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College of Electrical & Mechanical Engineering  (CEME)
Dr Saif Ullah Awan
Associate Professor
Department of Electrical Engineering

National University of Sciences and Technology (NUST)
Tel : +9251-54444286  +92-331-5223773

Nanotechnology (Semiconductors / Ferromagnetic Thin Films and Nanomaterials)

Ph.D. (Physics), Quaid-i-Azam University Islamabad, Pakistan

Dr. Saif Ullah Awan has completed his Ph.D in Physics (Nano-technology) under a sandwich program (Pakistan / USA) from Quaid-i-Azam University Islamabad in Jan 2014. His background research interests are in magnetic and semiconductor electronic nano-materials e.g. nanoparticles and quantum dots (0-D), nanorods and nanowires (1-D), thin films and layered (2-D) systems for flexible electronic and spintronic devices. He has supervised / co-supervised around 10 MS and BS students, while two PhD students are currently enrolled as his advisees. He has completed a number of trainings relevant to Nano-technology in Pakistan, Italy and Turkey. He is a reviewer of around 10 international Impact factor based journals. He has many national and international collaborations e.g. in USA, Australia, China, South Africa, Brazil, Qatar, Germany, Turkey, Belarus, Saudi Arabia, Canada and Korea. He has received various travel grants (from HEC, UNESCO USA and ICTP Italy) to present his research work in international conferences/workshops. He has delivered around 10 invited talks in national / international universities. He has presented his research work as invited speake in more than 20 national / international conferences / workshops / symposiums. He has published more than 30 papers in international ISI impact factor based journals, while some book chapters and patents are works in progress.

Awards & Scholarships: 

1. Award granted by President of Pakistan on winning "National Research Program for Universities (NRPU)" 2016-2017 project of 14.35M PKR under Higher Education Commission of Pakistan.

2. Best Reviewer Award Certificate 2016 from ISI index based journal “Materials Chemistry and Physics”

3. Best Reviewer Award Certificate 2017 from ISI index based journal “Journal of Alloys and Compounds”.

4. Best Reviewer Award Certificate 2017 from ISI index based journal “Materials Chemistry and Physics”

5. "Research productivity award" for the year 2015 by COMSATS Institute of Information Technology (CIIT) Islamabad, Pakistan.

6. "Research productivity award" for the year 2014 by COMSATS Institute of Information Technology (CIIT) Islamabad, Pakistan.

7. Higher Education Commission Ph.D Indigenous Scholarship (2007-2013) in Pakistan. 

8. PhD Split Scholarship (2011-2012) for USA via Higher Education Commission (HEC) of Pakistan under the Project “Development and Study of Magnetic Nanostructured”.

9. Higher Education Commission Indigenous Scholarship for M.Phil Physics (2004-2006) in Pakistan.  ​

Research Interest​s

Understanding the physics of nano-materials at low dimensions (2D, 1D, 0D) for the fabrication of​​ nano-electronics devices to enhance their performance at low cost  

Research Fields

nology, Nano-electronics, Condensed Matter Physics, Solid State Physics and electronics, Semiconductor Physics, Materials Physics, Bio Physics,

Photovoltaics, Renewable energies.

Research Areas

Nanoscale and smart materials, Spintronics, Dilute magnetic semiconductors (DMS), Flexible electronic devices,  Semiconductors, Magnetism, Spectroscopy, Bio Materials, Photocatalysis, Solar cells, Super-capacitors, Li-ion batteries, MEMS, Advanced functional nanomaterials

Thin Films

Pulsed Laser Deposition (PLD), DC glow discharge/ Magnetron sputtering, Spin coater, Chemical Vapour Deposition (CVD), Vapour Liquid Solid (VLS), Atomic Layer Deposition (ALD), E-beam evaporation

Chemical Methods

Sol-gel, Co-precipitation, Solid state reaction, Hydrothermal, Electro-thermal,             Glove Box


Nanosheets/ Thin films (2D), Nanoparticles and Quantum dots (OD), Nanorods and Nanowires (1D), Nano-composites and Hybrid structured materials  

Materials/Device Properties

Structural and Morphological, Electronic, Magnetic, Optical, Electrical, Dielectrics, Ferroelectrics, Multiferroics

Materials Studied

2-dimensional (thin films/nanosheets of MoS2, Graphene, Graphene oxide g-CN, MXene, CdS, ZnTe), 1-dimensional (CNTs, nanowires of Zn, Co, Fe, micro/nanorods of Hollandite), 0-dimensional (ZnO, TiO2, CeO2, AgO2, BiFeO3, BTO, CFO, MnFe2O4)



