Assistant Professor

Dr Mallikarjuna Rao Motapothula

Department of Physics


Science of atomic and molecular ion interactions of surfaces and interfaces

  1. Discovery of Heterogeneous catalysts.
  2. Ion beam applications.
  3. Functional nanostructures.



University of Hyderabad


National University of Singapore


  • 2013-17, Research Fellow | Nanoscience & Nanotechnology Institute (NUSNNI), Singapore
  • 2017-18, Researcher | Tandem National Laboratory, Uppsala University, Sweden
  • 2018-19, DST-Inspire Faculty | School of Physics, University of Hyderabad, India

Research Interest

  • Capturing industrial waste CO2 using Zeolites, Activated Carbon, bio waste materials.
  • Electrochemical Reduction of CO2. (H-cell & Gas-Diffusion electrode approaches)
  • Photochemical Reduction of CO2. (Spectral resolved, Time resolved)
  • 3D printing technology for electrochemical applications.
  • Influence of Ion beam defects on catalysis.
  • Ion beam analysis, modification, development.

Awards & Fellowships

  • 2018 - 23, DST-Inspire Faculty Award,  Department of Science and Technology (DST) Research grant of 35 lakhs

Research Team


Major contribution

  1. 1. Influence of the Narrow {111} Planes on Axial and Planar Ion Channeling, M. Motapothula, Z.Y. Dang, T. Venkatesan, M. B. H. Breese, M. A. Rana, and A. Osman, Physical Review Letters 108, 195502 (2012).
  2. 2. Origin of ringlike angular distributions observed in rainbow channeling in ultrathin crystals, M. Motapothula, S. Petrovic, N. Neskovic, Z. Y. Dang, M. B. H. Breese, M. A. Rana, and A. Osman, Physical Review B, 86, 205426, (2012).
  3. 3. Experimental evidence of the superfocusing effect for axially channeled MeV protons,M. Motapothula, S. Petrović, N. Nešković, M. B. H. Breese, Physical Review B 94, 075415 (2016).
  4. 4. A study of ion channeling patterns at minor axes in silicon,M. Motapothula, Z.Y. Dang, T. Venkatesan, M.B.H. Breese, NIM B, 330, (2014).
  5. 5. Axial ion channeling patterns from ultra-thin silicon membranes, M. Motapothula, Z.Y. Dang, T. Venkatesan, M. B. H. Breese, M.A. Rana, and A. Osman, NIM B 283 29-34, (2012).
  6. 6.Fabrication of large-area ultra-thin single crystal silicon membranes, Z. Y. Dang, M. Motapothula, Y. S. Ow, T. Venkatesan, M. B. H. Breese, M. A. Rana, and A. Osman, Appl. Phys. Lett. 99, 223105 (2011).Featured in Virtual Journal of Nanoscale Science & Technology, 2011.
  7. 7. A study of small impact parameter ion channeling effects in thin crystals, M.Motapothula, M. B. H. Breese, Eur. Phy. Journal. B, 91, 3, 49 (2018). Highlighted as one of the best work published in European Physical journal of Physics, 2018
  8. 8. Investigation the role of Copper oxide in electrochemical CO2 reduction in real time, L Mandal*, M. Motapothula*, KR Yang, D Ren, P Lobaccaro, A Patra, M Sherburne, VS Batista, BS Yeo, JW Ager, J Martin, T Venkatesan, ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces, (2018).
  9. 9. Initial Application of Selected‐Ion Flow‐Tube Mass Spectrometry to Real‐Time Product Detection in Electrochemical CO2 Reduction, Peter Lobaccaro, Lily Mandal, Mallikarjuna Rao Motapothula, Matthew Sherburne, Jens Martin, T Venkatesan, Joel W Ager, Energy Technology, 2018
  10. 10. Room-Temperature Giant Charge-to-Spin Conversion at the SrTiO3–LaAlO3 Oxide Interface, Yi Wang, R Ramaswamy, M Motapothula, K Narayanapillai, D Zhu, J Yu, T Venkatesan, H Yang, Nano letters, 17, 12,7659 (2017).
  11. 11. Anomalous current-induced spin torques in ferrimagnets near compensation point, Rahul Mishra, Xuepeng Qiu, M. Motapothula, T. Venkatesan, Aurelien Manchon, and Hyunsoo Yang, Physical Review Letters 118, 167201 (2017).
  12. 12. Origins of extrinsic spin Hall effect in CuPt alloy, Rajagopalan Ramaswamy, Yi Wang, Mehrdad Elyasi, M. Motapothula, T. Venkatesan, Xuepeng Qiu and Hyunsoo Yang, Physical Review Applied, (2017).
  13. 13. Proton-silicon interaction potential extracted from high-resolution measurements of crystal rainbows, S. Petrović, N. Nešković, M. Ćosić, M. Motapothula and M. B. H. Breese, NIMB 360 23-29, (2015).
  14. 14. Reversible ferromagnetism in rutile TiO2 single crystals, Y.L. Zhao, M. Motapothula, N.L. Yakovlev, S. Dhar, A. Rusydi, Ariando, Q. Wang, T. Venkatesan, Appl. Phys. Lett. 101, 142105 (2012).
  15. 15. Multifunctional Ti1-xTaxO2: Ta Doping or Alloying?, A. Roy Barman, M. Motapothula, A. Annadi, K. Gopinadhan, Y.L. Zhao, Z. Yong, I. Santoso, Ariando, M.B.H. Breese, A. Rusydi, S. Dhar, T. Venkatesan*, Appl. Phys. Lett. 98, 072111 (2011).

