who currently holds the John C. C. Fan family Distinguished Chair Professorship in the Department of Materials

Science and Engineering at North Carolina State University. He also has the appointment of Distinguished

Visiting Scientist at Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

After graduating with distinction from India’s top institution

(IIT Kanpur) in 1969, Professor Narayan continued

his studies at the University of California, Berkeley,

and obtained his MS (1970) and PhD (1971) degrees in a

record time of two years. Based on his MS and PhD theses,

he published over a dozen leading papers related to

in-situ studies of defects and diffusion modeling in leading

archival journals, initiating a long lasting research

career, mostly in the area of functional materials. To

date Dr. Narayan has published over 500 journal papers

and numerous contributions to conference proceedings.

He has also received 35 patents. His research publications

have been quoted in over 11,000 citations with

h-index of over 51.

After graduation, Dr. Narayan worked (1971–72) as

Research Metallurgist at Lawrence Berkeley National

Laboratory, before joining Oak Ridge National Laboratory

in 1972 as Member of Research Staff. At ORNL, he

rose to the level of Senior Scientist and Group Leader of

Thin Films and Electron Microscopy Programs, before

joining in 1983 North Carolina State University as Senior

Professor and Director of Microelectronics Center

of North Carolina. He was appointed Distinguished

University Professor in 1991, and Endowed Fan family

Distinguished Chair Professorship in 2001. During

1990–92, Professor Narayan also served as Director of

Division of Materials Research, National Science Foundation.

There he initiated a successful Program on Advanced

Materials and Processing, for which he

received the NSF Distinguished Service Award. Professor

Narayan’s research covers all of the critical elements

of advanced materials: synthesis and processing; nanoscale

characterization; structure-property correlations

and modeling.

His pioneering experiments at Berkeley provided first

direct evidence for the presence of anion-cation vacancy

pairs (Schottky defect) and anion-cation interstitial pairs

(New defect) in ionic crystals such as magnesium oxide.

He showed that these defects diffuse as pairs and obtained

activation energies for bulk diffusion and pipe

diffusion along dislocations and grain boundaries. He

also discovered new a <100>{100} dislocations as result

of condensation of these vacancy type defects. At

ORNL he used this fundamental understanding to form

colloids (nanoclusters) of metals in MgO, and invented

novel metal-ceramic (nano) composites with improved

mechanical, electrical and thermal properties.

Professor Narayan’s expertise in defects and diffusion

was well suited for the next phase of his career at ORNL

on ion implantation, solid phase epitaxy, rapid thermal

annealing, and formation of supersaturated semiconductor

alloys. He established atomic structure of displacement

cascades and developed an amorphization model

for semiconductors based upon his careful experiments

which led to the determination of critical damage energy for amorphization (12eV/atom for silicon). His work on

solid-phase-epitaxy kinetics led to the well-known crystallization

model and the discovery of supersaturated

semiconductor alloys with solubility limits exceeding as

much as 500 over the equilibrium values, a critical step

in ion implantation doping for ultra-shallow p-n junctions

in current and future devices.

Narayan and his coworkers at ORNL pioneered

pulsed laser annealing methods, useful for removing

ion implantation damage and creating defect-free

supersaturated semiconductor alloys. These seminal

experiments on interfacial instability also have led to

theoretical models to establish melting as the mechanism

of laser annealing. Narayan also invented laser induced

diffusion to form highly efficient ultra-shallow p-n junctions

and low-cost laser-diffused solar cells. Subsequent

research in laser (transient thermal) processing resulted

in the discovery of flame annealing and rapid thermal

processing, which constitutes the backbone of current

device fabrication.

Narayan’s critical understanding of laser-solid interactions

led to nonequilibrium pulsed laser evaporation

at higher laser energies, and deposition of thin films.

His group at NCSU (along with Bell Labs) published

first seminal paper on pulsed laser deposition (PLD) of

thin films of high-Tc superconductors in 1987. Since

then, PLD technique has become one of the most popular

techniques for thin film deposition along with

MOCVD and MBE. The PLD is proving to be an elegant

nonequilibrium technique, lending itself to higher

quality films of multicomponent systems at lower thermal

budgets with fewer processing steps.

In other research areas, Dr. Narayan discovered domain

matching epitaxy, a new paradigm for thin film

epitaxy across the misfit scale, which is based upon

matching of integral multiples of lattice planes across

the film-substrate interface. This is a crucial step in the

fabrication of GaN based light emitting diodes on sapphire

and silicon substrates where lattice misfit can

range from 14–20%. Narayan also invented novel

Nano PocketLEDs where carriers are quantum confined

by introducing a thickness variation to control the

bandgap of GaInN/GaN quantum wells. The thickness

variation is introduced during thin film growth as a result

of misfit strain between GaInN and GaN layers.

Using this paradigm of epitaxy across the misfit scale,

it is possible to integrate functionality of new materials

on the silicon chip and create smart devices for sensing,

manipulation and rapid response. In the area of new

materials, Dr. Narayan discovered 1-2-4 (Y1Ba2Cu4O8)

super- conductors Tc > 80–100K and 1-2-4 and 1-2-3

(Y1Ba2Cu4O7-) composites with enhanced flux-pinning.

He discovered ZnMgO and ZnCdO alloys for LEDs

and doped ZnO based materials as transparent conductors,

and pioneered epitaxial growth of diamond thin

films on Si(100) and Cu (100) substrates. The pulse laser

method for synthesis and processing of continuous diamond

thin films on nondiamond substrates, such as

Cu(100), makes it possible to create hydrogen-free diamondlike

carbon films.

During various stages of his research career,

Dr. Narayan developed atomic-resolution electron

microscopy techniques to study the atomic structure of

defects (dislocations) and interfaces, which are based

upon a three-step interactive procedure: calculation

simulation and comparison with experimental results.

Professor Narayan’s outstanding research contributions

have earned him many awards and recognitions.

He is an elected Fellow of MRS (inaugural Class),

TMS, APS, AAAS, ASM, and a Fellow of the National

Academy of Sciences in India. His awards include the

US-DOE Outstanding Research Award, Three IR-100

Awards, Honorary Member MRS-I, ASM Gold Medal,

and Edward DeMille Campbell Lecture and Prize, IIT/K

Distinguished Alumnus Award. In 2005 at the Annual

TMS Meeting in San Francisco a symposium was held

in Dr. Narayan’s honor.

The Acta Materialia Gold Medal is awarded annually

by the Board of Governors of Acta Materialia, Inc. with

partial financial support from Elsevier, the publisher of

Acta journals. Nominees are solicited each year from the

Governors, the Cooperating Societies and Sponsoring

Societies of Acta Materialia, Inc. based on demonstrated

ability and leadership in materials research. A

distinguished panel of international judges makes the

determination of the winner. The Award consists of

the gold medal, donated by the publisher, Elsevier, an

inscribed certificate, and a check for a sum of money

that constitutes the Board’s contribution to the award


There will be an International Conference on

Advances in Nanostructured Materials and Applications

(designated as The 2011 Acta Materialia Gold Medal

symposium honoring Professor Narayan), sponsored

by ASM International and TMS at the Materials

Science & Technology 2011 Conference & Exhibition,

October 16–20, 2011, Columbus, Ohio. The Acta

Materialia Gold Medal will be presented at the ASM

Awards Ceremony on October 18, 2011. The Materials

Research Society will hold an Invited Symposium on

Frontiers of Thin Film Epitaxy and Nanostructured

Materials, in Professor Narayan’s Gold Medal honor,

at the 2011 MRS Spring Meeting in San Francisco,

April 25–29, 2011.