Karthik Shankar

Professor, Faculty of Engineering - Electrical & Computer Engineering Dept


Professor, Faculty of Engineering - Electrical & Computer Engineering Dept
(780) 492-1354
11-384 Donadeo Innovation Centre For Engineering
9211 116 St
Edmonton AB
T6G 2H5


Area of Study / Keywords

Biomedical Engineering Microsystems and Nanodevices Photonics and Plasmas Solid State Electronics


Karthik Shankar received his B.Tech degree in 2000 from the Indian Institute of Technology-Madras, India, where he was awarded the prestigious Governor’s Gold Medal for all-round excellence from his graduating class. Karthik Shankar was an Eastman Kodak Research Fellow in 2003. He received his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Electrical Engineering at Penn State University. He joined the department of Electrical & Computer Engineering at the University of Alberta as an Assistant Professor in the Fall of 2009, and received early tenure and promotion to Associate Professor in 2013. He was promoted to Full Professor in 2018. 

Prof. Shankar is the author of 165 papers in refereed journals and has delivered numerous Invited and/or Keynote lectures at major national & international conferences such as the American Vacuum Society (AVS) Meeting, Meetings of the Materials Research Society (MRS), Meetings of the Electrochemical Society (ECS), the Canadian Symposium on Catalysis (CSC), Photonics North, the Canadian Semiconductor Science & Technology Conference (CSSTC), the APEGA Annual Conference, Paperweek Canada, International Conference & Exposition on Advanced Ceramics and Composites (ICACC), International Conference on Information Systems and Computer Networks (ISCON), International Caparica Symposium on Nanoparticles/Nanomaterials and Applications (ISNA), International Conference on Emerging Electronics (ICEE) and so on. He is an Editor/Associate Editor for the following journals: Journal of Materials Science: Materials in Electronics (published by Springer-Nature), Nanomaterials (published by MDPI) and IEEE Sensors LettersHe is a recipient of the PetroCanada Young Innovator Award. Prof. Shankar's research has been cumulatively cited over 20,000 times. 

The Shankar Research Group lays a strong emphasis on international research collaborations with faculty exchange visits, student research internships, transfer of samples, joint proposals and jointly authored research publications. As of 2023, we have active and ongoing collaborations with the Technical University of Munich (TUM) in Germany, the University of Sheffield (UK) and the Indian Institute of Technology-Kharagpur (IIT-KGP). These collaborations span a broad range of areas where complementary expertise allows new contributions to be made including, but not limited to, core-shell semiconductor heterostructures for water-splitting, photocatalytic hydrogen production, photoreforming of organic waste, inkjet printing of carbon nitrides for optoelectronic device applications, p-n-p switching chalcogenides, plasmon-enhanced second harmonic generation and plasmon-induced circular dichroism, growth and device applications of halide perovskite single crystals, thin films and quantum dots, polymer hydrogels infiltrated into titania nanotube arrays for drug delivery, etc. Shankar Group graduate students and postdocs have received MITACS Globalink Awards, Best Paper/Poster Awards at major conferences and Early Career Recognitions. 


Prof. Shankar has diverse research interests that lie at the intersection of nanomaterials, organic optoelectronics, crystal growth, catalysis and solar energy harvesting. Earlier in his academic career, he worked on the growth of nanotube and nanowire arrays in inorganic and organic semiconductors; the characterization of the optoelectronic properties of nanoscale materials; and the use of nanostructured materials to improve the performance of photovoltaic devices, thin film transistors and light emitting diodes. His research interests have gradually shifted towards plasmonic catalysis, plexcitons, artificial photosynthesis, microwave characterization, 2D materials and semiconducting perovskites. 

Projects currently being pursued in the research group include:

1. High performance carbon nitrides integrated with inorganic photoanodes to increase photocurrent densities under AM1.5G solar illumination beyond 5 mA/cm2.

2. Plexcitonic assemblies for sensing and energy harvesting constructed from organic semiconductor single crystals and J-aggregates in close proximity with resonant plasmonic nanoparticles. 

3. Strategic doping and wrapping of chalcogenide semiconductor nanorods and nanotubes. 

4. Deeper insights into plasmon-driven catalytic reactions using fs pump-probe transient absorption spectroscopy, infrared & Raman spectroscopy of adsorbates, scavenger studies and electron paramagnetic resonance spectroscopy. 

5. Synthesis and characterization of new linear acene organic semiconductors for optoelectronic and quantum device applications.

6. Use of planar microwave resonators integrated with semiconductor thin films and membranes for small molecule sensing and photodetection.

7. Heterojunctions involving thin films, single crystals and quantum dots made of halide perovskite semiconductors.

8. Use machine learning and density functional theory computations to ideate low band-gap quinary and senary oxide perovskites constituted of earth-abundant elements for semiconductor photocatalysis.

