Member profile

default member photo
Physics Dept-0319

Ivan Schuller


Contact Details


Prof. Ivan K. Schuller, of the Physics Department and the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology (Calit2) at the University of California-San Diego, is a Solid State Physicist. A fellow of the American Physical Society and a member of the Chilean, Spanish and Belgian Academy of Sciences, he has won many awards such as the American Physical Society's Wheatley (1999) and Adler Awards (2003) and the German von Humbold Prize (2002). Recently he has received the Materials Research Society Medal (2004), the Lawrence Award from the US Department of Energy (2005), and received a Honoris Causa Doctorate (2005) from Universidad Complutense, in Madrid, Spain. He has published more than 450 technical papers and 20 patents, has given more than 300 invited lectures at international conferences and is one of the 100 most cited physicists (out of 500,000) in the last 15 years. He has given numerous public lectures in museums and on television about science to young and old.

Prof. Schuller has extensive expertise in the high technology area. He is the head of a group of more than 25 researchers (students and postdocs) in the Physics Department, focusing their attention on the basic research of nanostructured materials ( As the Director of the DARPA-funded Multidisciplinary Research Initiative (MURI) on Integrated Nanosensors, he leads a group of more than 40 physicists, chemists, bio-chemists and engineers focusing on the development of multiple nanosensors on a chip, with integrated power, limited computation and wireless communications. As one of the founders of the California Institute of Telecommunications and Information Technology (Calit2) he was the leader of the Materials and Devices Layer ( and is currently in charge of the Nano3@Calit2 (Nanoscience, Nanoengineering, Nanomedicine) clean room facility at Calit2. He has also some participation on a variety of Nanomedicine activities mostly dedicated to Nanocancer, funded by National Institute of Health (NIH). He has been a consultant to a variety of governmental commissions and national laboratories in the US, Latin America and Europe and to many commercial enterprises in the high technology area.

His artistic activities are centered on television and theater. On UC-TV Guestbook, Prof. Schuller has interviewed notable scientists such as the Nobel laureates Sir Harold Kroto and Walter Kohn. He also produced and moderated the Copenhagen Event, in which scientists, actors and historians discussed the famous play "Copenhagen" by Michael Frayn. Recently he produced a movie titled "When Things Get Small" on nanoscience (, which won two Telly Awards in 2006. In addition, he has established a TV production enterprise "Not Too Serious Labs," in collaboration with the TV producer Rich Wargo, dedicated to popularizing science. He produced the play "Copenhagen" of Michael Frayn in Chile ( and has appeared as a guest lecturer in the Magic Theater production of the "Quantum Leaps" ( More recently, he has co-written a play entitled "Transistor Shock" based on the life of William Shockley, one of the co-inventors of the transistor. Based on his earlier theater studies in Chile, the "hilarious Prof. Schuller" believes that being a physicist is "as much fun, but way easier than being an actor."

profile graphic