XRD, SEM, TEM (HR-TEM, SAED, EELS), AFM, VSM, PPMS, XPS, PL, Raman, ferroelectric tester, 4-probe & 2-probe setups, Hall Measurements, UV/VIS IV & CV measurements, Photospectrometer, Ultra high vacuum chamber handling

Device Fabrications:

Clean Room, Micro and Nano Fabrication, Lithography, Battery cells


Simulations and Modelling of Nano-materials

​Research Projects (As PI): 

1. A research project of worth PKR 0.5 million has been completed under “Startup Research Grant” of Higher Education Commission (HEC) Pakistan for fresh faculty members. Project title: "Carbon doped ZnO Nanostructured Materials" (Completed).

2. A project of worth PKR 14.35 million is in progress and has been approved by Higher Education Commission of Pakistan under National Research Program for Universities (NRPU) 2016. Project title: "Controlled Synthesis of Two-Dimensional Nanosheets and Multilayer for Electronic Devices" (in Progress). 


Peer Reviewed (International Impact Factor ISI Journals):

1. Sunaina Rafiq, SaifUllah Awan, Ren-Kui Zhengd, Zhenchao Wen, Malika Rani, Deji Akinwande, Syed Rizwan, “Novel room-temperature ferromagnetism in Gd-doped 2-dimensional Ti3C2Tx MXene semiconductor for spintronics” Journal of Magnetism and Magnetic Materials  497 (2020) 165954 (IF= 2.6).

2. Jamshaid Rashid, Nadia Parveen, Aneela Iqbal, Saif Ullah Awan, Naseem Iqbal, Shamraiz Hussain Talib, Naveed Hussain, Bilal Akram, Ata Ulhaq, Bilal Ahmed, Ming Xu "Facile synthesis and DFT supported application of g-C3N4(0.94)/CeO2(0.05)/Fe3O4(0.01) nanosheets for visible photocatalysis of aqueous 2-chlorophenol" Scientific Reports, 9 (2019) 10202  (IF= 4.8).   

3. Syed Rizwan, Muhammad Umar, Zaheer Ud Din Babar, Saif Ullah Awan, M. Anis ur Rehman, “Selenium-enriched flower-Like of bismuth ferrite nanosheets assembly with associated magnetic properties” AIP Advance 9 (2019) 055025 (IF= 1.7). 

4. M. Umar, Nasir Mahmood, Saif Ullah Awan, Asif Mahmood, Syed Rizwan, “Rationally Designed La and Se co-doped Bismuth Ferrites with Controlled Bandgap for Visible Light Photocatalysis” RSC ADVANCES 9 (2019) 17148  (IF= 2.9).

5. Waqar Mahmood, Saif Ullah Awan , Junaid Ali , Amad Ud Din, Andrew Thomas, Nazar Abbas Shah "Impact of Cu+1 doping on electrical and optical properties of ZnTe semiconductors thin films" Materials 12, (2019) 1359       (IF= 3.3).

6. Shahzad Hussain, F.A. Khan, M. Aftab, M. Waseem, Saif Ullah Awan, “Effects of Structural Modification on Vibrational Modes, Electronic Transitions, and Bandgap of Bi1-xBaxFeO3(0 <x<0.30) System” Journal of Electronic Materials (DOI: 10.1007/s11664-019-07186-7) 2019 (IF= 1.6). 

7. Jamshaid Rashid, Ammara Abbas, Leng Chee Chang, Aneela Iqbal, Ihsan Ul Haq, Adeela Rehman, Saif Ullah Awan, Muhammad Arshad, Mohsin Rafique , M.A. Barakat “Butterfly cluster like lamellar BiOBr/TiO2 nanocomposite for enhanced sunlight photocatalytic mineralization of aqueous ciprofloxacin” Science of the Total Environment 665 (2019) 668 (IF= 4.98).

8. Qadeer-Ul Hassan, Dou Yang, Jian-Ping Zhou, Yu-Xi Lei, Jing-Zhou Wang, Saif Ullah Awan “Novel Single-Crystal Hollandite K1.46Fe0.8Ti7.2O16 Microrods: Synthesis, Double Absorption, and Magnetism” Inorganic Chemistry 57 (2018) 15187 (IF= 4.7).