Team work

  1. 16. Anatase TiO2-A model system for large polaron transport,
    B Yan, D Wan, X Chi, C Li, M Motapothula, S Hooda, P Yang, Z Huang, S Zeng, A Ramesh, S J Pennycook, A Rusydi, * Ariando, J Martin, T Venkatesan, ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces, (2018), 10, 44, 38201–38208
  2. 17. Direct observation of anisotropic small-hole polarons in an orthorhombic structure of films, A. Chaudhuri, X. Chi, L. Mondal, M.Motapothula, T. Venkatesan, A. Wee T S, A. Rusydi. Physical Review B, (2018).
  3. 18. Identification of Biofilm Inhibitors by Screening Combinatorial Libraries of Metal Oxide Thin Films, M Dykas, S K Desai, A Patra, M. Motapothula, K Poddar, L J Kenney, T Venkatesan, ACS applied materials & interfaces, 10, 15, 12510 (2018).
  4. 19. Intrinsic hydrophilic nature of epitaxial thin-film of rare-earth oxide grown by pulsed laser deposition, Saurav Prakash, Siddhartha Ghosh, Abhijeet Patra, Meenakshi Annamalai, Mallikarjuna Rao Motapothula, Soumya Sarkar, Sherman JR Tan, Jia Zhunan, Kian Ping Loh, Thirumalai Venkatesan, Nanoscale, (2018).
  5. 20. Robust resistive memory devices using solution-processable metal-coordinated azo aromatics, Sreetosh Goswami, Adam J Matula, Santi P Rath, Svante Hedström, Surajit Saha, Meenakshi Annamalai, Debabrata Sengupta, Abhijeet Patra, Siddhartha Ghosh, Hariom Jani, Soumya Sarkar, Mallikarjuna Rao Motapothula, Christian A Nijhuis, Jens Martin, Sreebrata Goswami, Victor S Batista, T Venkatesan, Nature Materials, (2017).
  6. 21. Electron Transport and Visible Light Absorption in A Plasmonic Photocatalyst based on Strontium Niobate, Dongyang Wan, Bixing Yan, Jindui Hong, M. Motapothula, Shengwei Zeng, Zhen Huang, Changjian Li, Lingchao Zhang, Kun Han, Wenxiong Zhou, Ariando, Ping Yang, Rong Xu, Qinghua Xu, T. Venkatesan, Nature Communication, 8, 15070 (2017).
  7. 22. Tunable and low-loss correlated plasmons in Mott-like insulating oxides, Teguh Citra Asmara, Dongyang Wan, Yongliang Zhao, Muhammad Majidi, Christopher Nelson, M. Scott, Yao Cai, Bixing Yan, Daniel Schmidt, Ming Yang, Tao Zhu, Paolo E. Trevisanutto, M. Motapothula, Yuan Ping Feng, Mark B. H. Breese, Matthew Sherburne , Mark Asta, Andrew Minor, T. Venkatesan, Andrivo Rusydi, Nature Communication, 8, 15271, (2017).
  8. 23. Electron Accumulation and Emergent Magnetism in LaMnO 3/SrTiO 3 Heterostructures, Zuhuang Chen, Zhanghui Chen, Megan E. Holtz, Changjian Li, Xiao Renshaw Wang, Weiming Lü, M. Motapothula, L. S. Fan, Liv R. Dedon, Clayton Frederick, Alpha T. N’Diaye, Elke Arenholz, Julia A. Mundy, T. Venkatesan, David A. Muller, Lin-Wang Wang, Jian Liu, Zhiqi Liu, and Lane W. Martin, Physical Review Letters, 119, 15, 156801 (2017).
  9. 24. Origin and Quenching of Novel ultraviolet and blue emission in NdGaO3: Concept of Super-Hydrogenic Dopants, S. Ghosh, S. Saha, Z. Q. Liu, M. Motapothula, A. Patra, N. Yakovlev, Y. Cai, S. Prakash, X. H. Huang, T. Bhatt, S. B. Dolmanan, J. Q. Chen, W. M. Lv, Z. Huang, S. Tripathy, S. J. Chua, T. Yu, M. Asta, A. Ariando, T. Venkatesan, Nature Scientific Reports, (2016).
