Faculty Directory
Vinayak P. Dravid

Abraham Harris Professor of Materials Science and Engineering

Founding Director, Northwestern University Atomic and Nanoscale Characterization (NUANCE) Center

Founding Director, Soft and Hybrid Nanotechnology Experimental (SHyNE) Resource, an NSF-NNCI Node


2145 Sheridan Road
Tech Institute, AB Wing A190
Evanston, IL 60208

Email Vinayak Dravid


The VPD Group


Northwestern University Atomic and Nanoscale Characterization (NUANCE) Center


Materials Science and Engineering


PhD Program in Applied Physics

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Ph.D. Materials Science and Engineering, Lehigh University, Bethlehem, PA

B.S. Metallurgical Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay, India

Research Interests

The properties and performance of materials - whether physical or biological or hybrid - are dictated by complex atomic and nanoscale architecture and associated phenomena. Our research is geared towards not only their understanding but manipulation and tailoring to yield favorable response and behavior. Such materials include nanostructures, especially inorganic/organic hybrids, and phenomena often revolve around various defects and their dynamic behavior. Thus, the core theme in Dravid group is the paradigm for "Form-Function" and "Structure-Property" relationship in diverse materials; it spans fundamental and basic science of materials as well as their technological implications and applications.

On one front, we are investigating the patterning and characterization of complex multicomponent nanostructured materials such as metal/alloy nanocrystals, biomolecular nanopatterns (DNA/proteins), interfaces between inorganic nanostructures and biomolecules, etc. These structures possess unique and novel morphologies and chemistry, and their electronic structure also depends on size and shape. We are exploring applications of such structures, including drug delivery, bio-diagnostics and bio-chem sensing.

Dravid group is also involved in atomic-scale structure-property relationship for internal interfaces, domains and mosaics. In a large number of material systems, such as electroceramics, semiconductors, superlattices, and structural composites, the property and performance of the bulk material are intimately connected to the structure, chemistry, and electronic structure of interfaces.

More recently, Dravid group has diversified to water-related research, especially with OHM sponge and related concepts for recovery of oil, nutrients, heavy metal and related contaminants from water.

The philosophy of our approach is based on sound fundamental foundation of complex phenomena, liberal use of advanced instrumentation and techniques and quest for proof-of-concepts for devices as well.

Significant Recognition

  • Fellow, Royal Microscopical Society (RMS), 2017
  • Elected Honorary Member, Indian Institute of Metals, 2014
  • IIT Bombay Distinguished Alumnus Award, 2012
  • Lee Hsun Research Fellowship, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 2012
  • Elected Fellow, American Associated for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), 2010
  • Elected Fellow, Materials Research Society (MRS), 2010
  • Elected Fellow, American Physical Society (APS), 2010
  • Microscopy Society of America (MSA) Fellowship, 2009, Inception Class
  • Election to Faculty Honor Roll: NU Associated Student Government, 2008-2010
  • Richard M. Fulrath Award, (ACerS), 2008
  • 6th McBain Memorial Award, NCL, India, 2007
  • First McCormick Faculty Excellence Award, 2006
  • Elected Fellow, American Ceramic Society (ACerS), 2003
  • National Institutes of Health Sabbatical Faculty Fellowship, 2001-2002
  • Teacher of the Year, 2001-2002
  • ASM-IIM Visiting Faculty Fellow, 2001
  • Distinguished Alumni Service Award, IIT Bombay, India, 2001
  • Kurt Heinrich Award, Microbeam Analysis Society, 1998
  • R. L. Coble Award for Young Scholars, American Ceramic Society (ACerS), 1998
  • Burton Medal, Microscopy Society of America (MSA), 1996
  • IBM Faculty Development Award, 1995
  • Exxon Foundation Fellowship, 1995
  • National Science Foundation (NSF) Young Investigator Award, 1993–1998

Significant Professional Service

  • Founder and Co-Director, Global McCormick Initiative (GMI)
  • Founding Director, Soft and Hybrid Nanotechnology Experimental (SHyNE) Resource, an NSF-NNCI Node
  • Member, Australian Microscopy and Microanalysis, Research Facility (AMMRF) International Technical and User Advisory Group
  • Member, Space Studies Board of the National Academy of Sciences
  • Member, Science Advisory Committee, Brookhaven National Laboratory, Center for Functional Nanomaterials, Member 2010-2014, Chair 2014-2016
  • Member, Scientific Advisory Committee, Argonne National Laboratory Center for Nanoscale Materials, 2016-Present
  • Member, Argonne National Laboratory Scientific Steering Committee for Ultrafast Electron Microscopy, 2017-Present
  • Chair, 2016 National Science Foundation Nanoscale Science & Engineering Conference Reviewer and Panelist for National Science Foundation, Department of Energy, and Department of Defense
  • Reviewer for Applied Physics Letters, Physical Review Letters, Journal of the American Ceramic Society, Nature, Science, Acta Materialia, Journal of Materials Research, Journal of the Electrochemical Society, and Nano Letters
  • Editor, Journal of Materials Research, MRS Flagship Journal
  • Past Editor, Microscopy & Microanalysis, MSA Flagship Journal
  • Current Editorial Board, Journal of Microscopy
  • Past Editor, Journal of Materials Research
  • Editoral Board, Current Opinion in Solid State and Materials Science
  • Co-Founder and Steering Committee Member, International Institute for Nanotechnology (IIN)
  • Professional Memberships: American Ceramic Society (ACerS), Materials Research Society (MRS), Microbeam Analysis Society (MAS), Microscopy Society of America (MSA), ASM International, The Minerals, Metals, and Materials Society (TMS), American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), American Chemical Society (ACS), American Physics Society (APS), Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineering (IEEE), American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), American Society of Engineering Education (ASEE), Royal Microscopical Society (RMS), Chicago Council on Global Affairs, Sigma XI

Selected Publications

  • Hujsak, Karl A.; Myers, Benjamin D.; Grovogui, Jann; Dravid, Vinayak P., Stage-Rocked Electron Channeling for Crystal Orientation Mapping, Scientific reports 8(1) (2018).
  • Zhang, Xiaomi; Hao, Shiqiang; Tan, Gangjian; Hu, Xiaobing; Roth, Eric W.; Kanatzidis, Mercouri; Wolverton, Christopher M; Dravid, Vinayak P, Ion beam induced artifacts in lead-based chalcogenides, Microscopy and Microanalysis 25(4):831-839 (2019).
  • Chen, Peng Cheng; Liu, Mohan; Du, Jingshan S.; Meckes, Brian; Wang, Shunzhi; Lin, Haixin; Dravid, Vinayak P; Wolverton, Christopher M; Mirkin, Chad A, Interface and heterostructure design in polyelemental nanoparticles, Science 363(6430):959-964 (2019).
  • Lin, Qing Yuan; Mason, Jarad A.; Li, Zhongyang; Zhou, Wenjie; O’Brien, Matthew N.; Brown, Keith A.; Jones, Matthew R.; Butun, Serkan; Lee, Byeongdu; Dravid, Vinayak P.; Aydin, Koray; Mirkin, Chad A., Building superlattices from individual nanoparticles via template-confined DNA-mediated assembly, Science 359(6376):669-672 (2018).
  • Chen, Yen Jung; Cain, Jeffrey D.; Stanev, Teodor K.; Dravid, Vinayak P.; Stern, Nathaniel P., Valley-polarized exciton-polaritons in a monolayer semiconductor, Nature Photonics 11(7):431-435 (2017).