Pankaj Sharma


College of Science and Engineering

place Bedford Park
GPO Box 2100, Adelaide 5001, South Australia

Dr Pankaj Sharma is an experimental condensed matter physicist with a strong focus and expertise in nanoscale materials science and engineering. Pankaj received his doctorate from the University of Nebraska Lincoln in 2013 under the supervision of Charles Mach Professor of Physics Alexei Gruverman. After a brief postdoctoral stint at the University of Nebraska during which he established and validated a new device design of electron tunnel junction memory under the framework of an industry project funded by Semiconductor Research Corporation (CNFD), in 2015, he moved to UNSW Sydney to work with Prof. Jan Seidel. From 2017 to 2020, he was a member and research fellow at the NSW node of ARC's Centre of Excellence in Future Low Energy Electronics Technologies, and in 2021, was promoted to the position of a Lecturer (Materials Sci & Eng, UNSW). During this time span, Pankaj pioneered new research directions and technological innovations within the field, e.g. low-energy domain wall memory and the discovery of a new class of electronic materials first predicted in the 1960's by the Nobel Laureate physicist Philip Anderson.

Dr Sharma's research interests include the development and utilization of cutting-edge scanning probe microscopy and spectroscopic techniques for the investigation of advanced functional materials, surfaces and interfaces at the nanometre scales for technological applications in low-energy data storage, agile nanoelectronics, sustainable energy harvesting and biomedical devices & implants.

The research focuses on advanced material systems and devices made of, e.g. (multi-) ferroelectrics, piezoelectrics, oxide heterostructures, 2D van der Waals materials, halide perovskites, solar cells, battery materials, and related electronic and energy materials among others.


PhD Physics, University of Nebraska, Lincoln, US (2013)

MSc Physics (Honors), Panjab University, Chandigarh, India (2006)

BSc, College of Basic Sciences, HPKV Palampur, India (2004)

Honours, awards and grants

–Honours and Awards

Research Supervisor Award, Arc PGC UNSW Sydney (2019, 2020)

Best Poster Award, ARC’s CoE in FLEET Annual Workshop (2019, 2021)

Materials Research Society Travel Award (2017)

Graduate Fellowship, US NSF, Georgia Institute of Technology (2013)

Graduate Fellowship, US NSF, CMMI Boston (2012)

–Selected Grants

UNSW Research Infrastructure Grants (2016-22): $383k

ORNL User Grant (2021-22): $30k

UNSW–MAHE India Seed Grant (2020-22): $20k

UNSW Science Faculty Research Grant (2022): $8k

ARC CoE in FLEET Travel Grant - Idea Factory (2022): ~$10k

UNSW Strategic Support Grant (2021): $4k

ARC CoE in FLEET– MacDiarmid Institute NZ Grant (2019-20): $5.5k

Topic coordinator
MATS6104 Physical Properties of Materials, UNSW Sydney (2021, 2022)
Topic lecturer
MATS6008 Advanced Functional Materials, UNSW Sydney (2020)
NANO3001 Advanced Nanomaterials, UNSW Sydney (2019, 2020)
PHYS3702 Solid State Physics and Optoelectronics
PHYS1101 Fundamental Physics I
Supervisory interests
Condensed matter physics
Functional materials
Materials engineering/science
Scanning tunneling microscopy
Solar cells
Surface science
Higher degree by research supervision
Associate supervisor: Condensed Matter Physics, Materials Science, Engineering (5)
Associate supervisor: Condensed Matter Physics, Materials Science, Engineering (5)