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2016 - Hiroyuki Matsunami

Hiroyuki Matsunami

Recognizing early on the potential that silicon carbide (SiC) held for outperforming conventional semiconductor materials in advanced power electronics, Hiroyuki Matsunami has developed many critical breakthroughs to provide SiC-based energy-saving devices. Important to the adoption of SiC for power devices was Matsunami’s step-controlled epitaxial growth technique, which enabled single-crystal growth and overcame the barrier of polytype mixing problems. His demonstration of the first high-voltage SiC Schottky barrier diodes for reducing power dissipation during energy conversion is considered a milestone in SiC power device development. Matsunami also played a pioneering role in establishing SiC power metal-oxide semiconductor field-effect transistor technologies. The devices made possible by Matsunami’s innovations are being utilized today in trains, high-speed elevators, and hybrid vehicles and are realizing huge energy savings benefitting the environment.

An IEEE Life Fellow, Matsunami is a Professor Emeritus with Kyoto University, Yawata, Kyoto, Japan.


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2015 - Pallab Bhattacharya

Pallab Bhattacharya

A pioneer of near-infrared and visible quantum dot (QD) laser technology, Pallab Bhattacharya continues to be a leader in developing high-performance lasers impacting optical communication and medical and mobile projector applications. Prof. Bhattacharya was one of the first to demonstrate a room-temperature QD laser in 1996. He then demonstrated the tunnel injection method to enable QD lasers with high-speed modulation and high temperature stability. In 2011, he demonstrated the first nitride-based visible QD lasers with lower threshold than equivalent quantum well lasers. His 630-nm red QD laser is the longest ever emission wavelength achieved with nitride materials. His work on incorporating QD lasers on silicon substrates has important implications for realizing on-chip optical interconnections and signal processing.

An IEEE Life Fellow, Dr. Bhattacharya is a professor of electrical engineering and computer science with the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, USA.


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2014 - Larry A. Coldren

Larry A. Coldren

Larry A. Coldren’s development and commercialization of key laser and photonics technologies have been integral to enhancing the capacity and spectral efficiency of high-capacity optical transmission systems. Perhaps his most outstanding innovation was the conception, development, and commercialization of the sampled-grating distributed-Bragg-reflector laser. Containing a modulator and amplifier fabricated on the same chip as a widely-tunable laser, this device is the workhorse transmitter for high-capacity lightwave transmission systems in many of today’s telecom networks. Dr. Coldren also made seminal contributions to the design of vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers, which are integral to routing e-mail and Internet traffic. He is a technical authority on photonic integrated circuits, whose functionality, low cost, and small footprint will play an important role in ultra-high-speed optical systems.

An IEEE Life Fellow, Dr. Coldren is the Fred Kavli Professor of Optoelectronics and Sensors at the University of California, Santa Barbara, CA, USA.


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2013 - Sajeev John

Sajeev John

Sajeev John’s pioneering research on using photonic crystals to capture and process light has enabled the unprecedented control of light flow in optical microchips. Dr. John has provided the framework for using photonic crystals to direct light within the photonic band gap, much like traditional semiconductors process electrons in electronic chips. Dr. John’s light-capturing materials prevent light from diffracting, scattering, and ultimately escaping a chip to allow for microscopic control of photons in an optical microchip. Photonic materials based on Dr. John’s work have found applications in optical communications, lighting technologies, and microstructured optical fibers used for endoscopic laser surgery. His theoretical models also show promise for high-efficiency solar energy harvesting, metallic photonic crystal filaments with laser-like light emission, and three-dimensional optical waveguide circuits for all-optical information processing.

An IEEE member, Dr. John is a professor with the Department of Physics at the University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, and a Government of Canada Research Chair holder.


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2012 - Hideo Ohno

Photo of 2012 IEEE David Sarnoff Award recipient, Hideo Ohno

Hideo Ohno’s vision and leadership in integrating semiconductor technology with spin-transport electronics has built the foundation for the field of spintronics and enabled advanced magnetic-based memory and logic circuits at the nanometer scale. Dr. Ohno’s research on synthesizing a new class of ferromagnetic semiconductors during the late 1980s led to new device concepts that combined spin and charge degrees of freedom and demonstrated control of ferromagnetism by electric fields. He further developed these ferromagnetic semiconductors to demonstrate electrical injection of spin-polarized circuits in ferromagnetic heterostructures (1999), control of ferromagnetic phase transition using electric fields (2000), and electric control of magnetization direction (2008). Dr. Ohno also developed a nonvolatile magnetic tunnel junction (MTJ) that demonstrated a world-record tunnel magnetoresistance of over 600%. In 2010, he developed a perpendicular anisotropy MTJ capable of integration at dimensions as small as 40 nm.

An IEEE Member, Dr. Ohno is currently a professor at the Laboratory for Nanoelectronics and Spintronics within the Research Institute of Electrical Communication at Tohoku University, Sendai, Japan, where he also directs the Center for Spintronics Integrated Systems.


