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, USA in 2013. 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. From 2017 to 2022, he was a member and research scientist 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) before joining Flinders University a year later. At Flinders, Pankaj leads a cutting edge research program on the nanoscale investigation of functional materials and devices, and has pioneered new research directions and technological innovations within the field, e.g. low-energy domain wall memory1,2,3 and the discovery of a new class of electronic materials4,5 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 techniques6,7 for the investigation of advanced electronic 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. His research group focuses on advanced electronic material systems and devices made of, e.g. (multi-) ferroelectrics, piezoelectrics, oxide heterostructures, 2D van der Waals materials, photovoltaics, and battery materials among others.


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

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

Honours, awards and grants

–Honours and Awards

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

Poster Award, ARC Centre of Excellence in FLEET Annual Workshop (2021, 2019)

Materials Research Society Award (2017)

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

Fellowship, US NSF, CMMI Boston (2012)

–Selected Grants

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

Oak Ridge National Laboratory User Grant (2021-22): $30k

UNSW–MAHE Seed Grant (2020-22): $20k

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

ARC Centre of Excellence in FLEET Grant - Idea Factory (2022): ~$10k

UNSW Strategic Support Grant (2021): $4k

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

Key responsibilities

Associate Investigator, ARC Centre of Excellence in Future Low-Energy Technologies (FLEET)

Topic coordinator
MATS6104 Physical Properties of Materials, UNSW Sydney (2021, 2022)
Topic lecturer
PHYS1102 Physics 1B
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
Principal supervisor: Scanning tunneling microscopy and spectroscopy, KPFM (UNSW) (1), Condensed matter physics, nanoscale ferroelectrics, van der Waals materials (UNSW) (2)
Principal supervisor: Condensed matter physics, electronic and piezoelectric applications of metal oxides (MAHE) (1)
Associate supervisor: Strain engineering and control of complex oxide materials (1), Transition metal dichalcogenides, Scanning probe microscopy (1), Scanning Tunneling Microscopy (1), Polar complex oxide heterointerfaces, 2 dimensional electron gas (1), Condensed Matter Physics, Nanoferroelectrics and domain walls (1)
Further information

Recent research highlighted in news and media outlets:


Novel approach to advanced electronics, data storage with ferroelectricity highlighted in 10+ international/national science news and media outlets, e.g., National Tribune,, ARC CoE in Future Low Energy Electronics Technologies, EurekAlert! (AAAS), and DayFr Euro