Abu Sebastian


Abu Sebastian


Distinguished Scientist & Manager


IBM Research Europe - Zurich Zurich, Switzerland


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Abu Sebastian is a distinguished scientist and manager at IBM Research - Zurich in Rüschlikon, Switzerland. He was born in Kerala, India. He received a B. E. (Hons.) degree in Electrical and Electronics Engineering from BITS Pilani, India and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Electrical Engineering (minor in Mathematics) from Iowa State University. Dr. Sebastian is the author/co-author of over 200 publications in peer-reviewed journals/conference proceedings and holds over 80 US patents. He is a co-recipient of the 2009 IEEE Control Systems Technology Award and the 2009 IEEE Transactions on Control Systems Technology Outstanding Paper Award. In 2013 he received the IFAC Mechatronic Systems Young Researcher Award for his contributions to the field of mico-/nanoscale mechatronic systems. In 2015 he was awarded the European Research Council (ERC) consolidator grant and in 2020, he was awarded an ERC Proof-of-concept grant. He is an IBM Master Inventor since 2016. He was named Principal and Distinguished Research Staff Member in 2018 and 2020, respectively. In 2019 he received the Ovshinsky Lectureship Award for his contributions to 'Phase-change materials for cognitive computing'.  In 2023, he received the Prof. L. K. Maheshwari Foundation Distinguished Alumnus Award from BITS Pilani. He has served on the technical program committees of several conferences including IEDM, AICAS, NVMTS and E\PCOS and has served as an editor/guest editor for Mechatronics, APL Material, Applied Physics Letters, and IEEE Design and Test. He is a Distinguished Lecturer and Fellow of the IEEE.



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  • M. Lanza, A. Sebastian, et al., 'Memristive technologies for data storage, computation, encryption, and radio-frequency communication', Science, 2022
  • M. Le Gallo and A. Sebastian, 'An overview of phase-change memory device physics', J. Phys. D. Appl. Phys., 2020
  • Salinga*, B. Kersting, I. Ronneberger, V. P. Jonnalagadda, X. T. Vu, M. Le Gallo, I. Giannopoulos, O. Cojocaru-Miredin, R. Mazzarello, A. Sebastian*, “Monatomic phase change memory”, Nature Materials, 2018 (Cover)
  • Le Gallo, D. Krebs, F. Zipolli, M. Salinga, A. Sebastian, “Collective structural relaxation in phase-change memory devices”, Adv. Electronic Materials, 2018
  • W. Burr, M. J. Brightsky, A. Sebastian et al., “Recent progress in phase-change memory technology”, IEEE Journal on emerging and selected topics in circuits and systems, 2016
  • Le Gallo, A. Athmanathan, D. Krebs, A. Sebastian, “Evidence for thermally assisted threshold switching behavior in nanoscale phase-change memory cells”, Journal of Applied Physics, 119, 025704, 2016
  • Le Gallo, M. Kaes, A. Sebastian, D. Krebs, “Subthreshold electrical transport in amorphous phase change materials”, New Journal of Physics., 2015
  • C. A. Santini*, A. Sebastian*, C. Marchiori, V. P. Jonnalagadda,  L. Dellmann, W. W. Koelmans, M. D. Rossell, C. P. Rossel, E. Eleftheriou, “Oxygenated amorphous carbon for resistive memory applications”, Nature Communications, 2015
  • W. Koelmans*, A. Sebastian, V. P. Jonnalagadda, D. Krebs, L. Dellmann, E. Eleftheriou, Projected phase-change memory devices, Nature communications, 6, 2015
  • A. Sebastian*, M. Le Gallo, D. Krebs, “Crystal growth within a phase change memory cell”, Nature Communications, 5(4314), 1-9, 2014
  • A.  Sebastian*, A. Pauza , C. Rossel, R. M. Shelby, A. F. Rodriguez, H. Pozidis and E. Eleftheriou, “Resistance switching at the nanometer scale in amorphous carbon”, New Journal of Physics, vol. 13, pp. 013020, 2011
  • Sebastian*, N. Papandreou, A. Pantazi, H. Pozidis and E. Eleftheriou, “Non-resistance based cell-state metric for multi-level phase change memory”, Journal of Applied Physics, 110, 084505, 2011