9. Muhammad Saqib, Muhammad Mubasher Saleem, Naveed Mazhar, Saif Ullah Awan and Umar Shahbaz Khan “Design and Analysis of a High-Gain and Robust Multi-DOF Electro-thermally Actuated MEMS Gyroscope” Micromachines 9 (2018) 577 (IF= 2.2).

10. Jamshaid Rashid, Nadia Parveen, Tanveer ul Haq, Aneela Iqbal, Shamraiz Hussain Talib, Saif Ullah Awan, Naveed Hussain, Muhammad Zaheer “g-C3N4/CeO2/Fe3O4 ternary composite as an efficient bifunctional catalyst for overall water splitting” ChemCatChem 10 (2018) 5587 (IF= 4.7). 

11. Waqar Mahmood, Saif Ullah Awan, Junaid Ali, Mark Jakman, Muhammad Umair Hassan, Anwar- ul Haq, Andrew Thomas, Nazar Abbas Shah "Role of Ag1+ substitutional defects on the electronic and optical properties of n-type CdS thin films semiconductor for sustainable and stable window layer in solar cells technology" Optical Materials 85  (2018) 1432 (IF= 2.34).

12. Sirajul Haq, Wajid Rehman, Muhammad Waseemb, Vera Meynenc, Saif Ullah Awan, Shaukat Saeed, Naseem Iqbal "Fabrication of pure and moxifloxacin functionalized silver oxide nanoparticles for photocatalytic and antimicrobial activity" Journal of Photochemistry & Photobiology, B: Biology 186 (2018) 116  (IF= 3.34).

13. Saif Ullah Awan, S. K. Hasanain , Jamshaid Rashid, Shahzad Hussain, Saqlain A. Shah, Mian Zahid Hussain, Mohsin Rafique, M. Aftab, Rashid Khan "Structural, optical, electronic and magnetic properties of multiphase ZnO/Zn(OH)2/ZnO2 nanocomposites and hexagonal prism shaped ZnO nanoparticles synthesized by pulse laser ablation in Heptanes" Materials Chemistry and Physics  211 (2018) 510 (IF= 2.3).

14. Jamshaid Rashid, Sahar Saleem, Saif Ullah Awan, A. Iqbal, Rajeev Kumar, M. A. Barakat, Muhammad Arshad, Muhammad Zaheer, Mohsin Rafique, M. Awad, "Stabilized fabrication of anatase-TiO2/FeS2 (pyrite) semiconductor composite nanocrystals for enhanced solar light-mediated photocatalytic degradation of methylene blue" RSC ADVANCES 8, 11935 (2018) (IF= 2.9).

15. Shahzad Hussain, Saif Ullah Awan, S. K. Hasanain, "Investigation of Dielectric and Complex impedance spectroscopic studies of Bi1-xBaxFeO3 (0 ≤ x ≤ 0.30) system" Journal of Materials Science: Materials in Electronics 29 (2018) 8327 (IF= 2.3).

16. Saif Ullah Awan, Zahid Mehmood, Shahzad Hussain, Saqlain A. Shah, Naeem Ahmad, Mohsin Rafique, M. Aftab,  Turab Ali "Correlation between structural, electrical, dielectric and magnetic properties of semiconducting Co doped and (Co, Li) co-doped ZnO nanoparticles" Physica E: Low-dimensional Systems and Nanostructures 103 (2018) 110  (IF= 2.4).

17. Abdur Rahim, Saif Ullah Awan, S. K. Hasanain,  L. E. G. Armas, "Cu co-doping effect on electronic structure and room temperature ferromagnetism of TiO2:V nanoparticles" Journal Of Materials Science: Materials In Electronics 29 (2018) 3751 (IF= 2.3).

18. Naeem Ahmad, Y.U. Tian, Suleman Khan, Abdul Majid, S. A. Shah, Saif Ullah Awan, X.F. Han, Javed Iqbal "Ferromagnetic Relaxation and Magnetic properties of Co40Fe40B20 nanowires" Journal of Superconductivity and Novel Magnetism 30 (2017) 469 (IF= 1.3).

19. Saif Ullah Awan, S. K. Hasanain, and A. Aftab, “Influence of Li1+ co-doping defects on luminescence and bandgap narrowing engineering due to band tailing effects of ZnO: Co2+ nanoparticles” Journal of Luminescence 172  (2016) 231 (IF= 2.7). 

20. Saqlain A. Shah,  M. U. Hashmi, Saif Ullah Awan and M. Naeem, "Doxorubicin-loaded Photosensitive Magnetic Liposomes for Multi-modal Cancer Therapy" Colloids and Surfaces B: Biointerfaces 148 (2016) 157 (IF=4.2). 

