The fourth wave: ultrawide bandgap compound semiconductors for photonics and electronics

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Xiaohang Li, Assistant Professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering


Wide bandgap (WBG) compound semiconductors including GaN have shown enormous success in solid-state lighting, display, and electrification in recent decades due to superior properties such as direct bandgap, high electron mobility, and large breakdown field. They have been changing the world by elevating living standards and addressing grand challenges such as global warming. The pioneering researchers have been recognized by numerous accolades including the Nobel Prize and most recently, the Queen Elizabeth Prize. Lately, the III-nitride and III-oxide ultrawide bandgap (UWBG) compound semiconductors with bandgap larger than 3.4 eV have attracted increasing attentions: they have been regarded as the 4th wave/generation after the consequential Si, III-V, and WBG semiconductors. Because the UWBG along with other properties could enable electronics and photonics to operate with significantly greater power and frequency capability and at much shorter far−deep UV wavelengths, respectively, both crucial for human society. Besides, they could be employed for the revolutionary quantum information science as the host and photonic platform. However, extensive multi-disciplinary studies of growth, materials, physics, and devices are essential to unearth the potentials due to the infancy. This seminar would cover the latest research on those aspects. It includes growth of state-of-the-art materials, discovery of unique material properties, and development of a widely adopted device physics framework for photonics and electronics especially short and long wavelength photonic devices.

Brief Biography

Xiaohang obtained Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology where he received the Institute’s highest graduate student honor, the Edison Prize. Afterwards, he has been an Assistant Professor of ECE at KAUST. At KAUST, he has graduated one Ph.D. and seven M.S. students, and he has trained over 50 students including many female and underrepresented students. His research focuses on growth, materials, physics, and devices of wide and ultrawide bandgap semiconductors for photonics and electronics. He has authored over 90 journal and 130 conference publications. He is the recipient of several prestigious young researcher awards including the Harold M. Manasevit Young Investigator Award from the American Association for Crystal Growth, the SPIE D. J. Lovell Scholarship, and the IEEE Photonics Graduate Student Fellowship. He has served as an Associate Editor of the OSA Photonics Research and as a committee member of several leading conferences including IWN and IC-MOVPE.

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