Ammar Nayfeh

Professor Ammar Nayfeh was born in Urbana IL in 1979. He received his bachelor's degree from the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign in 2001 in electrical engineering and his master's degree in 2003 from Stanford University. Dr. Nayfeh earned a Ph.D. in electrical engineering from Stanford University in 2006. His research focused on heteroepitaxy of germanium on silicon for electronic and photonic devices. After his PhD, he joined Advanced Micro Devices as a researcher working in collaboration with IBM. After that he joined a silicon valley startup company, Innovative Silicon (ISi) in 2008. In addition, he was a part time professor at San Jose State University. In June 2010, he joined MIT as a visiting scholar and became a faculty member at the Masdar Institute currently Khalifa University. Professor Nayfeh is currently an associate professor in the Department Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS) at Khalifa University. Professor Ammar Nayfeh has authored or co-authored over 100 publications. Many of the publications are in top tier journals including, Nature, IOP Nanotechnology, IEEE Journal of Photovoltaics, Applied Physics Letters, and Elsevier Solar Energy to name a few. In addition, he has continued to publish his work in top conferences worldwide including, IEEE nano, MRS, ECS, and PVSC. In addition to publications, he has filed three patents including one from the research in the UAE.  Dr. Nayfeh was instrumental in helping to establish the first state of the art clean room laboratory in the UAE at Khalifa University. Dr. Nayfeh’s research has also attracted significant amount of funding. He have been awarded approximately $1.2M dollars in external research grants. These grants are from Office of Naval Research Global, Masdar PV, and Twin Labs. Also, two years ago, his PhD Student Dr. Nazek El-Atab was awarded the L’Oreal-UNESCO For Women in Science fellowship. In addition to external, Dr. Nayfeh was awarded approximately $3M in internal funding including the Masdar-MIT flagship on advanced solar and a project on nano materials and low temperature Ge growth.  Dr Nayfeh recently put nanomaterials to good use in the fight against Covid-19. Using Si nanoparticles to model how the virus spreads in hospital environments in collaboration with Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi the novel study will help health care professionals better understand how the virus spreads.   Finally, with regards to student advising, since joining Khalifa University, Dr. Nayfeh has graduated 4 PhD and 11 MSc students including 5 UAE nationals. Dr. Nayfeh is a member of IEEE, MRS and Stanford Alumni Association. He has received the Material Research Society Graduate Student Award, the Robert C. Maclinche Scholarship at UIUC, and Stanford Graduate Fellowship. Dr. Nayfeh has also spent time visiting local schools in the UAE to help spark the next generation of scientists in the UAE as part of the science in residence initiative of the Mohammed bin Rashid Academy of Scientists (MBRAS)

Most research interests for a scientist

Dr. Nayfeh’s research in the UAE has focused on the development of new nanomaterials and structures for future semiconductor devices including memory, photovoltaics, photodetectors and transistors. This includes several activities on the growth, metrology, modeling and application of these materials in devices.


New nanomaterials and structures for future semiconductor devices including:

  • Memory
  • Photovoltaics
  • Photodetectors
  • Transistors