Suraj Cheema “Electronic Metamaterials for Energy-Efficient and Energy-Autonomous Electronics”

Thursday, February 23
10:00 am - 11:00 am

34-401A Grier A

The explosion in energy consumption from microelectronics – due to the increasing reliance on Internet of Things devices, Artificial Intelligence, and Data Centers – is projected to exceed 20% of worldwide electricity production by 2030 and is continuing to exponentially rise. This grand challenge in energy sustainability not only calls for fundamental breakthroughs in information processing, i.e. energy-efficient computing, but also demands synergistic design of computing and energy technologies, i.e. energy-autonomous microsystems. In this seminar, I will introduce electronic metamaterials as a new materials platform towards this goal of energy-efficient and energy-autonomous electronics, in which novel negative electronic phenomena lead to unprecedented charge responses beyond what is possible in traditional materials. First, I will present the microscopic origins underlying negative permittivity and piezoelectricity in electronic metamaterials, namely frustrated ferroelectricity, and how manipulating symmetry in atomically thin heterostructures can stabilize such ferroelectric ground states. Second, I will establish negative capacitance effects in ultrathin HfO2-ZrO2 films, the conventional dielectrics in today’s microelectronics, as a new paradigm for (i) ultra-low power computing beyond conventional high-κ dielectric transistors and (ii) ultra-fast energy storage beyond conventional electrochemical supercapacitors. In closing, I will discuss how this versatile electronic metamaterial platform can spawn future directions for energy-efficient and energy-autonomous microelectronics.

Suraj is currently a postdoctoral researcher in Electrical Engineering at U.C. Berkeley, exploring the physical limits of electronic metamaterials for ultra-low power computing and ultra-fast energy storage. Suraj obtained his Ph.D. from U.C. Berkeley in Materials Science & Engineering, where he was awarded the U.C. Chancellor’s Fellowship and the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship. For his discoveries of atomically thin ferroelectricity and negative capacitance, Suraj has received the MRS Graduate Student Award (gold), the DARPA Riser Award (top 5 awardee), and the APS Greene Dissertation Award (in experimental condensed matter physics). Previously, Suraj received his B.S. from Columbia University from the Applied Physics & Applied Mathematics department, where he was awarded the Francis Rhodes Prize. Recently, Suraj interned with MIT Lincoln Laboratory to successfully integrate his patented negative permittivity dielectric material into U.S. defense foundry transistor technology.


  • Date: Thursday, February 23
  • Time: 10:00 am - 11:00 am
  • Category:
  • Location: 34-401A Grier A