Luke Nyakiti

Associate Professor
Department of Marine Engineering Technology

Phone: +1 (409) 740-4505
Fax: +1 (409) 741-7153

Powell Marine Engineering Complex, Office 214


Learn more about Luke Nyakiti

Get To Know Luke Nyakiti

What in your life drew you to your current field of study?

To assist solve simple to complex problems that afflict the human race and make it more "forgiving" to live in. This is to be achieved by performing basic and applied scientific research so solve mundane problems that prevents us from advancing the great ideas that we theorize and abridge it with the technological phase of advancement.

What do you hope your students gain from studying or working with you?

To be a good team player and well rounded researcher in their fields of study.

What are you passionate about in your personal life?

Being a good role and a mentor to the next generation of scientists and engineers.

I am involved in basic and applied research that focuses on engineered electronic materials that can easily be integrated into the existing silicon technology for a wide range of applications.
  • novel scalable large area (semiconducting) two-dimensional material system for energy and electronic applications, for example synthesis-structural characterization and functional property relationship of two dimensional (Epitaxial Graphene) materials systems and their integration into device nanostructures e.g. high speed RF graphene Field Effect Transistors.
  • process-structure and functional-property relationship of homoepitaxial growth of 4H- or 6H-SiC on variously varying off-cut SiC substrate, for high power switching devices utilizing chemical vapor deposition (CVD) systems. for robust high-voltage, high-power electronic device applications, that can benefit a variety of platforms eg in the Navy's aircraft carriers, submarines and prototypical all electric combat vehicles that is of interest to the Marine Corps, Army and the Air Force.
  • high k-dielectrics to improve electronic and optoelectronic properties of electronic devices;
  • advanced nanocrystalline metallic alloys synthesized by pulsed electrodeposition with improved hardness, strength, corrosion, wear resistant and superplasticity for catalytic and energy applications;
  • employing Optical, electro-mechanical, Electron microscopy and Spectroscopic Characterization techniques.

Ph.D. Mechanical Engineering, Texas Tech University
Physics, Wichita State University
Physics and Mathematics, Egerton University

Courses Taught
MARE 309: Marine Construction Materials
OCEN 213: Properties of Engineered Materials
CVEN 345: Theory of Structures
MARE 209: Mechanics of Materials
ENGR/MARE 112: Foundations of Engineering II
MSEN 691: Graduate Research

“Effects of TiO2 Thickness and Electrolyte Concentration on Photovoltaic Performance of Dye-Sensitized Solar Cell” D.L. Domtau, J Simiyu, E. O Ayieta, L. O Nyakiti, B. Muthoka, J. M Mwabora, Surface Review and Letters 24 (05), 1750065 (2017)

Plasmon-Enhanced Terahertz Photodetection in Graphene”, X. Cai, A. B. Sushkov, M. M. Jadidi, L. O. Nyakiti, R. L. Myers-Ward, D. K. Gaskill, T. E. Murphy, M. S. Fuhrer, H. D. Drew, Nano Letters  15 (7), 4295-4302 (2015).

Challenges to graphene growth on SiC (000-1): Substrate effects, hydrogen etching and growth ambient” Z. R Robinson, G. G. Jernigan, M. Currie, J. K Hite, K. M. Bussmann, L. O Nyakiti, N. Y Garces, A. Nath, M. V. Rao, V. D. Wheeler, R. L. Myers-Ward, J. A. Wollmershauser, B. N. Feigelson, C. R. Eddy, D. K. Gaskill, Carbon, 81, 73-82 (2015)

Water Affinity to Epitaxial Graphene: The Impact of Layer Thickness.” Giusca, C. E.; Panchal, V.; Munz, M.; Wheeler, V. D.; Nyakiti, L. O.; Myers-Ward, R. L.; Gaskill, D. K.; Kazakova, O., Adv Mater Interfaces 2015, 2 (16).

Water Affinity to Epitaxial Graphene: The Impact of Layer Thickness”, C. E.  Giusca, V.   Panchal, M. Munz , V.  D.  Wheeler, L. O. Nyakiti, R. L.  Myers-Ward, D.  K.  Gaskill, O. Kazakova, Advanced Materials Interfaces 2, 1500252 (2015).  DOI: 10.1002/admi.201500252

Graphene nanoribbon field-effect transistors on wafer-scale epitaxial graphene on SiC substrates”, W. S. Hwang, P. Zhao, K. Tahy, L. O. Nyakiti, V. D. Wheeler, R. L. Myers-Ward, C. R. Eddy Jr, D. K. Gaskill, J. A. Robinson, W. Haensch, H. G. Xing, A. Seabaugh, D. Jena, Applied Physics Letters 3, 011101 (2015).

