Prof. Saw-Wai Hla

Contact : Clippinger 251 B, Physics & Astronomy Department. Ohio University, Athens, Ohio 45701, USA.

Tel: (+1) 740-593-1727 (office), (+1) 740-593-2951 (lab), Fax: (+1) 740-593-0433, Email:, Web:


Professional Experience:   

* Professor, Physics & Astronomy Department, Ohio University, USA. (2011 - present) [Joint appointment with Argonne National Laboratory, Center for Nanoscale Materials]

* Director, Condensed Matter and Surface Science Program [CMSS] (2015 - present).

* Group Leader, Quantum and Energy Materials Group, Nanoscience and Technology Division, Argonne National Laboratory, USA (2011 - present).

* Associate Professor (tenured), Physics & Astronomy Department,Ohio University, USA. (2005 - 2011)

* Visiting Professor, Chemistry Department, Universite Paul Sabatier, and CEMES, Toulouse, France (2010).

* Visiting Professor, Institute of Applied Physics, University of Hamburg, Germany. (2008 - 2009) [Prof. Roland Wiesendanger Group].

* Assistant Professor, Physics & Astronomy Department, Ohio University, USA. (2001 - 2005)



Low temperature STM: Manipulation of single atoms/molecules on surfaces.

Molecular Machines : Single molecule switches, devices and machines.

Molecular Spintronics:  Molecular kondo effect, magnetic molecules on metal surfaces.

Molecular Superconductivity: Single molecule study of molecular superconductivity.

Nano-Bio Physics: Manipulation of nanoscale biological molecules.

Synchrotron X-Ray STM : Chemical and Elemental Sensitive Imaging of Materials at the Atomic Limits.


* Member scientist / post doc, Freie Universitaet Berlin, (K.-H. Rieder group) andPaul-Drude Institute for Solid-State Electronics, Berlin, Germany. (1998 – 2001)

* Postdoctoral fellow, TASC-INFM and ELETTRA Synchrotron Facility Trieste, (R. Rosei group) Italy(1997 – 1998)

* PhD (Experimental Surface and Thin Film Physics), University of Ljubljana (1997) ( Thesis Title: Nucleation and growth of noble metals on transition metal di-tellurides.)

* DICTP (Diploma in Theoretical Condensed Matter Physics), ICTP, Trieste (1993) ( Thesis Title: Electronic and structural properties of ZnSe/ZnCdSe superlattices.)

* MSc (Experimental Solid State Physics), University of  Yangon (1990) ( Thesis Title: Synthesis and analysis of Y1Ba2Cu3O7-x high temperature superconductor.)


Awards and Fellowships:               

ICTP scholarship (1992 - 1993)

ICTP-Slovenia fellowship (1994 – 1996)

ICTP TRIL fellowship (1997 - 1998)

Ohio University College of Arts and Sciences Dean’s Outstanding Teacher Award (2006)

Ohio University Transformative Faculty Award (2010)


Professional Association:       

Member of APS (American Physical Society)

Member of IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers)

Member of AVS (American Vacuum Society)

Member of ACS (American Chemical Society)

Member of MRS (Materials Research Society)


*** Representative Research and Popular Press News.***

Complete Publication List.

Over 120 invited talks in 22 countries in 4 continents have been given.



National / International Service:

- Member: Oak Ridge National Lab and Argonne National Lab Nanoscale Science Center Program Review Committees.

- Member: American Vacuum Society (AVS) Magnetic Interfaces and Nanostructure Division executive committee (2006-2009).

- Proposal reviewer: DoE, NSF, NIH, Petroleum  research fund (USA), and European funding agencies.

- Conference organizer:

Special focus section,“SIngle Molecule Nanobiology”, APS March meeting, Los Angeles, CA, (2005),

Special focus session "Methods in Nanobiotechnology", APS March Meeting, Baltimore, MD, (2006),

55th AVS International Symposium, MIND division, Boston, MA (2008),

International Conference on Nanoscale Spectroscopy and Nanotechnology (NSS-5) and Spin-Polarized STM (SP-STM 2), Athens, Ohio (2008),

56th AVS International Symposium, MIND division, San Jose, CA (2009),

27th W. E. Heraeus Seminar on 'Organic and Molecular Electronics", Bad Honaf, Germany (2009),

MRS Spring Meeting symposium on 'Molecular Electronics", San Francesco, CA (2009).