  • Shamsudhin, N. Laeubli, H. B. Atakan, H. Vogler, C. Hu, W. Haeberle, A. Sebastian, U. Grossniklaus and B. J. Nelson, “Massively parallelized pollen tube guidance and mechanical measurements on a Lab-on-a-Chip platform”, PLOS ONE, 11(12), 2016
  • Tuma, A. Pantazi, D. R. Sahoo, P. Eib, G. Salis, H. Pozidis and A. Sebastian, “A high-bandwidth spintronic position sensor”, Nanotechnology, 25(37), 375501, 2014
  • T. Tuma, A. Sebastian, J. Lygeros and A. Pantazi, “Four pillars of nanopositioning,” IEEE Control Systems Magazine, 2013
  • Tuma, J. Lygeros, V. Kartik, A. Sebastian and A. Pantazi, “High-speed multiresolution scanning probe microscopy based on Lissajous scan trajectories,” Nanotechnology, 23(18), pp. 185501, May 2012
  • A. Sebastian* and A. Pantazi, “Nanopositioning With Multiple Sensors: A Case Study in Data Storage,” IEEE Transactions on Control Systems Technology, vol. 20(2), pp. 382-394, Mar. 2012.
  • Bazaei, S. O. R. Moheimani and A. Sebastian, “An Analysis of Signal Transformation Approach to Triangular Waveform Tracking”, Automatica, vol. 47(4), pp. 838-847, Apr. 2011
  • H. Bhaskaran, B. Gotsmann, A. Sebastian, U. Drechsler, M. A. Lantz, M. Despont, P. Jaroenapibal, R. W. Carpick, Y. Chen and K. Sridharan, “Ultralow nanoscale wear through atom-by-atom attrition in silicon-containing diamond-like carbon”, Nature Nanotechnology, vol. 5, pp. 181-185, Mar. 2010
  • Bhaskaran, A. Sebastian and M. Despont, “Nanoscale PtSi tips for conducting probe technologies”, IEEE Transactions on Nanotechnology, vol. 8, no. 1, pp. 128-131, January 2009.
  • A. Sebastian* and D. Wiesmann, “Modeling and experimental identification of silicon micro-heater dynamics: A systems approach”, IEEE/ASME Journal of Micro-electromechanical Systems, vol. 17, No. 4, pp. 911-920, Aug. 2008.
  • A. Sebastian*, A. Pantazi, H. Pozidis, and E. Eleftheriou, “Nanopositioning for Probe-based Data Storage,” IEEE Control Systems Magazine, pp. 26-35, August 2008
  • Pantazi, A. Sebastian et al.,” IBM Journal of Research and Development, vol. 52, no. 4/5, Jul/Sep 2008.
  • A. Sebastian* and S. Salapaka, “Design methodologies for robust nanopositioning”, IEEE Transactions on Control Systems Technology, vol. 13(6), pp. 868-876, Nov. 2005.
  • A. Sebastian*, M. V. Salapaka, D. J. Chen and J. P. Cleveland, “Harmonic and power balance tools for atomic force microscopy_”,_ Journal of Applied Physics, vol. 89(11), pp. 6473-6480, Jun. 2001.