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2011 - C. J. Chang-Hasnain

2011 Sarnoff recipient photo

C.J. Chang-Hasnain’s groundbreaking contributions to the physics and design of vertical cavity surface emitting lasers (VCSELs) have been instrumental in establishing VCSELs as the dominant technology for multimode fiber applications. Used in applications ranging from Ethernet data networks to computer mice to laser printers, VCSELs can be turned on and off very fast and manufactured at very low cost in wafer-scale. Dr. Chang-Hasnain explained the modal structure of VCSELs and demonstrated the first planar structure, which was commercialized. She was first to demonstrate multi-wavelength VCSEL array for multimode-fiber interconnects and 140-wavelength array with precise wavelength variation. She developed the first tunable VCSEL structure with a wide tuning range and later invented a high-contrast grating, which led to a tunable laser with a 160x speed improvement.  An IEEE Fellow, Dr. Chang-Hasnain is currently the John R. Whinnery Chair Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA.


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2010 - Mark Rodwell

Mark J.W. Rodwell

Mark J.W. Rodwell’s development of millimeter- and sub-millimeter-wave indium phosphide (InP) heterojunction bipolar transistors (HBTs) has extended the limits of high-frequency radio, high-speed optical communications and powerful imaging applications. During the mid 1990s, Dr. Rodwell sought a breakthrough in the InP HBT fabrication process to boost the device’s maximum frequency of oscillation and extend its circuit applications beyond microwave frequencies. Transistors and a series of circuits fundamental to high-frequency communications were subsequently demonstrated, establishing the feasibility of transistors with operating frequencies as high as 1–3 terahertz. Dr. Rodwell’s work has enabled development of ultra-high speed wireless radios/links in the previously never reached spectra of the “Terahertz Gap” for short-distance and portable communications and high-resolution cameras/imagers for detecting concealed objects.
An IEEE Fellow, Dr. Rodwell is currently a professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and director of the Nanofabrication Laboratory at the University of California, Santa Barbara, CA, USA.


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2009 - Yasuhiko Arakawa, Kam Lau, and Kerry J. Vahala

2009 Sarnoff recipients

The combined work of Yasuhiko Arakawa, Kam Y. Lau, and Kerry J. Vahala formed the basis for nearly all of today’s high-speed semiconductor laser design for lightwave high-speed telecommunications, particularly in the metropolitan and local-area arena. They not only established the physical principles required for high-information-rate transmission by directly modulating the lasers but also demonstrated the underlying physics and performance benefits of electronic quantum confinement to achieve the goal. Dr. Lau’s groundbreaking work in the early 1980s introduced the relationship between the relaxation oscillation frequency of the laser and differential optical gain—a material design property—and verified this relationship by operating a laser at low temperature, demonstrating that a higher differential gain would result in an increased modulation bandwidth. Dr. Arakawa and Dr. Vahala predicted in 1984 that quantum confinement could enhance differential gain and improve modulation speed per Lau’s findings. Subsequent work by these three proved that to be the first experimental verification that quantum-confined lasers have high relaxation oscillation frequencies. Their fundamental, theoretical and experimental breakthroughs have proven to have had a lasting impact on today’s Internet.

An IEEE Fellow, Dr. Arakawa is currently the director of the Institute for Nano Quantum Information Electronics and a professor of the Research Center for Advanced Science and Technology at the University of Tokyo.

An IEEE Fellow, Dr. Lau is Professor Emeritus at the University of California, Berkeley. Formerly he was founding Chief Scientist at Ortel Corp., a leading supplier of linear fiber-optic subsystems for Hybrid Fiber Coax (HFC) infrastructure. Ortel was acquired by Lucent in 2000. In 1997 Dr. Lau co-found LGC Wireless Inc., an equipment supplier for in-building wireless coverage and capacity solutions. LGC was acquired by ADC Telecom (NASDAQ:ADCT) in 2007.

An IEEE Senior Member, Dr. Vahala is currently the Ted and Ginger Jenkins Professor of Information Science and Technology and professor of applied physics at the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA, USA.


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2008 - James J. Coleman

James Coleman

James J. Coleman is an expert in laser design and leader in the field of optoelectronics. He is currently the Intel Alumni Endowed Chair in Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. His study of strain-layered lasers led to the development of the 980 nm pump laser used throughout fiber-optic telecommunications systems. Prior to his current position, Dr. Coleman worked at Rockwell International, where he helped develop the metalorganic chemical vapor deposition (MOCVD) process used to grow III-V semiconductor lasers and photonic devices, which are used for optical storage and medical applications. An IEEE Fellow and co-author of 375 journal publications and 7 patents, Dr. Coleman has received several awards and honors, including the IEEE William Streifer Scientific Achievement Award and was an IEEE LEOS distinguished lecturer. He holds a bachelor’s,  masters and doctorate, all in electrical engineering, from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. 


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2007 - Umesh K. Mishra

Professor and associate dean of the College of Engineering at the University of California in Santa Barbara, Umesh Mishra is a leader in developing compound semiconductor electronics and a driving force behind the rapid progress in gallium nitride (GaN)-based microwave devices and circuits.