Sensitive room-temperature terahertz detection via the photothermoelectric effect in graphene”, X. Cai, A. B. Sushkov, R. J. Suess, M. M. Jadidi,  G. S. Jenkins, L. O. Nyakiti,  R. L. Myers-Ward, S. Li, J. Yan, D. K. Gaskill, T. E. Murphy, H. D. Drew & M. S. Fuhrer, Nature Nanotechnology 9, 814–819 (2014). [ impact factor 36.64]

Step edge influence on barrier height and contact area in vertical heterojunctions between epitaxial graphene and n-type 4H-SiC”, MJ Tadjer, TJ Anderson, RL Myers-Ward, VD Wheeler, LO Nyakiti, Z Robinson, CR Eddy Jr, DK Gaskill, AD Koehler, KD Hobart, FJ Kub, Applied Physics Letters, 104, (7) 073508 (2014)

Plasma-based chemical modification of epitaxial graphene with oxygen functionalities”, SC Hernández, VD Wheeler, MS Osofsky, GG Jernigan, VK Nagareddy, A Nath, EH Lock, LO Nyakiti, RL Myers-Ward, K Sridhara, AB Horsfall, CR Eddy Jr, DK Gaskill, SG Walton, Surface and Coatings Technology, 241, 8 (2014)

Membrane amplitude and triaxial stress in twisted bilayer graphene deciphered using first-principles directed elasticity theory and scanning tunneling microscopy”, M Neek-Amal, P Xu, D Qi, PM Thibado, LO Nyakiti, VD Wheeler, RL Myers-Ward, CR Eddy Jr, DK Gaskill, FM Peeters, Phys. Rev. B 90, (6) 064101 (2014) 


2017: [Invited] "Bottom up Synthesis of Few-Layer Van-Der Waals Heterostructures on Multifarious Semiconducting Substrates," Luke O Nyakiti, Jennifer K Hite, Zachary Robinson, Karthik Sridhara, Rachael L Myers-Ward, Marc Currie, Charles R Eddy, Kurt Gaskill,  The Electrochemical Society Meeting, Maryland, USA

2016: “Synthesis of MoS2 on Homogeneous Single layer Epitaxial Graphene on 6H-SiC(0001)”,  L. O. Nyakiti; Z. Robinson; R.L. Myers-Ward; M. Currie; J. Hite; K. Sridhara; E. Clancy; C.R. Eddy; D.K. Gaskill. ECS PRiME Meeting, Honolulu, Hawaii.

Grants and Fellowships
2018: DoD-US Naval Research Laboratory
2016 - 2017: U.S. Department of Transportation - MERAD SIP program
2014 and 2016: State of Texas 
Awards & Recognition

October 2014: Japan Society of Applied Physics Excellent Achievement in Physics Award – Hokkaido, Japan For demonstrating for the first time ever the epitaxy of a conventional semiconductor on inert two-dimensional material. He has published over 90 peer-reviewed journal and proceeding articles and presented over 75 invited lectures

2010: ASEE-NRL Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Advanced SiC Epitaxial Research Laboratory, Power Electronics and Materials Division - U.S. Naval Research Laboratory, Washington DC, 20375

Professional Appointments

February 2014 – Present: Assistant Professor, Department of Material Science and Engineering, Dwight Look College of Engineering, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843-3003

August 2013 – Present: Tenure Track Assistant Professor, Department of Marine Engineering Technology, Texas A&M University Galveston Campus, P.O Box 1675, Texas 77543-1675

February 2010 – July 2013:  ASEE-NRL Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Power Electronics and Materials Division at US Naval Research Laboratory, Washington DC, 20375

August 2008 – December 2009:  Instructor and postdoctoral researcher, Department of Material and Mechanical Engineering, Texas Tech University, Lubbock Texas 77409

January 2005 – May 2008: Graduate Research Assistant, Department of Material and Mechanical Engineering, Texas Tech University, Lubbock Texas 77409

Current Graduate Students
Mr. Karthik Sridhara