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Faculty Profile

Oomman K. VargheseOomman K. Varghese

Associate Professor
Department of Physics

Office: Science & Research 1, 515E
Contact: okvarghese@uh.edu - (713) 743-3808

Education: Ph.D., Indian Institute of Technology Delhi

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Dr. Oomman Varghese’s Nanomaterials and Devices Laboratory has its research activities focused on materials and devices for the welfare of society and environment. The group develops nanostructured materials, investigates unique properties, reveals scientific truth behind the exceptional behavior, and tailors the properties to develop devices/processes primarily for energy and clinical applications.

The primary interest is in utilizing earth-abundant inorganic materials and organic polymers and carbon materials from sustainable sources for solar cells, solar fuel generation, and environmental sensing. The work on solar cells is targeted at solving scientific and technological issues associated with environmentally benign materials that are plentiful in earth’s crust so that highly efficient and low-cost solar cells can be developed. The work on solar fuels is intended for using these materials to develop technologies to convert sunlight and generate fuels either without carbon footprint (e.g., hydrogen from water) or through processes that enable carbon dioxide recycling (e.g., methane from carbon dioxide using photocatalysis). Both solar cell and solar fuel approaches are aimed at preventing the carbon dioxide accumulation in the atmosphere. With the research on environmental sensors, the group is aiming at developing low-cost detectors to recognize gases/vapors that affect human health and the environment and also for medical applications to help diagnose and monitor diseases.

Honors and Awards:

Ranked 9th in Thomson Reuters’ list (2011) of ‘World’s Top 100 Materials Scientists’ in the past decade
Received the title ‘Highly Cited Researcher’ (a rank in the top 1% by citation) in 2015 and 2014 from Thomson Reuters
Listed in ‘World’s Most Influential Scientific Minds’ in 2015 and 2014 by Thomson Reuters

Organizations, Outreach, Boards, Memberships:

Visiting Researcher, Toyo University, Japan
Associate Editor, Research (AAAS/Science Partner Journal), the official journal of the China Association for Science and Technology. Latest Articles
Honorary Editor, Journal of Nanomedicine Research, MedCrave Publishing
Member, American Physical Society
Member, Materials Research Society
Member, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers
Guest Teacher, Physics Science Teacher Equity Project (STEP), a University of Houston program for educating high school physics teachers who do not have a physics background.