21. Saif Ullah Awan, S. K. Hasanain, M. S. Awan and Saqlain A. Shah, “Raman scattering and interstitial Li defects induced polarization in co-doped multiferroic Zn0.96-yCo0.04LiyO (0.00≤y≤0.10) nanoparticles” RSC ADVANCES 5 (2015) 39828 (IF=3.84).

22. Saif Ullah Awan, S. K. Hasanain, Z. Mahmood, D. H. Anjum, Saqlain A. Shah , M. Aftab, Turab Ali Abbas “Study of room temperature Raman scattering and XPS, high temperature electrical and low temperature ferromagnetic properties of Zn1-yLiyO (0.00≤y≤0.10) nanoparticles” Smart Materials and Structure  24 (2015) 115025 (IF= 2.8). 

23. Saif Ullah Awan, S. K. Hasanain, D. H. Anjum, M. S. Awan, and Saqlain A. Shah, “Room temperature p-type conductivity and coexistence of ferroelectric order in ferromagnetic Li doped ZnO nanoparticles” Journal of Applied Physics 116 (2014) 164109 (IF= 2.2).

24. Saqlain A. Shah, A. Majeed, M. A. Shafique, K. Rashid,  Saif Ullah Awan, “Cell viability study of thermo-responsive core–shell superparamagnetic nanoparticles for multimodal cancer therapy” Applied Nanoscience 4 (2014) 227 (IF= 3.0).

25. Saif Ullah Awan, S. K. Hasanain, G. Hassnain Jaffari, D. H. Anjum and Umar S. Qurashi, “Defects induced luminescence and tuning of bandgap energy narrowing in ZnO nanoparticles doped with Li ions” Journal of Applied Physics 116 (2014) 083510 (IF= 2.2).

26. Saif Ullah Awan, S. K. Hasanain, G. Hassnain Jaffari, Zahid Mahmood “Carrier concentration dependence of ferroelectric transition in multiferroic Li doped and Li-Co co-doped ZnO nanoparticles” Applied Physics Letters 104, (2014) 222906 (IF= 3.5).

27. Saif Ullah Awan, S. K. Hasanain, Massimo F. Bertino, and G. Hassnain Jaffari “Effects of Substitutional Li on the Ferromagnetic Response of Li co-doped ZnO:Co Nanoparticles” Journal of Physics: Condensed Matter, 25 (2013) 156005 (IF= 2.5).

28. Saqlain A. Shah ,M.H. Asdi, M.U. Hashmi , M.F. Umar , Saif Ullah Awan “PEG-coated folic acid-modified superparamagnetic MnFe2O4 nanoparticles for hyperthermia therapy and drug delivery” Materials Chemistry and Physics 138 (2013) 703 (IF= 2.3).  

29. Saqlain A. Shah, M. H. Asdi, M. U. Hashmi , M. F. Umar , Saif Ullah Awan “Thermo-responsive copolymer coated MnFe2O4 magnetic nanoparticles for hyperthermia therapy and controlled drug delivery” Materials Chemistry and Physics 137 (2012) 365 (IF= 2.3).

30. Saif Ullah Awan, S. K. Hasanain, Massimo F. Bertino, and G. Hassnain Jaffari “Ferromagnetism in Li doped ZnO nanoparticles: The role of interstitial Li” Journal of Applied Physics 112 (2012) 103924 (IF= 2.2). 

International Conferences (selected Oral Presentations): 

1. “Structural Changes and Frequency Dependence Forrelectric to Paraelectric transitions of Multiferroic Hybrid Nano Composites BTO/CFO system for Device Applications” 6th International Conference on Multifunctional, Hybrid and nanomaterials held from 11-15 March 2019 in Barcelona, Spain.

2. "Pressure variation morphology of carbon nano-clusters using AFM during regenerative soot plasma from sputtering of graphite ion sources" XIV International Conference on Nanostructured Materials (NANO-2018) from June 24-29, 2018 at City University of Hong Kong, Kowloon, Hong Kong.

3. “Dilute Ferromagnetic Semiconductors for Spintronics Applications” 7th International Workshop on Application of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (IWANN) 3-14 July 2017, National Nanotechnology Research Centre, Bilkent University Ankara, Turkey.

4. “Ferroelectric behavior in Li doped ZnO nanoparticles” International Scientific School – 2017 from March 13-17, 2017 at National Centre for Physics (NCP), QAU Campus, Shahdra Valley Road, Islamabad Pakistan.

