General Information

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Kannatassen (Krishen) Appavoo

Goldhaber Post-Doctoral Fellow | Advanced Optical Spectroscopy and Microscopy


  • Ultrafast dynamics
  • Photocatalysis
  • Plasmonics
  • Electron beam nanolithography
  • Phase transition in strongly electron-correlated materials
  • Pulsed laser deposition

CFN Research Activities

My research focuses on using advanced optical spectroscopy to understand the ultrafast charge and energy dynamics (femtoseconds to nanoseconds) that occur in nanoarchitectured optoelectronic materials. These studies provide insights into designing the next generation light-harvesting photocatalysts and photovoltaics for energy-related technologies. 


  • B.As.: Berea College (2008)
  • Major: Physics and Mathematics Minor: Computer Science
  • PhD: Vanderbilt University (2012)
    • Interdisciplinary Materials Science
    • Dissertation Title: Hybrid Phase-Changing Nanostructures: From Reconfigurable Plasmonic Devices to Ultrafast Dynamics

Professional Appointments

  • Postdoctoral Research: Brookhaven National Laboratory
    • Center for Functional Nanomaterials
    • Project: Advanced ultrafast optical spectroscopy for in-situ photocatalysis studies

Selected Publications & Research Highlights

K. Appavoo, N. Brady, M. Seo, J. Nag, R. P. Prasankumar, D. J. Hilton, R. F. Haglund Jr., “Ultrafast Metal-Insulator Transition in VO2 Driven by Electron Injection” in Post-deadline CLEO:QELS-Fundamental Science 2012, Optical Society of America Technical Digest QTh5B.5. link

S. Wall, D. Wegkamp, F. Foglia, K. Appavoo, J. Nag, R. F. Haglund Jr., J. Staehler and M. Wolf, “Ultrafast Changes in Lattice Symmetry Probed by Coherent Phonons” Nature Communications 2012, 3, 721. link

K. Appavoo*, D. Y. Lei*, Y. Sonnefraud, B. Wang, S. T. Pantelides, S. A. Maier and R. F. Haglund Jr., “Role of Defects in Phase Transition of VO2 Nanoparticles Probed by Plasmon Resonance Spectroscopy” Nano Letters 2012, 12 (2), pp. 780-786. link

K. Appavoo and R. F. Haglund Jr., “Detecting Nanoscale Size Dependence in VO2 Phase Transition Using a Split-Ring Resonator Metamaterial” in Nano Letters 2011, 11 (3), pp. 1025–1031. link