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Akhlesh Lakhtakia

Prof. Akhlesh  Lakhtakia

The Charles Godfrey Binder (Endowed) Professor of Engineering Science and Mechanics
Pennsylvania State University

University Park PA 16802-6812
United States

tel: +1-814-863-4319/0554
E-mail: akhlesh@psu.edu
Web: http://www.esm.psu.edu/~axl4

Area of Expertise

Scattering and propagation of electromagnetic, acoustic and electromagnetic waves; numerical techniques; optics; fractal structures; composite materials; chiral materials; anisotropic and bianisotropic materials; sculptured thin films; negative refractive index; carbon–nanotube electromagnetics; complex-medium electromagnetics; nanophotonics; surface multiplasmonics; bioreplication; forensic science; bone repair


Akhlesh Lakhtakia was born in Lucknow, India on July 1, 1957. He obtained a Bachelor of Technology degree in Electronics Engineering from the Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi, India in 1979; Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy degrees in Electrical Engineering from the University of Utah, Salt Lake City in 1981 and 1983, respectively; and a Doctor of Science degree in Electronics Engineering from the Banaras Hindu University in 2006. In 1983, he joined the faculty of the Pennsylvania State University, where he was elevated to the rank of Distinguished Professor of Engineering Science and Mechanics in January 2004. In 2006, he became the Charles Godfrey Binder (Endowed) Professor of Engineering Science and Mechanics. He also serves as a Professor in the Graduate Program in Materials. From 2004 to 2007 he also held the rank of a Visiting Professor of Physics at Imperial College, London.

Dr. Lakhtakia has published more than 800 journal articles; has contributed 27 chapters to research books and encyclopedias; has edited, co-edited, authored or co-authored 18 books and 17 conference proceedings; has authored or co-authored 305 conference papers; has reviewed for 150 journals; serves on the editorial boards of five electromagnetics/optics journals; was the Editor-in-Chief of the international journal Speculations in Science and Technology from 1993 to 1995; and was the first Editor-in-Chief (2007-2013) of the online Journal of Nanophotonics published by SPIE. He serves as an international lecturer for the International Commission for Optics, SPIE, and the Optical Society of America; was twice a Visiting Professor of Physics at Universidad de Buenos Aires (1990, 1992), a Visiting Professor of Physics at the University of Otago (2003), a Visiting Fellow in Mathematics at the University of Glasgow (1995), and a Honorary International Professor at the National Taipei University of Technology (2013); and headed the IEEE EMC Technical Committee on Nonsinusoidal Fields from 1992 to 1994.

Dr. Lakhtakia is a Fellow of the Optical Society of America (1992), SPIE (1996), the UK Institute of Physics (1996), the American Association for the Advancement of Science (2009), the American Physical Society (2012), the IEEE (2016), and the Royal Society of Chemistry (2016). He was named to the inaugural class of Distinguished Reviewers by the Optical Society of America in 2012. He also served as the 1995 Scottish Amicable Visiting Lecturer at the University of Glasgow. He received the PSES Outstanding Research Award in 1996, the PSES Premier Research Award in 2008, the PSES Outstanding Advising Award in 2005, and the PSEAS Outstanding Teaching Award in 2016. For his research on sculptured thin films and complex-medium electromagnetics, he received the Faculty Scholar Medal in Engineering in 2005 from the Pennsylvania State University, the 2010 SPIE Technical Achievement Award, and the 2016 Walston Chubb Award in Innovation from Sigma Xi. Nanotech Briefs recognized him in 2006 with a Nano 50 Award for Innovation. The University of Utah made him a Distinguished Alumnus in 2007, and the Indian Institute of Technology (BHU) in 2014.

His current research interests lie in the electromagnetics of complex materials including chiral and bianisotropic materials, sculptured thin films, chiral nanotubes, nanoengineered metamaterials, surface multiplasmonics, bioreplication, bone nano-refacing, and forensic science. He has more than 13000 citations on the ISI Web of Knowledge and his Hirsch index is 46. According to Google Scholar, the number of citations exceeds 20000 and his Hirsch index is 60. His research accomplishments have been discussed on CNN and in a NOVA movie. His recent research has been covered on several scientific media outlets and blogs.

Lecture Title(s)

  • Nanoengineered Metamaterials: Morphology and performance are the two faces of the coin called a "nanoengineered metamaterial". Multifunctional performance expected of metamaterials can be engendered by cellular morphology that can be nanoengineered. Their optical and biological functionalities suggest that sculptured thin films (STFs) exemplify nanoengineered metamaterials. 
  • Copycat Technology: The conformal-evaporated-film-by-rotation technique was devised to fabricate inorganic replicas of surfaces of biological objects, such as the compound eyes of flies and the iridescent wings of butterflies, with high reliability and fidelity at the micro- and nano-scales. Applications include textured coatings for solar cells and other energy-harvesting structures, and photonic crystals. 
  • Surface Multiplasmonics:  The planar interface of a metal and a dielectric material can guide multiple surface-plasmon-polariton (SPP) waves—all of the same frequency, but different phase speed, attenuation rate, and spatial profiles of fields— provided that the dielectric material is periodically nonhomogeneous in the direction normal to the interface. Theoretical and experimental research during the last four years have validated this idea, thereby engendering the research area of surface multiplasmonics.
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