AtMol Winter School: "Quantum Resources for Single Molecule-Machines", Les Houches, France (2013)

NSS-8: "Nanoscale Spectroscopy and Nanotechnology-8", Chicago, USA (2014)

- Referee: Science, Nature Materials, Nature Nanotechnology, Nature Chemistry, Nature Physics, Nature Communications, Phys. Rev. Lett, Nano Lett., ACS Nano, among others.

University Service: Journal of Advanced Microscopy Research

- Reviewer: OU Baker research fund.

- Member: Promotion and Tenure Review.

Departmental service:

- Chair, intermediate and graduate laboratories, Physics & Astronomy Dept., (2004 to 2011)

- Chair, undergraduate recruiting committee, Physics & Astronomy Dept., (2005 - 2006).

- Chair, Comprehensive exam reform committee, Physics & Astronomy Dept., (2005- 2006).

- Chair, colloquium committee, Physics & Astronomy Dept., (2004-2005).


---------------------------------------------------Invited Talks (Over 120 invited talks in 22 countries in 4 continents)                       

AVS 64th Symposium, Florida, USA, Oct 2017.

International Materials Research Congress, Cancun, Mexico, Aug 2017.

Colloquium, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH, USA, Feb 2017.

Colloquium, Yangon University, Yangon, Myanmar, Jan 2017.

Colloquium, University of Computer Studies, Yangon, Myanmar, Jan 2017.

Colloquium, STI Myanmar University, Yangon, Myanmar, Jan 2017.

Colloquium, Yangon Western University, Myanmar, Jan 2017.

Colloquium, Dagon University, Yangon, Myanmar, Dec 2016.

International Workshop on Supramolecular Self-Assembled Systems on Surfaces, Hong Kong, Hong Kong, Dec 2016.

Colloquium, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA, USA, Sep 2016.

XXI International Materials Research Congress (IMRC), Cancun, Mexico, Aug 2016.

Symposium on Molecular Switches and Functional Surfaces, Berlin, Germany, Apr 2016.

ACRITAS workshop, Graz, Austria, Feb 2016.

Photonic West (IEEE), San Francesco, CA, USA, Feb 2016.

Colloquium, Hinthada University, Hinthada, Myanmar, Jan 2016.

Picifichem 2015, Hawaii, USA, Dec 2015.

Japan Society for the Promotion of Science: 6th Multidisciplinary Science Forum, Scramento, CA, USA, Nov 2015.

XXIV International Materials Research Congress, Cancun, Mexico, Aug 2015.

XXXVIII Brazilian Physical Society Meeting, Foz do Iguacu, Brazil, May 2015.

Colloquium, Bago University, Pago, Myanmar, Dec 2014.

SpinMol Conference, Ascona, Switzerland, Oct 2014.

German Physicak Society (DPG) Spring Meeting, Dresden, Germany, Mar 2014.

Montreal Polytechnique Department of Engineering Physics Colloquium, Montreal, Canada, Feb 2014.

Wayne State University Physics Department Colloquium, Detroit, MI, USA, Dec 2013.

'American Vacuum Society (AVS) 60th International Symposium', Long Beach, CA, USA, Oct 2013.

IVC-9/ ICN+T 2013 (International Vacuum Congress and International Conference on nanoscience and Technology), Paris, France, Sep 2013.

American Vacuum Society Prairie Chapter Meeting, University of Illinois at Chicago, IL, USA, Sep 2013.

University of Central Lancashire Physics Department Colloquium, Preston, UK, Jun 2013.

University of Birmingham NPRL Seminar, Birmingham, UK, Jun 2013.

International Workshop, "Theory Meets Experiment: Organic Molecules on Semiconductor Surfaces", UCL, London, UK, Jun 2013.

International Symposium "Single Molecular Machines and Motors", Toulouse, France, Jun 2013.

National Institute of Chemistry Colloquium, Ljubljana, Slovenia, Jun 2013.

Academic Center of Materials and Nanotechnology Colloquium, University of Science and Technology, Krakow, Poland, Jun 2013.

'4th European Nanomanipulation Workshop', Krakow, Poland, Jun 2013.

'FNANO 13' (Foundation Nanoscience 13 International Conference), Snowbird, Utah, USA, Apr 2013.

