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Brief Profile of the Awardee

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Dr Subramanian Anantha Ramakrishna

  • 2016
  • Physical Sciences
  • 30/11/1972
  • Optics and Condensed Matter Physics
Award Citation:

Dr Ramakrishna has made fundamental contributions in the field of metamaterials, and in developing new forms of anisotropic photonic materials.

Academic Qualifications:
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Thesis and Guide details:
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Details of CSIR Fellowship/ Associateship held, if any or from other sources/ agencies.
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Significant foreign assignments:
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(a) Significant contributions to science and/ or technology development by the nominee based on the work done in India during most part of last 5 years:
Since 2011, Dr. Ramakrishna has developed a unique programon developing novel kinds metamaterials functioning at optical to infra-red frequencies. His works, which comprises a major portion of the Indian output in the area of Metamaterials, have been important contributions to the field. Being one of the pioneers working in this field since 2001, he has concentrated in recent years on applications and technologies of metamaterials and plasmonic nanostructured thin films. Primary among the recent developments, are the anisotropic metamaterial optical fibers [70, 79] {5}, which are new forms of anisotropic metamaterials in the cylindrical geometry, frequency selective multiband metamaterial perfect absorbers for bolometric and hyperspectral imaging applications [47, 51 56, 61, 62, 66, 75], nonlinear and switchable metamaterial absorbers [68, 69] {3}, and periodically patterned columnar plasmonic thin films [52, 55, 65, 72] . Each development has required innovations in micro- and nanostructuring processes, with many of them patented (see list of patents applied for). In terms of scholarship, his review on metamaterials in 2005 (cited 707 times) and research monograph published in 2009 (cited 228 times) are highly utilized and appreciated in the field. Anisotropic metamaterial optical fibers [74,79]: Nanoporous alumina microtubes were developed to form anisotropic metamaterials in the cylindrical geometry, . When the nanopores are filled with a plasmonic metal, hyperbolic anisotropy is realized. The optical modes supported in these fibers are exotic and described by Bessel functions of imaginary and complex orders, which have been noted for the first time in the context of optical guidance. Further, the Nanoporous alumina microtubes have enhanced thermal properties that are proposed for micro heat exchangers with highly enhanced wetting, pool boiling and heat conductance rates. This new system has much potential to be technologically disruptive and create many new applications Optical - Infrared metamaterial perfect absorbers: Extremely thin (subwavelength) high efficiency absorbers based on metamaterial structures have been developed [47, 51, 56, 61, 62, 66, 75]. These structures have absorption greater than 95% over selected bands that are determined by the metamaterial structural sizes. Large absorption over multiple bands at visible[68, 75, 76] to long wave infrared wavelengths [61, 62, 66] have been realized. The nominee has contributed to the fundamental understanding of these absorbers, described them as highly impedance matched patch antenna arrays [47, 61, 62] and has been highly cited for this understanding (over 120 citations). He has developed infrared absorbers that are transparent for visible light, which allows for multiplexing applications at different wavelengths [61] as well as flexible substrates [66]. The switchable absorbers obtained by temperature sensitive vanadium dioxide thin films embedded in the transparent absorbers [69] have enabled an thermal to optical valve, an essential component of an infrared thermal imaging focal plane array. This work has been developed specifically for the DRDO. The selective multiband absorbers are expected to enable futuristic hyperspectral imaging with uncooled devices. Nonlinear and switchable metamaterials [68, 69]: The nominee has made fundamental contributions to the present ‘hot’ area of metamaterial nonlinearities by demonstrating metamaterial nonlinearities which arise specifically due to the geometry of the structures and may not be present in the constituent materials.
(b) Impact of the contributions in the field concerned:
Prof. Ramakrishna has published over 80 papers in the area of metamaterials and plasmonic nanostructured materials. His work has drawn enormous attention from the scientific community and has been highly cited with over 3850 citations and an h-index of 19 (source: Google scholar). He has also concentrated on technology development, filing 9 patents in the past five years. He has proposed for the first time several concepts such as: the mechanisms of imaging with super-resolution with negative refractive index lenses [10, 14, 16, 19] (totalling 1093 citations) the use of amplifying media in metamaterial and plasmonic structures [17] (292 citations), the use of transformation optics to perfect lenses of negative index materials [22](298 citations), first design for optical frequency metamaterials [31] (194 citations), demonstration of negative refraction in acoustic metamaterials [31](150 citations), a proper explanation of the choice of the negative root for the wave vector in negative index media [24] (52 citations), coherent control of metamaterials by atomic / molecular resonances [34, 38, 41] (38 citations) and so on. His work on the traversal times for light in dispersive media [26, 35] has solely motivated at least 8 research papers from various international groups. Among the work in the past 5 years, his work on perfectly absorbing metamaterials as highly impedance matched antennas at inflated and optical frequencies [47, 51, 56, 61, 62, 66, 75] has drawn much attention (over 135 citations). One of these papers [56] received an honorable mention in the 2015 Journal of Optics research excellence award and was listed in the year of light collection of the Journal of Optics. These works lay the route to the development of highly sensitized and spectrally selective focal plane arrays for thermal hyper spectral images for the DRDO (IRDE, Dehradun), which is being taken up through their nanophotonics program. His work on plasmonic and metamaterial resonant structures for surface enhanced Raman scattering [43, 48, 49] (SERS) (21 citations) is now being taken up with the Department of Atomic Energy for applications to the Raman spectroscopy of actinide series elements. Dr. Ramakrishna's work on optical properties of plasmonic nanostructures has also drawn attention [45, 50, 58, 60] (30 citations), particularly the demonstration of broadband extraordinary transmittance in highly singular checkerboard plasmonic structures [45] (15 citations). His recent work on fingerprint visualization by depositing columnar thin films and fluorescent dyes [52] (7 citations) was tabled in the 17th Triennial Interpol International Forensic sciences manager’s symposium report on recent forensic techniques developed during 2010-2013. His scholarship on metamaterials is highly recognized, with his comprehensive review in the Reports on Progress in Physics [23] in 2005, and subsequently his book in 2009 on negative refractive index materials being the reference of choice for beginning graduate students in this area of research across the world. The book received excellent reviews [A.H. Harker, Contemporary Physics, 51 (4), 372-375 (2010)]. These reference works have garnered almost a thousand citations till date. He is one of the few researchers to conduct both theoretical and experimental work simultaneously with a view to developing technologies and applications throughout.
Places where work of last 5 years has been referred/ cited in Books, Reviews:
(i). Paper Cited
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(ii). Book Cited
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Names of the industries in which the technology (ies) has (have) been used :
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The achievements already been recognised by Awards by any learned body:
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The Awardee a fellow of the Indian National Science Academy/Indian Academy of Sciences/National Academy of Sciences/Others:
The Awardee delivered invited lecture(s) in India/abroad and/or chaired any scientific Internatiional Conference Symposium:
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List of Awardee's 10 most significant publications.
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List of Awardee's 5 most significant publications during the last 5 years
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List of Awardee's 5 most significant publications from out of work done in India during the last five years:
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Complete list of publications in standard refereed journals:
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Complete list of publications with foreign collaborators (indicating your status as author):
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List of papers published in Conferences /Symposia/ Seminars, etc:
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List of the most outstanding Technical Reports/ Review Articles:
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Statement regarding collaboration with scientists abroad:
List of Patents taken
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Total number of patents granted in last five years.
Details of Books published:
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Contact Details


  • Department of Physics
    Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur

    Kanpur - 208 016
    Uttar Pradesh INDIA
  • 0512-2597449
  • 0512-2590914
  • sar[at]iitk[dot]ac[dot]in
22 Jul 2017, http://ssbprize.gov.in/Content/Detail.aspx?AID=525