  10. 25. Magnetic Modes in Rare Earth Perovskites: A Magnetic-Field-Dependent Inelastic Light Scattering study, Surajit Saha, Bing-Chen Cao, M. Motapothula, Chun-Xiao Cong, Tarapada Sarkar, Amar Srivastava, Soumya Sarkar, Abhijeet Patra, Siddhartha Ghosh, Ariando, J. M. D. Coey, Ting Yu, and T. Venkatesan, Nature Scientific Reports, (2016).
  11. 26. Magneto-Optical Study of Defect Induced Sharp Photoluminescence in LaAlO3 and SrTiO3, Soumya Sarkar, Surajit Saha, M. Mothapotula, Abhijeet Patra, Bing-Chen Cao, Saurav Prakash, Chung Xiao Cong, Sinu Mathew, Siddhartha Ghosh, Ting Yu, T. Venkatesan, Nature Scientific Reports, (2016).
  12. 27. The effect of polar fluctuation and lattice mismatch on carrier mobility at oxide interfaces, Z. Huang, K. Han, S.W. Zeng, M. Motapothula, A.Y. Borisevich, S. Ghosh, W.M. Lu, C.J. Li, W.X. Zhou, Z.Q. Lu, J.M.D. Coey, T. Venkatesan*, Ariando*, Nano Letters (2016).
  13. 28. The effect of oxygen vacancies on water wettability of transition metal based SrTiO3 and rare-earth based Lu2O3, Siddhartha Ghosh, Tarapada Sarkar, Meenakshi Annamalai, Abhijeet Patra, Saurav Prakash, Kelsey Stoerzinger, Shao Horn Yang; Livia Giordano, Mallikarjuna Rao Motapothula,Yueh-Lin.Lee, Venkatesan, Thirumalai Venky, RSC Advances (2016).
  14. 29. Unexpected observation of spatially separated Kondo scattering and ferromagnetism in Ta alloyed anatase TiO2 thin films, TP Sarkar, K Gopinadhan, M. Motapothula, S Saha, Z Huang, S Dhar, A Patra, WM Lu, F Telesio, I Pallecchi, D Marré, T Venkatesan, Nature Scientific Reports, (2015).
  15. 30. Parallel nanoscale charge sheets of an electron liquid and gas in La0.5Sr0.5TiO3/SrTiO3 heterostructures induced by valence frustration. X. Renshaw Wang, Lin Sun, Z. Huang, W. Lu, M. Motapothula, A. Annadi, Zhiqi Liu, S. W. Zeng, Thirumalai Venkatesan, and A. Ariando, Nature Scientific Reports, (2015).
  16. 31. Effect of Nb and Ta substitution on donor electron transport and ultrafast carrier dynamics in anatase TiO2 thin films, Kalon Gopinadhan, Brijesh Kumar, Natalie Palina, M. Motapathula, I Pallecchi, TP Sarkar, Y Zhihua, JQ Chen, A Annadi, A Rana, Amar Srivastava, D Marré, Jingsheng Chen, S Dhar, A Rusydi, T Venkatesan, Journal of Materials Chemistry C, 3, 6329-6333 (2015).
  17. 32. Selective growth of single phase VO2(A, B, and M) polymorph thin films. A.Srivastava, H. Rotella, S. Saha, B. Pal, Zhe Wang, K. Gopinadhan, S. Mathew, M. Motapothula, A. Banas, K. Banas, Chunxiao Cong, Y. Ting, M. Dykas, Y. Ping, Eiji Okunishi, D. Schlom, D. D. Sarma, T. Venkatesan. APL Materials. 3, 026101 (2015).
  18. 33. Anomalous spectral-weight transfers unraveling oxygen screening and electronic correlations in the insulator-metal transition of VO2. L. H. Yeo, A. Srivastava, M. A. Majidi, R. Sutarto, F. He, M. Poh, C. Diao, X. Yu, M. Motapothula, S. Saha, S. Ojha, D. Kanjilal, P. E. Trevisanutto, M. B. H. Breese, T. Venkatesan, and A. Rusydi. Physical Review B Rapid Comm, 001100 (R) (2015).
  19. 34. Low-temperature growth of single-crystal Cu(In,Ga)Se2 films by Pulsed Electron Deposition technique, S. Rampino, M. Bronzoni, L. Colace, P. Frigeri, E. Gombia, C. Maragliano, F. Mezzadri, L. Nasi, L. Seravalli, F. Pattini, G. Trevisi, M. Motapothula, T. Venkatesan and E. Gilioli, Solar Energy Materials and Solar Cells, 133, 82-86 (2015).