5. Invited from HEC to attend and participated in "Pak-French day celebrations" March 16, 2017. A team of senior French Professors from various French Universities, senior representatives of Campus France, local and foreign dignitaries are participate in this event at the Auditorium, Higher Education Commission, Sector H-9 Islamabad Pakistan. 

6. “Investigation of structural properties using Synchrotron based EXNES and EXAFS techniques” 8th International Scientific Spring (ISS) 07-11 March 2016, organized by National Centre for Physics (NCP) and ICTP Italy held at Islamabad, Pakistan. 

7. "Observation of ferromagnetic and ferroelectric behavior in Li co-doped ZnO:Co nanoparticles” 13th Joint MMM-Intermag Conference January 11-15 (2016) San Diego, California, USA. 

8. Participated COMSTECH International Workshop on “Nanosciences: Education and its Industrial Applications” December 13-15, 2016 organized by COMSTECH (OIC-Organization), Islamabad, Pakistan.

9. “Physics of ferromagnetism in non-magnetic nano-materials” "Ist Joint Forum of Pakistan-Belarus Young Scientist" 4-10 October 2015, Minsk, Belarus.

10. “Ferromagnetic and Ferroelectric behavior in oxide based nanoparticles and thin films" 2nd Conference on Frontiers of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology, 08-10 September 2015, organized by PINSTECH, Nilore Islamabad, Pakistan.

11. “Carrier Concentration Dependence of Ferroelectric Transition in Multiferroic Li Doped and Li-Co Co-doped ZnO Nanoparticles” Symposium on Nanomaterials Research 15-17 June 2015, Pakistan Institute of Engineering and Applied Sciences (PIEAS), Islamabad, Pakistan. 

12. "7th International Scientific Spring (ISS)" Physics of Ferroelectricity in Li/Co doped ZnO nanoparticles” 16-20 March 2015, organized by the National Centre for Physics (NCP) and ICTP Italy held at Islamabad, Pakistan. 

13. "Workshop on Contemporary topics in Nano-magnetism “Observation of Ferromagnetic behavior in Li doped ZnO Thin Films” 23-27 Feb 2015, organized by the National Centre for Physics (NCP) and German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) Germany held at Islamabad, Pakistan. 

14. "39th International Nathiagali Summer College (INSC)" “Multiferroic behavior in Li/Co doped ZnO nanoparticles” 04-14 August 2014, organized by the National Centre for Physics (NCP), Islamabad, Pakistan.  

15. "6th International Scientific Spring (ISS)" Co-existence behavior of Ferromagnetic and Ferroelectric in Li doped ZnO Nanoparticles, 10-14 March 2014, organized by the National Centre for Physics (NCP) and ICTP Italy held at Islamabad Pakistan.  

16. "5th International Scientific Spring (ISS)" “Ferromagnetism in Li/Co doped ZnO nanoparticles” 11-15 March 2013, organized by the National Centre for Physics (NCP), and ICTP Italy held at Islamabad Pakistan. 

17. “International Conference on Nano Science and Technology” Defect Ferromagnetism in Nanomaterials, 1-5 October 2012, Department of Electronics, Quaid-i-Azam University Islamabad, Pakistan.   

18. Pak-US (Pakistan & United Stated of America) Workshop on Application of Nanotechnology (WANT)” Magnets from Non-Magnets at Nanoscale, 31st May-4th June 2010, held at National Centre for Physics (NCP), Islamabad, Pakistan.

19. "Workshop on Nano Science and Catalysis" Magnetic and Optical studies of Nanoscale Zinc Oxide, 24-25 March 2008, National Centre for Physics (NCP), Islamabad, Pakistan. 

​​Designation ​From ​To ​University / Institute
​Assistant Professor ​Oct 2016 ​Present ​NUST CEME​
​Assistant Professor ​Feb 2014 ​Oct 2016 ​COMSATS Institute of Information Technology (currently: COMSTAS University) Islamabad
​Assistant Professor (Visiting) ​Sept 2013 ​Feb 2014 ​Air University, Islamabad
​Assistant Professor (Visiting) ​Sept 2013 ​Feb 2014 ​Riphah International University, Islamabad
​Assistant Professor (Visiting) ​Aug 2013 ​Jan 2014 ​FAST National University, Islamabad
​Assistant Professor (Visiting) ​Sep 2009 ​Feb 2010 ​IST (Institute of Space Technology) Islamabad 
​Research Scholar ​Sept 2005 ​Jan 2007 ​PINSTECH, Islamabad