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Honorary Professor Dr. Zainuriah Hassan, FASc

Honorary Professor

Institute of Nano Optoelectronics Research and Technology (INOR)

Name: Zainuriah Hassan

Designation: Professor Dr.

Present Position: DIRECTOR

Email: zai@usm.my

Area of Specialization:

Condensed Matter Physics (Materials Science and Device Physics)

Correspondence Address:

Institute of Nano Optoelectronics Research and Technology (INOR),
Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM),
11800 Penang, MALAYSIA

Tel : +604 653 5638
Fax : +604 653 5639
E-mail : zai@usm.my

Office address:

Ground Floor, Blok A, No 10, Persiaran Bukit Jambul,
11900 Bayan Lepas, Penang, Malaysia

Tel:+604 653 5638
Fax:+604 653 5639


Professor Dr. Zainuriah Hassan, FASc area of expertise is wide band gap semiconductor materials and devices.  Zainuriah was born in Sungai Petani, Kedah in 1962.  She started her early education at Father Barre’s Convent Primary School and completed her secondary education at Sultanah Asma Secondary School in 1978.  In 1979, she was awarded the Gold Medal by the Sultan of Kedah for the best performance in the Malaysia Certificate of Education examination.  She then received a scholarship from the Ministry of Education of Malaysia to pursue her undergraduate and Master level studies in the United States, and received the B.Sc (Magna Cum Laude) degree and the Master’s degree in Physics from Western Michigan University, USA in 1983 and 1985, respectively.  In 1994, she was awarded a fellowship under the Academic Staff Training Scheme from Universiti Sains Malaysia to pursue her Ph.D studies.  She received the Ph.D degree in Experimental Condensed Matter Physics from Ohio University, USA in 1998, and was a Research Associate there from 1997 to 1998.

She started her Ph.D work at Ohio University in 1994, and in 1996, they were successful in getting a research grant of USD 2 million.  During her studies at Ohio University, she was an important member of the wide band gap semiconductor effort.  She pioneered many of the scientific advances that would be the center of the nitride work at Ohio University.  She was instrumental in the installation and operation of the metalorganic chemical vapor deposition (MOCVD) reactor; and she was the first to grow GaN and AlN at Ohio University. She explored low temperature nitride growth before it was considered by other groups, and she made the first devices from nitride semiconductors at Ohio University.  She also was the first student to work on amorphous GaN. Amorphous nitrides were a focus for the group for a decade afterwards.

Professor Dr. Zainuriah Hassan started her work as a Lecturer at School of Physics, Universiti Sains Malaysia in September 1998.  She was promoted to Senior Lecturer in 2004, Associate Professor in 2007, and Professor VK7, VK6, and VK5 (Special Grade A) in 2009, 2015 and 2020, respectively. She has served as the Director of the Institute of Nano Optoelectronics Research and Technology (INOR) (2016, 2018-2021), Director of the Centre for Research Initiatives in Natural Sciences (2013-2015), and as the Dean (2010-2012), Deputy Dean-Academic and Student Development (2009-2010), and Chair of the Engineering Physics Program (2007-2009) at the School of Physics, Universiti Sains Malaysia.  She was a Visiting Research Scholar under the Fulbright Program at the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Minnesota, USA in 2004/2005.

At University Sains Malaysia, Professor Dr. Zainuriah very quickly built a funded, high- impact research program in nitride semiconductors. In 2004, she prosperously got a funding to buy the first Veeco Gen II plasma-assisted molecular beam epitaxy (PAMBE) in Malaysia. With the optimizations of growth parameters, her research group successfully grows III- nitrides thin film by using PAMBE and was the first research group to do so in Malaysia. Her expertise on two main techniques (MOCVD and MBE) for epitaxial growth of III-nitrides (GaN-based) semiconductor materials has enabled high quality thin films to be analyzed and characterized for the study on the fundamental properties and device applications of these materials.

Professor Dr. Zainuriah obtained a grant worth RM 11 million (~USD 3 million) in 2002, awarded by the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI) under the IRPA RMK8 Strategic Research for work on fabrication of III-nitrides and organic materials for blue light emitting device applications.  With that grant, her team successfully set up an advanced laboratory named NOR for Nano-Optolectronics Research and Technology at School of Physics, Universiti Sains Malaysia.  Now the NOR laboratory has received accreditation as a Center of Excellence in Research, a status awarded to the Institute of Nano Optoelectronics Research and Technology (INOR) by the Ministry of Education in 2015. She has developed the human resource (local talents) in this field and they are now recognized internationally. She has supervised more than 100 PhD and MSc students. Her pioneer work in Malaysia in the area of wide band gap semiconductors has played a crucial role in the development of human capital and local expertise in the field of materials science, and nano-optoelectronics.

