|Alma mater||B.A. University of California, Berkeley, Ph.D. University of California, Los Angeles|
|Known for||Nanoscale constructs|
|Institutions||Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, University of California, Berkeley|
Zettl received a B.A. degree from the University of California, Berkeley in 1978. He received a Ph.D. degree from University of California, Los Angeles in 1983. He joined the faculty of the UCB Physics Department in 1983 without doing a post-doc. He is currently a Professor of Physics and a Senior Scientist at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. In addition to his excellent academic achievement, Alex Zettl is also a world traveller and adventurer. He climbed several famous mountains in the world.
Significant Research Results
He is part of a Nanotechnology group at UCB, the Center of Integrated Nanomechanical Systems He holds patents on the nanoradio, the nano mass sensor and other developments from this center's research.
The research of Zettl, Kenneth Jensen, Jeff Weldon and Henry Garcia culminated in a single nanotube mounted on the tip of a metal electrode. When an electric current is passed between that nanotube and another, shorter, nanotube mounted nearby, an FM radio-frequency signal can be sensed by the nanotube, and the signal is converted into an audible signal without any other circuitry required. This remarkable phenomenon was first described in the November 2007 issue of Nano Letters, a monthly publication of the American Chemical Society. In that same issue, independent University of California, Irvine, researchers Peter Burke and Chris Rutherglen announced a similar result - sensing and demodulating an AM radio-frequency signal, although their apparatus included conventional circuitry for antenna and amplification.
Alex Zettl is a well-known condense-matter physics with many significant contributions to the fields. When he was at UCLA, he (and his PhD advisor) discovered the charge density wave (CDW) and sliding CDW in several group of important materials (metal trichalcogenide, blue bronze). At the boom of high temperature superconductivity, Zettl also had some contribution in the study of superconductivity in carbon-based materials (C60 and doped C60). After that, Zettl and his group focuses their efforts on nanotubes, namely carbon nanotubes and boron nitride nanotubes. Alex Zettl is the first one to demonstrate the synthesis of boron nitride nanotubes. Since then he has continued contributing to develop the fields (synthesis, device fabrication and electron microscopy of nanotubes). Recently Alex Zettl focuses more on two-dimensional materials, namely graphene, hexagonal boron nitride (h-BN) and metal dichalcogenide (TMDs). His work includes atomic resolution of structure of graphene and h-BN, their defects (grain boundaries, vacancies) and applications of 2-D materials (graphene loudspeaker). In 2015, Zettl was awarded R&D Award for the invention of Extended-Pressure Inductively Coupled (EPIC) Plasma system to large scale synthesis of high quality boron nitride nanotubes.
Honors and awards
- Presidential Young Investigator Award (1984–1989)
- Sloan Foundation Fellowship (1984–1986)
- IBM Faculty Development Award (1985–1987)
- Miller Professorship (1995)
- Lucent Technologies Faculty Award (1996)
- Fellow of the American Physical Society (1999)
- Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory Outstanding Performance Award (2004)
- R & D 100 Award (2004)
- James C. McGroddy Prize for New Materials (2006)
- Miller Professorship (2007)
- Alex Zettl et al, Nature Nanotechnology, published online 20 July 2008
- The World's Smallest Radio, Scientific American, 300, 3 (March 2009), p. 45
- Alex Zettl et al, Nano Letters Vol. 7 No. 11 (Nov. 2007), pp. 3508-3511
- UCB Physics Dept. website
-  UCB Physics Dept. website
-  UCB Physics Dept. website