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Fellows Directory

Kumar Wickramasinghe

Kumar Wickramasinghe

Professor Kumar Wickramasinghe FRS


Elected: 2019


Kumar Wickramasinghe is an Electrical Engineer/Physicist who has introduced and deployed several molecular resolution microscopes named ‘scanning probe microscopes’ (SPM) for nanoscale imaging of electrical, optical, magnetic and thermal properties of surfaces. Notable is the Magnetic Force Microscope for quality control in disk drive manufacturing and the Kelvin Probe Force Microscope for imaging charge states and work functions of novel semiconductor and solar cell materials.

He pioneered and led the development and deployment of the vibrating probe (or dynamic mode) atomic force microscope (AFM)– an instrument for non-destructive profiling of surfaces with atomic resolution used in all nanotechnology laboratories today.

Kumar is a Member of the US National Academy of Engineering, Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors, IBM Fellow (Ret) and the recipient of a number of awards including the APS Keithley Award for ‘pioneering contributions to nanoscale measurement science through leadership in the development of a range of nanoscale force microscopes that have had a major impact in many areas of Physics’, Scientific American 50 award and the IEEE Morris Leeds award.

Professional positions

, University of California, Irvine

Interest and expertise

Subject groups

  • Biochemistry and molecular cell biology
    • Cell biology (incl molecular cell biology)
  • Health and human sciences
    • Medical instrumentation
  • Engineering
    • Engineering, electrical, Engineering, electronics, Instrumentation, Materials science (incl materials engineering)


Scanning Probe Microscopy, AFM, Super Resolution Imaging, X-ray Nanoscopy, Point of Care Diagnostics, Non-Thermal PCR, Live Cell Genomics, Optical Chrality

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