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Kaizhong Gao

Group Leader, Nanomaterial Devices & Systems


Dr. Kaizhong Gao, an IEEE Fellow, manages the Nanomaterials, Devices and Systems group in Argonne’s Applied Materials division. His research interests include magnetic materials, sensors and devices, device physics, microelectronics, and power electronics and radiofrequency applications, as well as advanced manufacturing technologies. He is also working on design and devices for energy storage, data storage, and security technologies.


  • Holds patents for heat assisted interlaced magnetic recording (HIMR) as press released technology by Seagate (2018).
  • Holds patent for microwave assisted magnetic recording (MAMR) using PSTO, released by WDC (2017).
  • Led design and integration team, demonstrated 1Tb/in2 data storage technology using HAMR (2012).


  • Tapered write pole PMR head, Gradient anisotropy media and Contact detection sensor and technology for HMS control, all HDD industry standard for over a decade
  • HyMag design, R&D 100 Award 2018



  • Principal Scientist and Group Leader, 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 
  • Senior Engineer-Director, R&D for Advanced Technology Development, Seagate 

Patents, Patent Applications and Publications

  • 180+ issued patents (152 US)
  • 140+ pending applications published (USPTO​.gov)
  • 70+ reference reviewed/journal papers and book chapters
  • Listed as the inventor associated with all three major technologies that became HDD industry standards since 2000.
  • February 2018 Google Presentation: ​“How to Define the Digital Universe

Professional Activities 

  • IEEE Magnetics Society Conference Executive Committee Member (current)
  • GoMacTech Conference Technical Committee (2018)
  • IEEE Magnetics Society Administrative Committee Elected Member (2016-18)
  • Conference co-chair: IEEE International Magnetics Conference (Intermag) 2015
  • IEEE Magnetics Society Finance Chair (2013-14)
  • Conference Chair: IEEE the Magnetic Recording Conference (TMRC2011  
  • IEEE Magnetics Society Technical Committee Chair (2011-12)
  • IEEE Magnetics Society Chapters Chair (2009-10)  


  • IEEE Fellow 2018
  • R&D 100 Award 2018 
  • IEEE Outstanding Professional AwardIEEE Region 4 (Mid-west 13 states and central Canada), 2011
  • Engineer of the Year, IEEE Twin Cities Section, 2010
  • Young Engineer of the Year, State of Minnesota, 2009
  • Technology Hall of FameSEAGATE TECHNOLOGY2008-2015
  • Information Storage Industry Consortium Technical Achievement Award (co-recipient with Prof. H. Neal Bertram), 2004
  • Schultz PrizeCMRR (co-recipient with Geoffrey Beach), University of California, San Diego, 2003 


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