Phaedon Avouris is a chemical physicist and material scientist recognized for his work in the science and technology of carbon nanostructures and his work on the physics and chemistry of surfaces. He was born and raised in Athens, Greece. In 1968 he graduated with a B.Sc. in chemistry from the Aristotle University in Thessaloniki, Greece. After postgraduate work at the N.R.C. “Demokritos”, Greece, he came to Michigan State University where he received a Ph.D. in physical chemistry in 1974. After postdoctoral work at UCLA and AT&T Bell Labs he joined the IBM Research Division in 1978. There he led research groups in chemical physics, surface science and nanotechnology. In 2004 he was elected IBM Fellow. He has been adjunct research professor at Columbia University NY and is currently adjunct research professor at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. He has been elected fellow of many scientific societies, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a corresponding member of the National Academy of Greece, and has received numerous awards for his work.

Research Interests

Phaedon Avouris' research interests involve primarily the understanding of the relation between electronic structure and the electrical and photonic properties of carbon nanostructures such as carbon nanotubes and graphene and their possible use in novel electronic and photonics technologies. The work involves experiments and theoretical modeling, as well as the fabrication and study of model devices. This work led to the first carbon nanotube field effect transistors, logic gates, integrated electronic circuits and photon detectors. Similar results were achieved based on graphene, including the development of GHz high frequency transistors, integrated circuits, infrared detectors and plasmonic devices. Earlier work focused on the behavior of molecules adsorbed on surfaces. Avouris used scanning tunneling microscopy and spectroscopy (STM/S) to image on the atomic scale how chemical reactions take place at metal and semiconductor surfaces and study the factors that determine the reactivity of surface sites. He also used the STM to manipulate individual atoms and molecules at surfaces.

Membership Type


Election Year


Primary Section

Section 33: Applied Physical Sciences

Secondary Section

Section 14: Chemistry