Drexel University, Physics Department Colloquium, Philadelphia, USA, Apr 2013.

'Quantum Resources for Single Molecule Machines', AtMol Winter School, Les Houches, France, Jan 2013.

'Automol Meeting', Toulouse, France, Jan 2013.

Christian-Albrechts-Universitaet zu Kiel (SFB-Chemistry-Colloquium), Kiel, Germany, Jan 2013.

ARTIST workshop 'Addressing, Transport, and Storage of Information by Single Atoms and Molecules', Les Houches, France, Jan 2013.

National Tsinghua University (NTHU-Colloquium), Tsinghua, Taiwan, Dec 2012.

Workshop for Emerging Carbon Nanoelectronic and Energy, National Cheng Kung University (NCKU), Tainan, Taiwan, Dec 2012.

University of Cincinnati Physics Department Colloquium, Cincinnati, OH, USA, Nov 2012.

Sandia National Laboratory, CINT-Colloquium, NM, USA, Nov 2012.

Los Alamos National Laboratory, CINT-Colloquium, NM, USA, Nov 2012.

International Workshop on Functional Molecules on Surfaces (FunMol), Bonn, Germany, Oct 2012.

BOSS 2012 (Berlin Conference on Surface Science), Berlin, Germany, Sep 2012.

Max Planck Institute (Colloquium), Halle, Germany, Sep 2012.

ESPM 2012 (Electron adn Scanning Probe PI Meeting), Germantown, MD, USA, Sep 2012.

International Materials Research Congress (IMRC 2012), Cancun, Mexico, Aug 2012.

DIET-13 (13th International Conference on Desorption and Dynamics Induced by Electronic Transition), Stratsford-Upon-Avon, UK, Jul 2012.

University of Liverpool, Surface Science Center (Colloquium), Liverpool, UK, Jul 2012.

Nan9Tech-2012, Mexican Physical Society International Conference, San Luis Potosi, Mexico, May 2012.

DPG German Physical Society Meeting, Berlin, Germany, Mar 2012.

ANL-NTU workshop, National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan, Jan 2012.

Taiwan Physical Society Meeting, Chiayi, Taiwan, Jan 2012.

IBM Zurich (Colloquium), Zurich, Switzerland, Nov 2011.

Nanomex 2011, Merida, Yucatan, Mexico, Nov 2011.

AMS 2011 (Atomic Scale Manipulation and Spectroscopy of Surfaces and Nanostructures), Atsugi, Japan, Oct 2011.

National University of Taiwan, (Colloquium), Taipei, Taiwan, Oct 2011.

DOE- BES Experimental Condensed Matter Physics Principal Investigator Meeting, MD, USA, Aug 2011.

Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa (Colloquium), Pisa, Italy, Jul 2011.

University of Modena, Department of Physics (Colloquium), Modena, Italy, Jul 2011.

ELETTRA Synchrotron Laboratory (Colloquium), Trieste, Italy, July 2011.

University of Hamburg, Institute of Applied Physics, SPIRES Meeting, Germany, Jun 2011.

FM2011 (Functional Metalorganics), Uppsala, Sweden, May 2011.

Northwestern University, Department of Chemistry (Colloquium), Chicago, IL , USA, Feb 2011.

Purdue University, Department of Physics (Colloquium), IN,USA, Jan 2011.

Frontier of Condensed Matter V (FCM 2010), Buenos, Aires, Argentina, Dec 2010. [Plenary Lecture]

International Center for Theoretical Physics (ICTP) (Colloquium), Trieste, Italy, Dec 2010.

CEMES (Colloquium), Toulouse, France, Noc 2010.

Institute of Solid State Physics (ISSP) (Colloquium), Tokyo, Japan, Nov 2010.

Keio University (Colloquium), Tokyo, Japan, Oct 2010.

Nanoscale Spectroscopy and Nanotechnology 6 (NSS-6), Kobe, Japan, Oct 2010.

University of Pittsburgh, Department of Physics (Colloquium), PA, USA, Oct 2010.

DOE, BES, Electron and Scanning Probe Contractor Meeting, Arlington, VA, USA, Oct 2010.

The Ohio State University, Department of Physics (Colloquium), OH, USA, Oct 2010.

International Conference on Global Core Research and Engineering of Advanced Materials, Osaka, Japan, May 2010.

