Neethu joined Dr. Ajayan's Research Group as a PhD student in Fall 2020. She graduated from Cornell University with a B.S. in Materials Science...

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Md Abid Shahria Saadi

M.A.S.R. Saadi completed his BS in Materials and Metallurgical Engineering from Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET), during...

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Sreehari Saju

Sreehari Saju received his BS-MS for the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, Thiruvananthapuram, India...

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Md Shajedul Hoque Thakur

Shajedul started his Ph.D. in Materials Science and NanoEngineering at Rice University in Fall 2021. He is working in the Ajayan 3D Printing group. Shajedul received...

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Chongning Wu

Chongning Wu joined Professor Ajayan's group in August 2023. She graduated from Nanjing Tech University with a bachelor's degree in Polymer Materials Science and Engineering. She has work...

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Mingrui Xu

Mingrui Xu joined Prof. Ajayan's research group in the spring of 2022. He received his undergraduate degree in Polymer Materials and Engineering from Qingdao University...

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Gautam Chandrasekhar

Gautam Chandrasekhar joined Prof. Ajayan's research group in Spring 2024 as a Ph.D. student in the Materials Science and Nanoengineering Department. He received his M.S. degree in Materials Science and Engineering from Tuskegee University, Alabama, USA.

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Jishnu Murukeshan

Jishnu Murukeshan joined as a PhD student in Prof. Ajayan’s research group in Fall 2023, after completing his bachelor’s in Materials Science and Engineering at the National University of Singapore

Undergraduate Students

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Ahitagni Das

Ahitagni Das is an undergraduate student in the class of 2027 at Will Rice College. His research background is in nanofluidics, and energy research...

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Jessica Shi

Jessica Shi is an undergraduate student in the class of 2027 at Will Rice College.

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Jacob Lowenstein

Jacob Lowenstein is an undergraduate student in the class of 2025 at Jones College as well as being a Midshipman in Rice NROTC. He plans to...

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Riaz Mowzoon-Mogharrabi

Riaz Mowzoon-Mogharrabi is an undergraduate student in the class of 2024 at Duncan College. He plans on graduating with a B.S. in Bioengineering, while focusing...

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Valentina Osorio

Valentina Osorio is an undergraduate student at Hanszen College who plans to graduate in 2024 with a B.S. in both Chemistry and Earth, Environment, and Planetary...

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Aasha Zinke

Aasha Zinke is an undergraduate student in the class of 2024 at Jones College. She plans to graduate with a B.S. in Materials Science and NanoEngineering and...