9. Electrical and spectroscopic characterization of microtubules and tubulin dimers.

10. Organic-functionalized cellulose nanocrystals for applications in sensing and flexible electronics. 


September 23, 2023: Shankar Group alumna Dr. Himani Sharma has been promoted to Associate Professor of Physics at Doon University. She also secured a large infrastructure grant from India's Department of Science and Technology. Way to go Himani !

September 25-27, 2023: PDF Dr. Kazi Alam travelled to the University of Sheffield in the United Kingdom to discuss research collaborations and plan out the jointly authored review article with colleagues in the WUN project from Sheffield and the University of Naples. Kazi also delivered an in-person oral presentation on Coupled exciton-plasmon systems for sunlight-driven water splitting at the Workshop on Advancements in Photocatalysis for Sustainable Applications.

September 26, 2023: Prof. Shankar virtually presented his Invited Talk on Carbon Nitrides: mass-producible and earth-abundant semiconductor photocatalysts at the Workshop on Advancements in Photocatalysis for Sustainable Applications.

October 4, 2023: Shankar Group alumna Dr. Arezoo Hosseini whose Masters degree is in Electrical Engineering and PhD degree is in Physics, is applying to become a Professional Engineer. Good luck to her !  She also shared details of her lovely infant daughter. 

October 11, 2023: PhD student Damini V. delivered an oral presentation at the 244th ECS Meeting in Gothenburg, Sweden titled "Visible Light Driven CO2 Photoreduction Using TiO2 Nanotube Arrays Embedded with Low Bandgap Carbon Nitride Nanoparticles" in Symposium B01 - Catalysis and Fuel Cells. This was her first visit to Sweden and first talk at an ECS Meeting.

October 12, 2023: Damini V.  presented her work on "Enhancement in the Rate of CO2 Photoreduction Using Divalent Strontium Cation (Sr2+) Doped TiO2 Nanotube Arrays" at the 244th ECS Meeting in Gothenburg, Sweden in Symposium I05 - Photocatalytic or Electrocatalytic Carbon Dioxide Conversion 2.

October 20, 2023: Our collaborative research on carbon nitride exfoliations with the Tian Tang Research Group is uncovering new insights. Ehsan Shahini's first-authored manuscript titled "Predicting free energies of exfoliation and solvation for graphitic carbon nitrides using machine learning" which included PhD student Narendra Chaulagain as second author, was accepted for publication in the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces.  Congrats to Ehsan and Narendra !  Thanks to Tian for engaging with us in this project. 

October 24, 2023: PhD student Harshitha Rajashekhar passed her PhD Candidacy Exam.

October 26, 2023: Damini passed her PhD Candidacy Exam. 

November 8, 2023: MSc student John Garcia awarded the Alberta Graduate Excellence Scholarship (AGES). Congrats John !

November 14, 2023: PhD student Navneet's first-authored manuscript titled "CO2 photoreduction activity enhancement and unexpected observation of carbon monoxide adsorbates on the surface of TiO2 nanotube arrays synthesized in formamide electrolyte" was accepted for publication in the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces.  Congrats to Navneet and team !

November 16, 2023: PhD student Damini's first-authored manuscript titled "Cathodically Inserted, Widely Dispersed Sr2+ Surface Dopants Produce a 3-Fold Improvement in the CO2 Photoreduction Activity of TiO2 Nanotube Arrays" was accepted for publication in the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces.  Congrats to Damini and team !

November 27-30, 2023: The Shankar Group is at the 2023 MRS Fall Meeting this week. Navneet is presenting a poster on his work on "Unusual Properties of TiO2 Nanotube Arrays Formed Anodically in Alkanamide-Based Electrolytes". John is presenting his talk on "Energy Level Engineering, Co-doping and Extended Conjugation in Heptazine Frameworks: Towards Efficient Solar Energy Conversion using Carbon Nitride-Based Heterojunctions" in Symposium EN06.08: 2D Materials for Energy Conversion and Energy Storage III. Prof. Shankar has an Invited Talk on "Plexcitons for Solar Energy Harvesting and Sensing Devices" in Symposium QT01.04: Device Applications of Excitons I and he will also be speaking on "Microwave Resonator-Based Characterization of Surface-Adsorbate Interactions and Carrier Dynamics in the Photocatalytic Production of Solar Fuels" in Symposium CH01.07: Novel Characterization Techniques I.  Here is a link to John Garcia's MRS 2023 talk on Carbon Nitrides for Efficient Solar Energy Conversion. 


ECE 203 - Electrical Circuits II

Nonlinear circuit analysis. Diodes: ideal and simple and models, single phase rectifiers. Ideal and finite gain op-amps. Treatment of RLC circuits in the time domain, frequency domain and s-plane. Two port networks. Prerequisites: ECE 202 or E E 240. Corequisite: ECE 240 or E E 238. Credit may be obtained in only one of ECE 203 or E E 250.

ECE 745 - Advanced Topics in Solid State Electronics

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