Alex Zettl received his B.A. from UC Berkeley in 1978 and his Ph.D. from UCLA in 1983. He joined the Physics Department faculty at UC Berkeley in 1983. Currently he is Professor of Physics at UC Berkeley and Senior Scientist at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. He directs the Center of Integrated Nanomechanical Systems (COINS) and co-directs the Berkeley Nanoscience and Nanoengineering Institute (BNNI).
Zettl's research interests are in experimental condensed matter physics. He synthesizes and characterizes novel materials with unusual electronic and magnetic ground states, including low-dimensional and nanoscale structures. Examples are charge- and spin-density-wave conductors, superconductors, fullerenes, nanotubes, and monolayer two-dimensional systems such as graphene and boron nitride. The experimental characterization techniques he employs include transmission electron microscopy, atomic force microscopy, and scanning tunneling microscopy, and the examination of general transport and other response coefficients such as dc and high frequency conductivity, Hall effect, thermal conductivity, thermopower, high-field magnetotransport, high pressure effects, and elastic modulus.