Professor Tony Low has been named one of the most influential researchers in his field according to the 2020 global list of Highly Cited Researchers released by Clarivate Analytics, an insights and analytics firm. This is the second time he has been on the list; he was previously included in 2019. According to Clarivate, the list is a compilation of “scientists and social scientists who have demonstrated significant influence through publication of multiple papers, highly cited by their peers, during the last decade.”
Twenty-four University of Minnesota researchers have been named in the 2020 list. The international list comprises researchers who published multiple papers from 2009 through 2019 whose citation counts placed them in the top 1 percent by field and publication year. Clarivate explains its methodology for drawing up the list, and while it includes some of the most influential scientists at the University, the list is not by any means exhaustive. For instances, as its methodology indicates, the list might not include the work of some highly cited researchers whose work spans multiple academic disciplines. Other platforms for measurement might indicate different but overlapping results.
Tony is a widely known authority on the theory and design of nanophotonics and nanoelectronics devices based on 2D materials. The isolation of atomically thin 2D graphene about a decade ago, has been an important development in meeting the increasing demand for innovations in solid state technologies. Solid state devices have been critical to the development and advancement of 20th century engineering achievements such as electrification, electronics, internet, laser and fiber optics, and others. The development of 2D graphene has opened the door to an entire family of 2D layered crystals with a range of electrical and optical properties, which have presented opportunities for new devices and their applications. Tony’s research in the area is published in premier journals such as Nature Nanotechnology, Nature Photonics, Nature Communication, Nature Materials, Science Advances, Nano Letters, ACS Nano, and Physical Review Letters. He has shared his research through several invited talks at top conferences in the field such as the American Physics Society (APS) meeting, Materials Research Symposium (MRS) meeting, and as a plenary and keynote speaker at others.
Tony leads a research group in ECE that works on expanding the understanding and design of nanomaterials and nanodevices. In recent years they have focused on the class of 2D crystals and their heterostructures, topological, and magnetic materials. Tony’s team has revealed their basic electronic and optical properties, and the opportunities they present for novel electronics, spintronics, optoelectronics, nanophotonics and plasmonics. Currently, he is leading two multi-university teams supported by a $1.7 million NSF grant to explore 2D heterostructures that demonstrate perfect light absorption and giant piezoelectricity, and a $2 million NSF grant to explore topological photonic effects in 2D materials.
Tony is the recipient of several awards that recognize his work and its far-reaching impact. These include the University’s McKnight Presidential Fellowship (2019), IBM Pat Goldberg Memorial Best Paper Award (2014), IBM Invention Award (2013), KITP Rice Family Fund Fellowship (2012), Singapore Millennium Fellowship (2007), and the IEEE Electron Device Society Fellowship (2005).
Tony received his Ph.D. in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the National University of Singapore in 2008. He subsequently joined the Network for Computational Nanotechnology at Purdue University as a postdoctoral research associate. In spring 2011 he joined IBM T.J. Watson Research Center as a research associate, and also served as an industry assignee to the Nanoelectronics Research Initiative funded by the Semiconductor Research Consortium, tasked with finding the next breakthrough electronic switch. In 2014, he moved to academia, joining our department as an assistant professor in September of that year.