Latha Venkataraman


Tel(212) 854-1786

Latha Venkataraman and her group measure the fundamental properties of single molecule devices, seeking to understand the interplay of physics, chemistry, and engineering at the nanometer scale. The underlying focus of her research is to fabricate single molecule circuits, a molecule attached to two electrodes, with varied functionality, where the circuit structure is defined with atomic precision. She measures electronic conduction, single bond breaking forces, thermoelectric and electrochemical properties of these devices. Her interdisciplinary and collaborative research, working together with synthetic chemist and theory groups, provides a deeper understanding of the fundamental physics of electron transport, while laying the groundwork for technological advances at the nanometer scale. Besides advancing the field of nanoscale electronics, her work has also broadened understanding of charge transfer at metal/organic interfaces which has impact on the fields of organic electronics, photovoltaics, catalysis, and charge transfer processes in biological systems.

Research Interests

Single-Molecule Electronics, scanning tunneling microscopy, atomic force microscopy, nanoscale transport, electrochemistry, photoconduction, x-ray photoemission spectroscopy

Latha Venkataraman received her Bachelor’s degree in Physics from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1993 where she did her undergraduate thesis with Prof. Mildred Dresselhaus calculating the phonon modes of carbon nanotubes.  She then moved to Harvard University and obtained her Ph. D. in 1999 working under the guidance of Prof. Charles Lieber investigating electronic properties of one-dimensional systems. She worked as a research scientist at Vytran Corporation from 1999 to 2002. In 2003, she joined Columbia University as a research scientist. She started her independent career as an assistant professor in the Department of Applied Physics and Applied Mathematics at Columbia University in 2007, was promoted to Associate Professor with tenure in 2012 and Professor in 2016. She is currently the Lawrence Gussman Professor of Applied Physics and Professor of Chemistry. She also served as Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs from 2019-2022.

Research Experience

  • Research Scientist, Vytran Corporation, 1999-2002
  • Research Scientist, Columbia University, 2003-2007

Professional Experience

  • Vice Provost For Faculty Affairs, Columbia University, 2019-2022
  • Lawrence Gussman Professor of Applied Physics, Columbia University, 2019-present
  • Professor of Applied Physics, Columbia University, 2016-present
  • Professor of Chemistry, Columbia University, 2016-present
  • Associate Professor of Applied Physics, Columbia University, 2011–2016
  • Assistant Professor of Applied Physics, Columbia University, 2007–2011


Professional Affiliations

  • American Physical Society
  • American Chemical Society

Honors & Awards

  • Fellow, American Physical Society, 2016
  • Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Fellowship in Chemistry, 2011
  • Packard Fellowship for Science and Engineering, 2008
  • NSF Career Award, 2008

Selected Publications

  • BY. Zang, Q. Zou*, T. Fu, F. Ng, B. Fowler, J. Yang, H. Li, M. L. Steigerwald*, C. Nuckolls*, L. Venkataraman*, Directing Isomerization Reactions of Cumulenes with Electric Fields, Nature Communications, Volume 10, 4482 (2019).
  • M. S. Inkpen*, Z.-F. Liu, H. Li, L. Campos, J. B. Neaton, L. Venkataraman*, Non-chemisorbed gold-sulfur binding prevails in self-assembled monolayers, Nature Chemistry, 11, p. 351–358 (2019).
  • M. H. Garner, H Li, Y. Chen, T. A. Su, Z. Shangguan, D. W. Paley, T. Liu, F. Ng, H Li, S. Xiao*, C. Nuckolls*, L. Venkataraman*, G. C. Solomon*, Comprehensive suppression of single-molecule conductance using destructive σ-interference, Nature, 558, 415–419 (2018).
  • G. Lovat, B. Choi, D.W. Paley, M.L. Steigerwald, L. Venkataraman*, X. Roy*, Room-temperature current blockade in atomically defined single-cluster junctions, Nature Nanotechnology, 12, 1050–1054, (2017).
  • B. Capozzi, J. Xia, O. Adak, E. Dell, Z. Liu, J.C. Taylor, J. B. Neaton, L. Campos and L. Venkataraman Single-Molecule Diodes with High Rectification Ratios through Environmental Control, Nature Nanotechnology, 10, 522-527 (2015).
  • S. Aradhya and L. Venkataraman 'Single-Molecule Junctions Beyond Electronic Transport', Nature Nanotechnology 8, 399–410 (2013).
  • L. Venkataraman, J.E. Klare, C. Nuckolls, M.S. Hybertsen and M. L. Steigerwald, 'Dependence of Single Molecule Junction Conductance on Molecular Conformation', Nature, vol. 442, p904-907 (2006).