  20. 35. Mechanisms of charge transfer and redistribution in LaAlO3/SrTiO3 revealed by high-energy optical conductivity, T.C. Asmara, A. Annadi, I. Santoso, P.K. Gogoi, A. Kotlov, H.M. Omer, M. Motapothula, M.B.H. Breese, M. Rübhausen, T. Venkatesan, Ariando, A. Rusydi, Nature Communication, 5 (2014).
  21. 36. Large spectral weight transfer in optical conductivity of SrTiO3 induced by intrinsic vacancies, T.C. Asmara, X. Wang, I. Santoso, D. Qi, M.R. Motapothula, M.B.H. Breese, T. Venkatesan, Q. Zhang, T. Shirakawa, S. Yunoki, A. Kotlov, M. Rubhausen, Ariando, A. Rusydi, J Appl Phys, 115 213706 (2014).
  22. 37. Bandgap Control of the Oxygen-Vacancy-Induced Two-Dimensional Electron Gas in SrTiO3, Z.Q. Liu, W. Lu, S.W. Zeng, J.W. Deng, Z. Huang, C.J. Li, M. Motapothula, W.M. Lü, L. Sun, K. Han, J.Q. Zhong, P. Yang, N.N. Bao, W. Chen, J.S. Chen, Y.P. Feng, J.M.D. Coey, T. Venkatesan, Ariando, Advanced Materials Interfaces, (2014).
  23. 38. Reversible room-temperature ferromagnetism in Nb-doped SrTiO3 single crystals, Z. Q. Liu, W. M. Lü, S. L. Lim, X. P. Qiu, N. N. Bao, M. Motapothula, J. B. Yi, M. Yang, S. Dhar, T. Venkatesan, and Ariando, Physical Review B Rapid Comm 87, 220405(R) (2013).
  24. 39. Influence of target composition and deposition temperature on the domain structure of BiFeO3 thin films, R. Guo, L. You, M. Motapothula, Z. Zhang, M.B.H. Breese, L. Chen, D. Wu, J. Wang, AIP Advances, 2 (2012).
  25. 40. Metallic state in La-doped YBa2Cu3Oy thin films with n-type charge carriers, S.W. Zeng, X. Wang, W.M. Lu, Z. Huang, M. Motapothula, Z.Q. Liu, Y.L. Zhao, A. Annadi, S. Dhar, H. Mao, W. Chen, T. Venkatesan, Ariando, Physical Review B 86, 045124 (2012).
  26. 41. Variable Range Hopping in TiO2 insulating layers for oxide electronic devices, Y.L. Zhao, W.M. Lv, Z.Q. Liu, S.W. Zeng. M.Motapothula,S. Dhar, Ariando, Q. Wang, T. Venkatesan*, AIP Advances 2, 012129 (2012).
  27. 42. Cationic defect induced room temperature ferromagnetism in transparent conducting anatase TiO2 thin film via non-magnetic Ta doping, A. Rusydi, S. Dhar*, A. Roy Barman*, Ariando, D.-C. Motapothula, M. Qi, J.B. Yi, Y. P. Feng, K. Yang, Y. Dai, J. Ding, A.T.S.Wee, G. Neuber, M. Ruebhausen, H. Hilgenkamp, T. Venkatesan*, Phil. Trans. R. Soc. A 370, 4927 (2012).
  28. 43. Scaling of flat band potential and dielectric constant as a function of Ta concentration in Ta-TiO2 epitaxial films, Zhao, Y.L., Barman, A.R., Dhar, S., Annadi, A., Motapothula, M., Wang, J., Su, H., M.B.H. Breese, T. Venkatesan, Wang, Q. AIP Advances 1 (2) 022151 (2011).

In review

  1. 44. Early evolution study of CO2 electrochemical reduction on Cu catalyst, M. Motapothula, Lily Mandal, Dan Ren, Y. L. Jason, Peter Lobaccaro, Matthews. S, Joel Ager, Jens Martin, T. Venkatesan, under review (2019).
  2. 45. Experimental observation of three dimensional motion of planar channeled ions of a molecular beam M. Motapothula, T. Venkatesan, M.B.H. Breese under review (2019).

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