Trevor Petach
Trevor Petach, Ph.D.
Electrical Engineering & Computer Science
Menlo Park

Dr. Petach is physicist with expertise in electronics design and testing, nanofabrication, and surface science. His experience includes circuit design and printed circuit board failure analysis, design and testing of transistors, x-ray scattering and image processing, and electrochemical characterization of electrolytic capacitors.

Dr. Petach completed his Ph.D. jointly in the Stanford physics department and SLAC National Laboratory, under the supervision of David Goldhaber-Gordon and Michael Toney. His thesis focused on the fabrication, characterization, and testing of electrolyte-gated graphene and two-dimensional strontium titanate transistors. He discovered a method to improve the carrier mobility by separating the electrolyte from the channel with an atomically thin layer of boron nitride.


  • Ph.D., Physics, Stanford University, 2017
  • B.A., Physics, Harvard College, 2010
  • National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate Fellowship, 2011-2014


Petach TA, Reich KV, Zhang X, Watanabe K, Taniguchi T, Shklovskii BI, Goldhaber-Gordon D. Disorder from the bulk ionic liquid in electric double layer transistors. ACS nano 2017; 7b03864.

Tang K, Meng AC, Hui F, Shi Y, Petach TA, Hitzman C, Koh AL, Goldhaber-Gordon D, Lanza M, McIntyre PC. Distinguishing oxygen vacancy electromigration and conductive filament formation in TiO2 resistance switching using liquid electrolyte contacts. Nano Letters 2017; 17(7), 4390-4399.

Petach TA, Mehta A, Toney MF, Goldhaber-Gordon D. Crystal truncation rods from miscut surfaces. Physical Review B 2017; 95(18), 184104.

Briggs JA, Naik GV, Zhao Y, Petach TA, Sahasrabuddhe K, Goldhaber-Gordon D, Melosh NA, Dionne JA. Temperature-dependent optical properties of titanium nitride. Applied Physics Letters 2017; 110(10), 101901.

Petach TA, Mehta A, Marks R, Johnson B, Toney MF, Goldhaber-Gordon D. Voltage-controlled interfacial layering in an ionic liquid on SrTiO3. ACS nano 2016; 10(4), 4565-4569.

Briggs JA, Naik GV, Petach TA, Baum BK, Goldhaber-Gordon D, Dionne JA. Fully CMOS-compatible titanium nitride nanoantennas. Applied Physics Letters 2016; 108(5), 051110.

Gallagher P, Lee M, Petach TA, Stanwyck SW, Williams JR, Watanabe K, Taniguchi T, Goldhaber-Gordon D. A high-mobility electronic system at an electrolyte-gated oxide surface. Nature Communications 2015; 6, 6437.

Petach TA, Lee M, Davis RC, Mehta A, Goldhaber-Gordon D. Mechanism for the large conductance modulation in electrolyte-gated thin gold films. Physical Review B 2014; 90(8), 081108.


Petach TA, Lee M, Davis RC, Marks R, Johnson B, Mehta A, Toney MF, Goldhaber-Gordon D. What happens at the interface during electrolyte gating? FET 2016, Bay Lake, MN, 2016.

Petach TA, Mehta A, Toney MF, Goldhaber-Gordon D. Structure of the ionic liquid interfacial layer under bias. Gordon Research Conference on X-Ray Science, Stonehill College, MA, 2015.

Petach TA, Mehta A, Goldhaber-Gordon D. Electrolyte gating with ionic liquids – structural and electronic characterization of the interface. APS March Meeting, Denver, CO, 2014.

Petach TA, Lee M, Goldhaber-Gordon D. Electrolyte gating of gold point contacts. APS March Meeting, Baltimore, MD, 2013.

Petach TA, Langmuir C, Macdonald F. The oxidation of Ediacaran oceans viewed through trace metals and the carbon cycle. Senior thesis presentation in earth and planetary science, Harvard University, 2010.

Petach TA, Davis JL, et al. A kinematic model of the surface velocity of Helheim Glacier, Greenland. AGU Fall Meeting, San Francisco, CA, 2009.

Professional Affiliations

American Physical Society

Project Experience


Reverse engineering on several regions of an integrated circuit (IC) used as a driver for an organic light emitting diode (OLED) display.

Failure analysis and tear-down of Li-ion batteries used in a phone.

Device testing and performance characterization of a Bluetooth tracker.

PCBA construction review of a wifi range extender and short circuit testing of the power supply.

Failure analysis of a printed circuit board assembly (PCBA) used in a server, involving multilayer ceramic capacitors (MLCC).


Targeted system testing to determine the illuminance of an LED projection system.

Physics-based Modeling

Modeling time to failure of P-I-N avalanche photodiodes for a back scattered electron (BSE) detector in a scanning electron microscope (SEM).

Finite element analysis to model the magnetic field from an electrical substation and the degree of magnetic shielding required to reduce the field below target levels.


  • Ph.D., Physics, Stanford University, 2017
  • B.A., Physics, Harvard College, 2010
  • National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate Fellowship, 2011-2014