MNTL Hilights report web (Apr. 2016) - Page 29

ECE doctoral student GLORIA SEE came to the University of Illinois after working in testing at BAE Systems and the Air Force Research Labs. As a member of Professor Brian Cunningham’s group, See is conducting research using photonic crystals to enhance quantum dot (QD) performance. By developing new methods to control polarization, intensity, and angular output, QDs can be used for improved performance in large-area displays. See recently published research results where she successfully embedded QDs in novel polymer materials that retain strong quantum efficiency, and she used electrohydrodynamic jet (e-jet) printing technology to precisely print the QD-embedded polymers onto photonic crystal structures. This research may enable the fabrication of brighter, cheaper, and more efficient displays. Currently, See is being funded by Dow Chemical to build upon her novel device structure and investigate how the integration of photonic crystals into a MEMS device can produce different methods of controlling QD-output. “I’m really proud of the last paper that I published, because I don’t think it was very obvious that that structure would be as effective as we made it,” said See, who graduated in December 2015. “The [Illinois] faculty and staff are amazing. There hasn’t been anybody who I’ve asked for help that has not gone way out of their way to be very helpful, or to connect me with someone who would be better to help me out. That kind of community is a great thing to have.” CURTIS WANG’S interest in research began several years ago when he joined Professor Milton Feng’s group as an undergraduate research assistant, exploring microwave integrated circuits. As a graduate student, Wang’s research has focused on the transistor laser, a high-speed, 3-terminal device that his advisor co-invented with Professor Nick Holonyak Jr. in 2004. The transistor laser functions like a normal transistor, except that one of its outputs is infrared light rather than electricity, which could enable next-generation military and consumer optoelectronic applications. More recently, Wang used MNTL’s state-of-theart high-speed measurement equipment to characterize his colleagues’ Vertical Cavity Surface Emitting Laser (VCSEL), which achieved 52-gigabit/second error-free transmission—a new record. In the spring of 2015, Wang received a prestigious National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate (NDSEG) fellowship from the Department of Defense, which are awarded to only 200 promising graduate students nationwide each year. According to Wang, this fellowship allows him to not only pursue the device physics, layout, design, and fabrication of high-speed semiconductor lasers, but also the application of ultra-fast data transfer and real-time imaging. “Especially, I am passionate about the new frontiers that the transistor laser can bring forth in the thriving Internet-of-everything age.” MNTL HIGHLIGHTS REPORT 29