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Prof. Gamani Karunasiri



Prof. Kevin B. Smith

Associate Chairs:


Prof. Dragoslav Grbovic


Prof. Joseph Hooper

Contact Us:

Department of Physics
Spanagel Hall, Room 203
833 Dyer Road
Monterey, CA 93943-5216
(831) 656-2145
DSN: 756-2145

Curriculum Sponsor


Mission Statement

Gamani Karunasiri
Professor of Physics
Ph.D. Physics, U. of Pittsburgh, 1984

Dr. Karunasiri joined the faculty of NPS in 2000. He conducts research in the areas of semiconductor device physics and micro electromechanical systems (MEMS) and their applications in novel sensors. Prof Karunasiri has published over 100 journal papers and holds five patents. He held the Andrew Mellon Predoctoral Fellowship from the University of Pittsburgh and won several Teaching Awards from the Naval Postgraduate School and National University of Singapore. Prof. Karunasiri has advised 7 Ph.D. and over 50 M.S. students. He is an elected Fellow of the American Physical Society (APS).

Phone: 831-656-2886, Email:

Gamani Karunasiri
Mail Code: PH/Kg
Department of Physics
Graduate School of Engineering and Applied Sciences
Monterey, CA 93943
Phone: 831-656-2886
Email: karunasiri (at)
PhD - University of Pittsburgh, 1984
BS - University of Colombo, Sri Lanka, 1979


  • 2007 - present Professor of Physics
  • 2000 - 2006 Associate Professor of Physics


  • 1994 - 2000 Associate Professor, Department of Electrical Engineering, National University of Singapore
  • 1987 - 1993 Assistant Research Engineer, Department of Electrical Engineering, University of California, Los Angeles


  • Quantum Mechanics
  • Semiconductor Devices Physics
  • Optoelectronics
  • Micro-electro-mechanical-systems (MEMS)


  • MEMS directional acoustic sensors
  • Uncooled THz sensors and imagers
  • Finite element modeling of MEMS devices
  • Semiconductor radiation detectors
  • Quantum well infrared detectors


  • Best poster award, Electronic Materials Symposium, San Jose, California (2010)
  • GSEAS Merit Award for Teaching, Naval Postgraduate School (2008)
  • Physics Department Best Researcher Award, Naval Postgraduate School (2002, 2004)
  • Teaching Honors list Award, National University of Singapore (1999, 2000)
  • Andrew Mellon Predoctoral Fellowship (1983-1984)


  • Fellow, American Physical Society (APS))

SELECTED PUBLICATIONS: (View an extended list)

  • Bi-material terahertz sensors using metamaterial structures, Optics Express, 21, 13256-13271 (2013). (F. Alves, D. Grbovic, B. Kearney, N. V. Lavrik, and G. Karunasiri)
  • Fabrication of a microelectromechanical directional sound sensor with electronic readout using comb fingers, Appl. Phys. Lett., 96, 173701 (2010). (M. P. Touse, K. Simsek, J. O. Sinibaldi, J. Catterlin and G. Karunasiri)
  • Performance of Microbolometer Focal Plane Arrays under Varying Pressure, IEEE EDL, 21, 233-235 (2000). (X. He, G. Karunasiri, T. Mei, W. J. Zeng, P. Neuzil, and U. Sridhar)
  • Tunable Infrared Modulator and Switch Using Stark Shift in Step Quantum Wells, Electron Device Letters, 11, 227 (1990). (G. Karunasiri, Y. J. Mii, and K. L. Wang)
  • New Mode of Infrared Detection Using Quantum Wells, Appl. Phys. Lett. 45, 649 (1984). (D. D. Coon and G. Karunasiri)


  • Keywords: Physics, Semiconductor Devices, Optoelectronics, Terahertz, MEMS, Sound Sensors



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