Her focus of research is in the field of Materials Science and Device Physics.  She works on all aspects related to nano and advanced materials growth, characterization, and fabrication of optoelectronic and electronic devices such as LEDs, sensors and solar cells based on III-nitrides (GaN, InN, AlN, and related nitride alloys) and also other wide band gap semiconductors such as ZnO, CdS, TiO2, CdO and other metal oxides.  She is also working on organic and hybrid materials for optoelectronics applications.  She has been a pioneer researcher in Malaysia on work related to GaN-based (III-nitrides) materials and devices.  She has made an outstanding contribution in starting the work on these areas in Malaysia which have very important applications as optoelectronic devices such as light emitting diodes (LEDs) for environmentally friendly and energy efficient sustainable solid- state lighting (SSL), and also has vast potential for the niche market of ultraviolet (UV) LEDs for water purification and other innovative applications such as visible light communication (VLC)/LiFi, smart farming, sensors and new generation of solar cells and power devices.

Professor Dr. Zainuriah has been involved as the Project Leader at USM for the national project (GaN on GaN) which is funded by Malaysian government through Economic Planning Unit (EPU) with total funding of RM 75 million (~USD 18 million) for 5 years (2015-2022).  The ultimate target of the "GaN on GaN" program is to produce high efficiency and high lumen Malaysian-made white LEDs.  This program involves a scientific collaboration with academia and industry through the involvement of key industrial players in the LED packaging, experts in local universities, and technology transfer from University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) to Malaysia.  GaN-on-GaN LED epitaxy program will enable Malaysia to be at the fore front of a new technology which will revolutionize the current technology based on GaN on sapphire for SSL applications.   She was also the Project Leader for a grant of RM 2 million (~USD 0.5 million), entitled “Energy Efficient Lighting” under the Long Term Research Grant (LRGS) Special Focused Industry Driven Program, entitled “Wide Band gap Semiconductor” which is funded by Ministry of Education (MOE).  She was also the main and co-researcher for more than 80 other national and international research grants. Professor Dr. Zainuriah has been invited as Keynote Speaker and Plenary Speaker at various national and international conferences. She also has several patents and trademark filed and granted.  She has received several other national and international awards and scholarships, and served as examiner, reviewer, advisory board, and editor for various academic matters and journals, as well as jury and member of various evaluation panels. She has held distinguished positions in the university and served on various committees at the national and international level, providing services for the community and her country, and was a member of the Ibn Al-Haytham International Working Group for the International Year of Light IYL 2015 (under UNESCO) as well as listed as LHiSA Founders (Ibn al Haytham LHiSA International Society).

Professor Dr. Zainuriah’s research findings have been published in various prestigious international and national journals.   She has produced more than 700 ISI/Scopus publications to date, with h-index of 40 in Scopus and Web of Science ResearcherID.  She has been identified as the Top Author (No. 1), by number of publications in Malaysia and USM over the period 2013-2017 in the field of Materials Science, and No. 11 in Malaysia, and Top Author (No. 1) by number of publications in Malaysia and USM respectively, over the period 2013-2017 in the field of Engineering, from a document prepared by Solutions Consultant, Elsevier Singapore.  She has been listed in the Top 2% in the World in the Category of Citation Impact in Single Year 2020.  Professor Dr. Zainuriah has also been featured by Thomson Reuters as one of the Accomplished USM Researchers on ResearcherID as well as received the recognition as Top Research Scientist Malaysia (TRSM) in 2013 and elected as a Fellow of Academy of Sciences Malaysia in 2016.  In 2019, she received the Ohio University Notable Alumni Award which is a very significant recognition by her alma mater for her broad career accomplishments and valuable contributions to Ohio University and the College of Arts and Sciences. She was mentioned as a notable alumna that “Pioneers Scientific Advances in US and Malaysia”.

Academic Qualification

Ohio University, U.S.A
Doctor of Philosophy, August 1998
(Experimental Condensed Matter Physics)

Western Michigan University, U.S.A

Master of Arts, August 1985


Bachelor of Science (Magna Cum Laude), April 1983
(Major: Physics, Minor: Mathematics)

Professional Qualification

Post Grad. Teaching Certificate, Feb. 1987 (Malaysia)
(Physics, Mathematics)

  1. Materials Research Society (USA)Materials Research Society (USA)
    (2006 - 2021)
  2. Optical Society of America/OPTICA
    (2006 - 2023)
  3. IEEE (Institute of Electrical & Electronics Engineers)
    (2005 - 2021)
  4. Fulbright Association
    (Life member)
  5. Malaysian Solid State Science and Technology Society
    (Life member)
  6. Malaysian Institute of Physics
    (Life member)
  7. Materials Research Society (Singapore)
    (2003 – 2005)
  8. National Council of Professor
    (2010 – 2024)
  9. The International Society for Optics and Photonics (SPIE)
    (2019 - 2023)
  10. The American Vacuum Society (AVS)
    (2019 - 2020)
  11. Western Michigan University Alumni Association
  12. Ohio University Alumni Association
Interested to be part of my research group? Contact me here:

Institute of Nano Optoelectronics Research and
Technology (INOR), Universiti Sains Malaysia,
11800 USM, Penang, Malaysia.
T:+604-653 5637/5638
F:+604-653 5639

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