Apparao M Rao is the Robert A. Bowen Professor of Physics in the department of physics and astronomy, and the director of the Clemson Nanomaterials Center at Clemson University. His research in nanoscience and nanotechnology has been cited over 30,000 times in open literature and his h-index is 72.[1] In 2008 and 2011, he was elected as a fellow of the American Physical Society and the American Association for the Advancement of Science, respectively. In 2012, he received the Alumni Award for Outstanding Achievements in Research, and has served on the Advisory Panel for the Dean and the Vice-President of Research, Clemson University. He established Clemson Nanomaterials Institute along with his longtime collaborator Dr. Ramakrishna Podila[2], which is stimulating sustainable research and development capacity and competitiveness in the U.S. state of South Carolina.

Apparao M. Rao
TitleRobert A. Bowen Professor of Physics, and Director of the Clemson Nanomaterials Institute
Academic background
Alma materUniversity of Kentucky
Academic work
DisciplineCondensed Matter Physics

The state of South Carolina conferred on him its highest honor - the 2014 Governor’s award for excellence in scientific research.[3] Rao is also an adjunct professor at the Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning, India where he initiated a nanomaterials program, and directs research projects of M.S. and Ph.D. students. He has served as the chairman and organizer of several international conferences, including the Frontiers in Nano Science, Carbon 2010, & Nano 2010.[citation needed]


Rao has developed a broad spectrum of technologies for spectroscopic characterization of nanocarbon allotropes, novel synthesis methods for controlling the morphologies of carbon nanotubes or CNTs, and scalable nano-manufacturing of CNT-based devices.[4]

Rao's research has enhanced the field of carbon science and technology in terms of the discovery of novel phenomena in nanocarbon systems, device development for electronics,[5] photonics,[6] and drug delivery. This research is of primary interest to the South Carolina Research Authority, as many of his papers are in these fields of study. Rao's research includes the following topics:

  • The photo-induced polymerization of solid C60, photo-enhanced oxidation of solid C60 diameter selective Raman scattering from single walled CNTs, and the demonstration that CNTs can be subjected to redox doping for tunable electronic properties, just like graphite.
  • Fullerenes and conducting polymers, synthesis and demonstration of logic functions in branched CNTs.
  • Raman evidence for renormalized electron and phonon energies near a charged defect in doped CNTs.
  • Raman evidence for phonon bottle necks in single walled CNTs.
  • Observation of superconductivity in boron doped CNTs.[7]

Rao's Raman spectroscopic studies of fullerenes and CNTs have made Raman spectroscopy a tool in nanocarbon research. Some of Rao’s other breakthroughs include the synthesis and measurement of electrical and mechanical properties of nonlinear CNT morphologies, such as branched and helical CNT forms which exploit unique functionality at the nanoscale. His group demonstrated double decoupling – a new paradigm for thermoelectric devices with a high figure of merit and compatibility factor.[8]

Honors & awardsEdit

  • 2016 Recognized by the Board of Trustees as one of the top three faculty members in the College of Engineering and Science, Clemson University.[9]
  • 2014 Governor’s Award for Excellence in Scientific Research, South Carolina.[9]
  • 2012 Alumni Award for Outstanding Achievement in Research, Clemson University.[9]
  • 2011 Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science.[9]
  • 2010 R. A. Bowen Professor of Physics, Clemson University.[9]
  • 2008 Fellow, American Physical Society.[9]
  • 2007 Panel member for the World Technology Evaluation Center to evaluate carbon nanotube manufacturing capabilities in Europe and Asia.[9]
  • 2006 Faculty Achievement Award, Clemson University, for exemplary leadership in the sciences.[9]


  1. ^ "Apparao M. Rao". Google Scholar. Google. Retrieved 19 April 2018.
  2. ^ "Welcome to the Clemson Nanomaterials Institute". Retrieved 2019-03-30.
  3. ^ Alongi, Paul. "Three professors win governor's awards for world-class research". The Newsstand. Clemson University. Retrieved 19 April 2018.
  4. ^ "NSF awards $1.2 million grant to Clemson professor for energy storage research". AAAS. Retrieved 20 April 2018.
  5. ^ "Patents by Inventor Apparao M. Rao". Justia Patents. Justia. Retrieved 23 April 2018.
  6. ^ Berger, Michael. "An all-carbon optical diode for photonic computing". Nanaowerk. Retrieved 20 April 2018.
  7. ^ Webb, Brandon V. "Race for New Superconductors Shrinks to Nanoscale". University of Texas. Retrieved 20 April 2018.
  8. ^ "Researchers develop technique to convert thermoelectric material into high performance electricity". Eurekalert. Retrieved 20 April 2018.
  9. ^ a b c d e f g h "Apparao M.Rao". Clemson Nanomaterials Institute. Clemson University. Retrieved 19 April 2018.