He began his career researching gallium arsenide and indium phosphide (InP) high electron mobility transistors (HEMTs) for low noise amplifiers, which became the leading receiver technology for many space-based platforms. Dr. Mishra’s research group was the first to demonstrate that the unique wide bandgap and electron transport properties of gallium nitride could be harnessed to create devices with an unprecedented combination of high-frequency performance and microwave power output. Since then, Dr. Mishra has continued to make key advances in both the fundamental understanding and the technological exploitation of GaN/A1GaN HEMT devices.

An IEEE Fellow, Dr. Mishra has a bachelor’s from the Indian Institute of Technology in Kanpur, India, a master’s from Lehigh University in Bethlehem, PA, and a doctorate from Cornell University in Ithaca, NY, all in electrical engineering.


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2006 - Mau-Chung Frank Chang

Mau Frank Chang

Dr. Mau-Chung Frank Chang is regarded as the driving force behind the development and commercialization of GaAs-based heterostructure bipolar transistors (HBT). He took what was once considered theoretical technology and enabled reliable, readily manufactured commercial devices critical to the broadband, linear, efficient and low-cost power amplifiers in most of today’s cellular telephones and wireless local area networks (WLANs).

Now professor and vice chair of electrical engineering at the University of California, Los Angeles, Dr. Chang pioneered the development and technology transfer of the GaAs HBT while a staff member at the Rockwell Science Center in Thousand Oaks, California. Today, about 80 percent of cellular telephones and all the WLAN systems use the GaAs HBT technology that he developed for use in power amplification in transmitters. 

He also led the successful HBT technology transfer and production implementation effort to develop HBT materials grown with carbon instead of beryllium for the mass production of GaAs HBTs, boosting its long term reliability by at least a million times.


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2005 - Pierre Tournois

For more than 30 years, Dr. Pierre Tournois, co-founder and scientific director of FASTLITE in Palaiseau, France, has made significant contributions to the development of pulse compression technology for radar, sonar and optical lasers. In 1964, he invented the Gires-Tournois Interferometer (GTI), the first device to compress optical laser pulses now used in basic and applied research, laser designs, and more recently, optical communications. Dr. Tournois also invented the DAZZLER, an acousto-optic programmable pulse shaper, with a simple computer interface, designed to help chemists control photochemical reactions at will and to help physicists explore how atoms behave on the scale of one quintillionth of a second.

He is a founding member of the French National Academy of Technologies. Dr. Tournois also is an emeritus member of the French Societé de l'Electricité , de l'Electronique et des Technologies de l'Information et de la Communication.


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2004 - Frederick A. Kish, Jr.

A trailblazer in the design and fabrication of ultra-high brightness LEDs, Dr. Frederick A. Kish, Jr. developed revolutionary designs and processes for LEDs utilizing direct wafer bonding to costeffectively increase their luminous efficiency. This advance spearheaded the introduction of solid-state lighting in many applications. At Hewlett-Packard Company in Palo Alto, California, Dr. Kish successfully led the commercial introduction of high-efficiency wafer-bonded transparent-substrate AlGaInP LEDs. Now produced by LumiLeds Lighting, an Agilent/H-P/Philips Lighting joint venture, they have become the dominant technology in red, orange and yellow automotive, traffic and power signaling.

An IEEE Senior Member, Dr. Kish has received the IEEE Lasers and Electro-Optics Society Engineering Achievement Award and the Optical Society of America's Adolph Lomb Medal. He holds more than 30 U.S. patents and has co-authored more than 45 papers. He serves as vice president of development and manufacturing for Infinera in Sunnyvale, California.


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2003 - Peter Asbeck

Peter M. Asbeck's work has greatly advanced the physics, fabrication and applications of heterojunction bipolar transistors (HBTs). As a result of his focused efforts, gallium arsenide HBT technology has evolved into a mainstream microwave device technology that is now widely used in high-speed optical fiber links for driving lasers and modulators. Approximately half of the 450 million cellular phones produced annually employ technology pioneered by Dr. Asbeck.

A Fellow of the IEEE, he also is a distinguished lecturer for the IEEE Electron Devices and IEEE Microwave Theory and Techniques Societies.He holds 11 patents and has contributed to more than 200 research publications. His honors include being named Engineer of the Year from Rockwell International Science Center. He is a professor at the University of California at San Diego.


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2002 - Young-Kai Chen

Dr. Chen and his team at Bell Laboratories, demonstrated frequencies well beyond 100 GHz in indium phosphide based heterojunction bipolar transistors in 1988. This technology paved the way for the use of InP/GaInAs as a material system in wireless communications. Among his contributions to ultrafast devices is a groundbreaking, colliding pulse mode-locked semiconductor laser, which generates very short optical pulses. His team also pioneered integrated electro-absorption modulator/DFB lasers which are the workhorses of today’s fiber communications networks.

A Fellow of the IEEE, Dr. Chen holds 10 patents and has contributed to more than 100 papers. He is the recipient of the 1993 Young Scientist Award and Under-40 GaAs Medal from the 20th International GaAs and Related Compound Symposium. Dr. Chen is the director of High Speed Electronics Research at Bell Labs where he leads a group exploring high-speed electronics and optoelectronics for optic fiber communications networks.


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