CPN Research Area:
Nanostructures and Photonics Technologies for Energy


Researchers in this field advance the science and application of photonics and nanoscale materials and device technologies in energy-related technologies, for addressing major challenges in energy-efficiency, renewable energy, energy transmission and storage. The area includes collaborations from many disciplines encompassing materials, device technologies, computational, physics, chemistry, and broad range of engineering disciplines.

Lehigh faculty engaged in nanostructure and photonics research for energy applications include the following:

Nelson Tansu, ECENelson Tansu (ECE) and his group members work in the applied physics, material sciences, and device technologies of III-V-Nitride and III-Nitride semiconductor photonics and nanostructures. His group has made contributions and advances encompassing theory/simulation, device physics and physics of nanostructures, new growth method by MOCVD, development of new materials, and innovation in new device concepts by using III-V-Nitride and III-Nitride semiconductor photonics and lasers technologies. The research of his group and collaborators include: high performance InGaAsN QW lasers for telecommunication applications, high efficiency InGaN QW LEDs with large optical matrix design, MOCVD growth of GaN on nano-patterned sapphire substrates, new device concepts for efficiency-droop suppression and light extraction enhancement, and nanostructures for III-Nitride based thermoelectric materials and devices.

Fil Bartoli, ECEFilbert J. Bartoli (ECE) is a leading expert in the fields of plasmonics, biological sensors and imaging, and semiconductor lasers. His work had led to innovations in mid-IR laser and detector technologies. His current research has focused on the use of plasmonic technologies for development of biosensors with extraordinary sensitivity, nanostructures with improved collection efficiency in solar cells, and grating structures applicable in telecommunication devices. In addition, Bartoli’s group has also worked in development of device and systems for biosensing and bioimaging applications.

Jim Hwang, ECEJames C. M. Hwang (ECE) is a leading expert in compound semiconductor devices, specifically related to high speed and high performance electronics and photonics devices. Hwang’s group has broad range of interest encompassing high speed transistors, novel photonics devices, and MEMS based device technologies. His group has extensive experience in performing high speed characterization for both electronics and  optoelectronics devices.

Yujie DIng, ECEYujie Ding (ECE) is a leading expert in nonlinear optics, nanostructure physics, and THz technologies. Ding’s group has a broad range of interest in photonics, and his group has made pioneering advances in many topics related to development of sources and detectors in THz spectral regimes. In addition to THz science and engineering, Ding’s group has extensive expertise in working with nanostructure physics and novel materials for biological, telecommunication, and homeland security.

Miltiadis K. Hatalis, ECEMiltiadis K. Hatalis (ECE) is a leading expert in research related to display and flexible electronics. His group conducts research on new circuits and systems for flexible electronics and displays, based on silicon and other novel materials. The Hatalis group works closely with industry in solving some of the important challenges in display technologies.

Volkmar Dierolf, PhysicsVolkmar Dierolf (Phyics) is a leading expert in optical spectroscopy and characterization of novel materials covering the deep UV to IR spectral regimes. Dierolf’s group is known as a leading developer of optical instrumentation for enabling the optical characterization with nanoscale resolution, and collaborates closely with applied physicists and engineers in understanding the fundamental physics of materials. In addition to semiconductor materials, his group also works on ferromagnetic and spintronic materials.

Ivan Biaggio, PhysicsIvan Biaggio (Phyics) is an expert in ultrafast optics, nonlinear optics, and optical spectroscopy of novel materials. Biaggio’s group worked intensively on organic materials and novel nonlinear optical with large nonlinear optical coefficients. His group has been credited with the identification of organic materials with very large nonlinear optical coefficients.

Michael Stavola, PhysicsMichael J. Stavola (Physics) is a leading expert in the physics of defects in semiconductors and transparent conducting oxides, an area critical to the understanding of electronic and photonic materials and devices. Stavola investigates hydrogen defects in various materials, contributing significantly to the understanding of the hydrogen defects in silicon material, which is important for improving the efficiency of Si solar cells.

Slava V. Rotkin, PhysicsSlava V. Rotkin (Physics) is a leading expert in the theoretical physics with a focus on nanostructures and solid state physics. Rotkin has made significant contributions in understanding the electronics and optical physics of 1-D systems specifically in carbon nanotubes. His group has also worked on various fundamental topics in nanostructures and carbon nanotubes, including the thermal and thermoelectric properties in these systems.

Jim Gilchrist, ChE James  F. Gilchrist (ChE) is a leading expert in deposition and synthesis of colloidal particles. The Gilchrist group worked on understanding the fundamental deposition process of colloidal particles, and has also worked closely with other collaborators in various applications of colloidal technologies.

Mark Snyder, ChEMark A. Snyder (ChE) is a leading expert in synthesis of novel colloidal particle technologies. His group has made significant contributions in engineering nanoparticles with novel materials and structures for applications in biorefinery and energy, as well as designing nanomaterials for efficient reaction and separation technologies.

D. Vezenov, ChemistryDimitri Vezenov (Chemistry) is a leading expert in intermolecular interactions in soft matter, chemical force microscopy, bio-nano-photonics, analytical microdevices, controlled synthesis and assembly of materials at meso-scale. His interests focus on the understanding and controlling interactions in chemical systems at small scale (microns to nanometers).

Kai Landskron, ChemistryKai Landskron (Chemistry) is a leading expert in the synthesis of nanoporous inorganic and organic-inorganic hybrid solid state materials. His group investigates the structural, physical, and chemical properties of nanoporous materials and their potential applications. One of his major research focuses is on the high-pressure chemistry of periodic mesoporous materials. In addition, his interests include mesoporous high-pressure phases such as stishovite, diamond, and cubic boron nitride.

S. Neti, MechESudhakar Neti (MEM) is a leading expert in computational methods for flow and heat transfer, including two-phase flow and heat transfer, heat and mass transfer in desiccants, power plant performance measurement, transport processes in micro-channels, non-Newtonian flow and heat transfer. In addition, his group collaborates on the investigation of thermal properties and thermal management in electronics and optoelectronics devices.

Jim Gilchrist, ChENicholas Strandwitz (MSE) joins the Lehigh faculty in January of 2013. His research area is related to the investigation of water splitting process and solar hydrogen in III-V semiconductors and other nanostructures. His expertise will complement existing capability at Lehigh in pursuing solutions for clean energy storage technologies.

Jim Gilchrist, ChE
Jim Gilchrist (above) studies applications in LEDs and solar cells for particle self-assembly at the nanoscale.      More > > >

Other Research

Near-field radiation offers unconventional cooling for overheated laptops
Consumers expect regular improvements in information technology, says Slava Rotkin, but these advances often come with a cost.

Reaching for the sky
Sudhakar Neti believes that phase-change materials could optimize the storage of solar thermal energy.

Bridging the "green" LED gap
Nelson Tansu is engineering nanostructures in the quantum wells of nitride semiconductors in an effort to boost the efficiency of green LED light and thus the radiative efficiency of the overall white LED.

A most versatile metal foil
Stainless steel and the benefits of flexible displays, courtesy of Milt Hatalis and his research group