H. Kumar Wickramasinghe
IBM Almaden Research Center
Senior Manager, Nanoscale Science and Technology
A distinguished pioneer in the invention and practical uses of
nanotechnology, Dr. Hemantha Kumar Wickramasinghe now manages
nanoscience and technology research at IBM's Almaden Research Center,
San Jose, Calif.
A native of Colombo, Sri Lanka, Wickramasinghe was educated at the
University of London (B.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees in electrical engineering
in 1970 and 1974, respectively). After a post-doctoral appointment in
the Applied Physics Department at Stanford University, he joined the
Electrical Engineering Department at University College, London, in
1978, gaining tenure in 1982.
In 1984, Wickramasinghe joined IBM Research at the T. J. Watson Research
Center in Yorktown Heights, N.Y. There, he led the team that developed
atomic force microscopes (AFMs) into fully hardened instruments that
could be used both within IBM and outside. He invented a number of novel
scanning probe microscopes and near-field optical instruments and
applied them to data storage and in-situ measurements that improve the
yield and/or throughput of manufacturing lines.
Among the microscopes he helped invent are the vibrating mode AFM,
magnetic force microscope, electrostatic force microscope, kelvin probe
force microscope, scanning thermal microscope and the apertureless
near-field optical microscope.
In June 2001, Wickramasinghe moved to Almaden to lead the development of
technology aimed at increasing the data density of magnetic hard-disk
drives. He was named manager of nanoscale and quantum studies in August
Dr. Wickramasinghe is a fellow of the American Physical Society, and the
United Kingdom's Institute of Physics, Institution of Electrical
Engineers (IEE), the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers
(IEEE) and the Royal Microscopical Society. He was elected to the
National Academy of Engineering in 1998.
In 2000, Wickramasinghe and Calvin Quate of Stanford U. received the
American Physical Soceity's Joseph F. Keithley Award for their
"pioneering contributions to nanoscale measurement science through their
leadership in the development of a range of nanoscale force microscopes
that have had major impact in many areas of physics."
He received the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)
Best Paper Award (in the IEEE publication, Group on Sonics and
Ultrasonics Transactions) in 1982, the V. K. Zworykin Premium award of
the IEE in 1983, and the IEEE Morris E. Leeds Award in 1992. He was
named Distinguished Corporate Inventor of the National Inventors Hall of
Fame in 1998 and was chosen to be a Centennial Lecturer for the American
Physical Society in 1999.
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