Argonne National Laboratory

Kaizhong Gao

Principal Scientist and Interim Manager, Nanomaterial Devices Group - Applied Materials division


Kaizhong Gao manages the Nanomaterials Devices group in Argonne’s Applied Materials division. His research interests include Gallium Nitride-based power electronics and radiofrequency applications as well as advanced manufacturing technologies, additive manufacturing, functional materials, novel materials and devices for energy storage and data storage and security technologies.


  • Hold patents for interlaced magnetic recording (IMR), heat-assisted magnetic recording (HAMR) and perpendicular magnetic recording (PMR), released by Seagate (2017)
  • Hold patent for microwave assisted magnetic recording (MAMR) using PSTO, released by WDC (2017)
  • Lead design and integration team, demonstrated 1Tb/in2 data storage technology using HAMR (2012)


  • Tapered write pole PMR, hard disk drive (HDD) industry standard
  • Gradient anisotropy media design for PMR, HDD industry standard
  • Contact detection sensor and technology for sub-2nm HMS control, HDD industry standard


  • Principal Scientist and Section Manager, Nanomaterials, Devices and Systems (NDS) group, Applied Materials Division, Argonne National Laboratory
  • Senior Fellow, Northwestern University
  • Principal Scientist/Group Leader, NDS group, Energy Systems division, Argonne National Laboratory
  • Co-Founder and CTO, International Business and Technology Service, (IBT Service)
  • Director/Storage Architect, Office of CTO and Storage Research, Seagate Sr. Engineer-Director, R&D for Advanced Technology Development, Seagate Patents,

Patent Applications and Publications

  • 179 issued patents, 150 US, 29 International
  • 140+ pending applications published at USPTO​.gov
  • 70+ reference reviewed/journal papers and book chapters
  • Listed as the only inventor associated with all three major technologies that became HDD industry standards since 2000

Professional Activities

  • IEEE Magnetics Society Administrative Committee Elected Member
  • IEEE Magnetics Society Conference Executive Committee Member
  • Conference Chair: IEEE International Magnetics Conference (Intermag) 2015
  • Conference Chair: IEEE Magnetic Recording Conference (TMRC) 2011


  • IEEE Outstanding Professional Award, IEEE Region 4 (Mid-west 13 states and central Canada), 2011
  • Technology Hall of Fame, SEAGATE TECHNOLOGY, 2008-2015
  • Young Engineer of the Year, IEEE Twin Cities, 2009
  • Information Storage Industry Consortium Technical Achievement Award (co-recipient with Prof. H. Neal Bertram), 2004
  • Schultz Prize, CMRR (co-recipient with Geoffrey Beach), University of California, San Diego, 2003


MS, Ph.D., Physics, with Honor, University of California, San Diego