Sciences and Exploration Directorate

Prabhakar Misra


Prabhakar Misra's Contact Card & Information.
Phone: 301.614.6250
Org Code: 699
Mail Code 699
Greenbelt, MD 20771

Brief Bio

Dr. Misra has been involved in basic and applied spectroscopic research in atomic and molecular physics and condensed matter physics, with special focus on unstable and stable molecular species, especially free radicals and ions that impact combustion and plasma processes. The utilization of the twin techniques of supersonic jet spectroscopy and optogalvanic spectroscopy has enabled the precise spectroscopic characterization of moderate-size organic species and the plasma associated with hollow cathode discharges. Besides the investigation of free radicals, neutral and ionic species in the ultraviolet and visible regions of the electromagnetic spectrum, his research has also covered a detailed characterization and modeling of adsorption phenomena associated with trace molecular species on a variety of metallic and non-metallic surfaces in the mid-infrared region via Fourier Transform infrared spectroscopy. He has also worked on the development of a database and spectral library of organic molecules that has relevance to the search for life on other planets, such as Mars. He is currently involved in the detailed characterization of a variety of nanomaterials (e.g. graphene, carbon nanotubes and metal oxides) using Raman Spectroscopy and Molecular Dynamics Simulation.



Department of Physics & Astronomy, Howard University - Washington, DC

August 1997 - Present



Department of Physics & Astronomy, Howard University - Washington, DC

July 2010 - June 2014


Associate Professor

Department of Physics & Astronomy, Howard University - Washington, DC

August 1992 - August 1997


Assistant Professor

Department of Physics & Astronomy, Howard University - Washington, DC

August 1988 - August 1992



Ph.D. (Physics, 1986), The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH
M.S. (Physics, 1981), Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA
M.Sc (Physics, 1978), University of Calcutta, Calcutta, India
B.Sc (Physics Honors, 1975), University of Calcutta, India

Professional Societies

The American Physical Society

Elected Fellow (2015)

1988 - Present

The Optical Society of America

Senior Member (since 2010)

2000 - Present

Fulbright Association

Lifetime Member

2005 - Present

American Society for Laser Medicine & Surgery


2000 - Present

Sigma Xi

President of Howard University Chapter of Sigma Xi (2013-14)

2004 - Present

Professional Service

 • Conference Program Committees & Session Chair
o International Conference on Computational & Experimental Engineering and Sciences (ICCES), Phuket, Thailand (2009)
o International Workshop on the Physics of Semiconductor Devices (IWPSD), Noida, India (2013)
o Optoelectronics, Photonics & Applied Physics (OPAP), Singapore (2013)
o International Conference on Energy Harvesting, Storage and Conversion (IC-EEE), Cochin, India (2015)
• Research Proposal Reviewer
o National Science Foundation (1994, 1996, 2003, 2004, 2013)
o The American Chemical Society (2003)
o National Institutes of Health (1994)
o Agency for International Development (1993)
• Research Journal Reviewer
o Applied Optics (2012)
o Journal of Quantitative Spectroscopy & Radiative Transfer (2009)
o Computers, Materials & Continua (2007-09)
o Journal of Lightwave Technology (2008)
o Journal of Computer Modeling in Engineering & Sciences (2007-08)
• Panel Memberships
o Toshiba/National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) (2014)
o NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program Physics 1 and Astronomy (2012, 2014 & 2015)
o National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate (NDSEG) Fellowship (2011)
o NASA Aeronautics Scholarship Program Evaluation (2011) 


• Robert H. Goddard Team Award for Excellence in Science, 2018

• NASA Astrobiology Institute Research Support (NAI-MIRS) Program Award, 2008 & 2012
• NASA DC Space Grant Consortium Faculty Fellowship Award, 2009 & 2010
• Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Certificate of Appreciation, 2008
• NASA ESMD Faculty Fellowship Award, 2007 & 2008
• Fulbright Scholar Award, 2004-2005
• NASA Administrator’s Fellowship Program Award, 1999-2001
• Johnetta G. Davis Student Service Award, 1998
• Professional Profile Cited in Marquis Who's Who in Science & Engineering, 1992-1993

Selected Publications


2020. "Comparative VIS and NIR Raman and FTIR Spectroscopy of Lunar Analog Samples." Europlanet Science Congress 2020, online [10.5194/epsc2020-427] [Proceedings]

2019. "Raman Spectroscopy of Graphene, Graphite and Graphene Nanoplatelets." 2D Materials [Working Title] [10.5772/intechopen.84527] [Article in Book]

2018. "Raman Spectroscopy of Graphitic Nanomaterials." Raman Spectroscopy [10.5772/intechopen.72769] [Article in Book]

2014. "SAM/MSL Terrestrial Background Spectral Library." NASA Tech Briefs, Software Supplement 23 [Magazine]

2013. "Femtosecond laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy of surface nitrate chemicals." Applied Optics 52 (13): 3049-3057 [10.1364/AO.52.003048] [Journal Article/Letter]

2013. "Thermal effects associated with the Raman spectroscopy of WO3 gas sensor materials." J. Phys. Chem. A 117 13825-13831 [10.1021/jp408303p] [Journal Article/Letter]

2012. "Simulation and modeling of wetting and adsorption phenomena associated with nanomaterials." Computers, Materials & Continua (CMC) 7 (3): 135-142 [10.3970/sl.2012.007.135] [Journal Article/Letter]

2012. "Abrupt changes in neon discharge plasma detected via the optogalvanic effect." Thin Solid Films 521 155-157 [10.1016/j.tsf.2011.12.088] [Journal Article/Letter]

2012. "Feasibility of Q-band EPR dosimetry in biopsy samples of dental enamel, dentine and bone." Appl. Magn. Reson. 44 (3): 375-387 [10.1007/s00723-012-0379-9] [Journal Article/Letter]

2010. "Collisional rate parameters for the 1s4 energy level of neon for 638.3 nm and 650.7 nm transitions from the analyses of the time-dependent optogalvanic signals." J. At. Mol. Sci. 1 (2): 118-125 [10.4208/jams.051509.071209a] [Journal Article/Letter]

2008. "Laser optogalvanic spectroscopy of neon at 659.9 nm in a discharge plasma and nonlinear least-squares fitting of associated waveforms." Nonlinear Analysis 71 (12): e661-e664 [10.1016/] [Journal Article/Letter]