  • University of Oxford, UK, Feb. 2023
  • IEEE Distinguished Lecture, Jan 2023
  • University of Southampton, UK, Mar. 2022
  • University of Oxford, UK, Feb. 2022
  • Future Computing Laboratory, ETH Zurich, Oct. 2021
  • Intelligence in chip: Tomorrow of integrated circuits, IEEE CASS seasonal school, Aug. 2021
  • Max Planck Institute of Microsctructure Physics, July 2021
  • Mondays in Memory (MiM), TU Vienna, June 2021
  • Lund University, June 2021
  • Computer Architecture Fall 2020, ETH Zurich, Dec. 2020
  • University College London, March 2020
  • Institute of Neuroinformatics, Univ. Zurich., Nov. 2019
  • Sabanci University, Istanbul, Turkey, April 2019
  • Bilkent University, Ankara, Turkey, April 2019
  • University of Oxford, Oxford, UK, March 2019
  • Computer Systems Colloquium, Stanford University, Stanford, USA, Mar 2018
  • CDT Advanced Technology Lectures, Univ. of Cambridge, UK, 2016
  • Univ. of Oxford, UK, 2015


  • Photonics online meetup, Jan. 2021
  • IEDM, San Francisco, Dec. 2019
  • ISCAS, Sapporo, Japan, May 2019
  • MRS Spring Meeting, Phoenix, Arizona, USA, 2017


  • Keynote, Memrisys, Boston, USA, Dec 2022
  • Invited Talk, DAC Workshop, San Francisco, USA, July 2022
  • Invited Talk, Embedded PCM workshop, Agrate, Italy, June 2022
  • Invited Talk, Juelich Forschungszentrum, Germany, May 2022
  • Invited Talk, EMRS, May 2022 (virtual)
  • Keynote, IEEE International Conference on IC Design and Technology (ICICDT), Sep. 2021.
  • Invited Talk, Workshop on Materials Challenges for Memory (APL Materials), April 2021
  • Invited Talk, Neurotech Forum II, Workshop on Neuromorphic computing technologies: Opportunities, challenges and Applications, March 2021
  • Invited Talk, NEUROTECH educational program, Jan. 2021
  • Invited Talk, CASCONxEVOKE, Nov. 2020
  • Invited Talk, Nature conference on neuromorphic computing, Beijing, Oct. 2019
  • Ovshinsky Lecture, EP\COS, Grenoble, Sep. 2019
  • Invited Talk, CLEO Europe, Munich, Germany, June 2019
  • Invited Talk, VLSI, Kyoto, Japan, June 2019
  • Invited Talk, DATE Workshop, Florence, Italy, March 2019
  • Plenary Talk, ICEE, Bangalore, India, Dec 2018
  • Invited Talk, NVMTS, Sendai, Japan, October 2018
  • Invited Talk, E/PCOS, Catania, Italy, September 2018
  • Invited Talk, CIMTEC, Perugia, Italy, June 2018
  • Invited Talk, MRS Spring Meeting, Phoenix, Arizona, USA, April 2018
  • Invited Talk, mDAC: Memristor Technology, Desing, Automation and Computing, HiPEAC, Manchester, UK, Jan 2018
  • Keynote, 17th Non-volatile Memory Technology Symposium, Aachen, Germany, 2017
  • Keynote, International Conference on Memristive Materials, Devices and Systems, Athens, Greece, 2017
  • Invited Talk, Beyond CMOS: From Devices to Systems, Haifa, Israel, 2017
  • Invited Talk, MINDMEM Workshop, Lausanne, Switzerland, 2017
  • Invited Talk, CIMTEC, Perugia, Italy, 2016
  • Invited Talk, E/PCOS, Cambridge, UK, 2016
  • Invited Talk, Memristive Symposium, Dresden, Germany, 2016
  • Invited Talk, Institute for Mathematics and its Applications, Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA, 2016
  • Invited Talk, MRS Spring Meeting, Phoenix, Arizona, USA, 2016
  • Keynote Talk, Memrisys, Cyprus, 2015
  • Invited Talk, Swiss Nano Convention, Neuchatel, Switzerland, 2015


  • Panelist, Vaishwik Bharatiay Vaigyanik Summit, Oct. 2020
  • Panelist, International workshop on network on chip architectures, Oct. 2020
  • Panelist, AICAS, Sep. 2020






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Vijay Narayanan

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