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Nanostructures and Devices


Solid-state devices form the basis of integrated circuits, which have a variety of electronic, optoelectronic, and magnetic applications. The research in this field is concerned with design, fabrication and characterization of novel materials and devices with sub-micron feature sizes. Their potential applications include very high-speed devices, optical sources and detectors, optoelectronic components and all-optical devices. The design and fabrication of devices and integrated circuits are inextricably related to device physics, solid-state materials, and sophisticated processing techniques. Our program is designed to provide hands-on training in both experimental and theoretical aspects of cutting-edge technology and also to develop knowledge of a broad range of devices and materials.

Graduate Courses

ECEN 5385, Optical Properties of Materials
ECEN 5645, Optical Electronics
ECEN 5355, Principles of Electronic Devices
ECEN 5365, Semiconductor Materials and Devices I
ECEN 6365, Semiconductor Materials and Devices II
ECEN 5345, Introduction to Solid State
ECEN 5375, Microstructures Laboratory

Additional courses are offered on amorphous semiconductors, applied superconductivity, VLSI advanced process technologies, crystal structures, and advanced optoelectronic devices.

Research Topics

The research in progress ranges from fundamental growth and properties of materials to nanolithography and optical devices. Examples of topics of interest are thin semiconductor, insulator and metal films, growth, interface states and characterization; solar cells; fabrication, electron-beam lithography, characterization and theoretical simulation studies; high transition temperature bulk and thin film superconductor materials and devices; physics, fabrication and characterization of quantum well (QW) structures and novel optoelectronic devices; QW structures fabricated by metalorganic vapor phase epitaxy (MOVPE); strained piezoelectric [111}A-oriented InGaAs/GaAs QW structures; double confinement laser devices for operation in the 1.0-1.3 mm wavelength range; wide bandgap semiconductor materials and devices, including SiC bipolar transistors; liquid crystal devices; infrared detectors; ultra-high speed photonic devices; thin film, high temperature superconductors fabricated by laser evaporation for use as optical and magnetic sensors; theoretical modeling of nano-photonic devices based on photonic crystals; fabrication of photonic crystal devices by self-assembly of nano-particles; and optical characterizations of novel luminescent materials and photonic crystals.


F.S. Barnes (Ph.D., Stanford), solid-state lasers, microlenses, and microwave devices.

J. Gopinath (Ph.D., MIT), ultrafast and high power lasers, semiconductor lasers, wavelength beam combining, spectroscopy, nonlinear processes in fibers, mid-infrared sources, and optofluidics.

G. Moddel (Ph.D., Harvard), thin film optoelectronic devices.

W. Park (Ph.D., Georgia Tech), nanoscale photonic materials and devices.

M. Popovic (Ph.D., MIT), silicon micro/nanophotonics; nano-optomechanics, light forces and light-force-driven photonic "machines"; self-adaptive, nonlinear and quantum photonic devices; energy-efficient devices; scalable CMOS photonics-electronics integration; on-chip optical interconnects (for multi-core microprocessors/DRAM, telecom, signal processing); general photonic circuit theory.

S. Shaheen (Ph.D., University of Arizona), organic photovoltaic materials and devices; organic electronic devices and neuromorphic circuitry.

B. Van Zeghbroeck (Ph.D., Colorado), microfabrication, wide bandgap semiconductor devices, and silicon optoelectronics.

Emeritus Faculty

A. Majerfeld (Ph.D., Stanford), epitaxial growth, physics and device applications of III-V semiconductor nanometric structures.


The Microfabrication Research and Teaching Laboratory offers a broad range of microelectronics and MEMS fabrication tools suitable for a wide variety of research activities and is accessible to University researchers as well as the local community. The 3,000 sq. ft. lab consists of a cleanroom with full lithography capability, multiple etch and deposition tools, several types of microscopes, including an SEM, and an extensive on-chip test and measurement capability. Visit the website for more information.

The III-V Semiconductor Laboratory, which is housed in a class 1000 clean room, has an MOVPE reactor for epitaxial growth of InxGa1-xAs, Alx Ga1-xAs, quantum-well structures and equipment for fabrication of optoelectronic devices.

The Crystal Structure Laboratory has several X-ray generators, an automatic diffractometer, a Mossbauer facility, and high-pressure equipment.

The Thin Film Laboratory includes plasma and CVD deposition systems to deposit thin films for optoelectronics, evaporators, liquid crystal device fabrication facilities, and an electron-beam lithography facility.

The Nano-Photonic Device Laboratory includes facilities for synthesis of nano-particles and luminescent materials, self-assembly of nano-particles, laser spectroscopy, and numerical modeling of nano-photonic devices.

The characterization facilities include SEM, X-ray fluorescence and microprobe, cathodoluminescence, photoluminescence, deep-level trap spectroscopy, electrolytic profiler, automated mobility and carrier density, ellipsometry, FTIR, and resistivity mapper.

Current Research Support

Research support is provided by the National Science Foundation, the Office of Naval Research, Nanomaterials Research Corporation, the U.S. Air Force, Dayton, Astralux, and Phiar. Research assistantships are available to qualified students.