University of Maryland, Department of Physics (Colloquium), MD, USA, April 2010.

University of North Carolina, Physics Department (Colloquium), Chapel Hill, USA, Oct 2009.

University of Zaragoza, Physics Department (Colloquium), Zaragoza, Spain, July 2009.

13th International Conference on Surface and Colloid Science, Columbia University, New York, USA, Jun 2009.

Christian-Albrechts Universitaet Kiel, Kiel, Germany, Jun 2009.

1st International Conference on Nanomedicine, Hainan, China, Jun 2009.

Technische Universitaet Aachen, (Colloquium) Aachen, Germany, Jun 2009.

University of Hamburg, Department of Chemistry, (Lecture), Hamburg, Germany, May 2009.

Nanotechnology Conference, Monterrey, Mexico, May 2009.

Freie Universitaet Berlin, Institute for Applied Physics (Colloquium), Germany, Apr 2009.

427th W.E. Heraeus seminar, Bad Honaf, Germany, Feb 2009.

PCSI 36 (36th Conference on the Physics and Chemistry of Surfaces and Interfaces), Santa Barbara, CA, USA, Jan 2009.

FCM IV (At the Frontiers of Condensed Matter IV), Buenos Aires, Argentina, Dec 2008.

AVS 55 Symposium (American Vacuum Society 55th Symposium), Boston,MA, USA, Oct 2008.

IMRC XVII 2008 (International Materials Research Congress), Cancun, Mexico, Aug 2008.    

IEEE NANO 2008 (8th International Conference on Nanotechnology), Arlington, Tx, USA, Aug 2008.

ICN+T 08 (International Coference on Nanoscience + Technology, 2008), Keystone Resort, Co, USA, Jul 2008.

Oak Ridge National Lab. (Colloquium) TN, USA, Fev 2008.

ICSPM15 Atagawa, Japan, Dec 2007.

J. Stefan Institute (Colloquium), Slovenia, Dec 2007.

CREST Workshop on Molecular Nano Electronic Devices, Kyoto, Japan, Nov 2007.

Univ. of Central Florida, (Colloquium), FL, USA, Nov 2007.

NanoTX 07, Dallas, TX, USA, Oct 2007.

Georgia Tech, MSE Dept, (Colloquium), GA, USA, Sep 2007.

Scanning Probe Microscopies, Osaka, Japan, Aug 2007.

Spring 8 Synchrotron Facilities, (Colloquium), Japan , Aug 2007.

ICMAT 2007 Conference, Singapore, Jul 2007.

PASI Workshop: Electronic States and Excitations on Nanostructures, Zacatecas,  Mexico, Jun 2007.

Single molecule switches and devices realized by STM manipulation , Materials Science Colloquium, Argonne National Lab., IL, USA, Apr 2007.  

AVS Western Pennsylvania Symposium, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA, USA, Apr 2007.

Institute of Solid State Physics, Tokyo University, Japan, Mar 2007.

Tokyo University, Riken, Department of Chemistry, Japan, Mar 2007.

Japan Physical Society March Meeting, Kyusyu, Japan, Mar 2007.

Atom/molecule manipulation with STM’, West Virginia University (Colloquium), VA, USA, Feb 2007.                                                                

XII Symposium on Materials Sciences, CCMC-UNAM, Mexico, Feb 2007.

Single atom/molecule manipulation and its application to nanoscience & technology, Surface and Interface Science at the Atomic Scale (DoE), Warrenton, VA, USA. Oct/Nov 2006.

Single molecule switches and devices realized by STM manipulation, Trends on Novel Materials, CIAM workshop, Santa Marta, Colombia, Oct 2006.

Single molecule switches and devices realized by STM manipulation, Humboldt University (Colloquium), Berlin, Germany, Sep 2006.

AIST (Colloquium), Tsukuba, Japan, May 2006. ‘’

Molecular devices and machines: STM single molecule manipulation, , CREST workshop on physics of single molecules, Kanagawa, Japan,  May 2006.

Wright State University (Colloquium), Dayton, OH, USA, Apr 2006.

American Physical Society (APS) March Meeting, Baltimore, MD, USA, Mar 2006.

Case Western Reserve University (Colloquium), Cleveland, OH, USA, Jan 2006.



Shaping the future by controlling the atomic world...