Charles M. Vest Distinguished University Professor of Electrical Engineering
and Computer Science and James R. Mellor Professor of Engineering, has been
elected to the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) for his contributions
to quantum-dot optoelectronic devices and integrated optoelectronics.
Election to the National Academy of Engineering is among the highest
professional distinctions conferred on an engineer.
Founded in 1964, the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) provides
engineering leadership in service to the nation. The NAE operates under the
same congressional act of incorporation that established the National
Academy of Sciences, signed in 1863 by President Lincoln. Under this charter
the NAE is directed "whenever called upon by any department or agency of the
government, to investigate, examine, experiment, and report upon any subject
of science or art."
Since coming to the University of Michigan in 1984, Prof. Bhattacharya
has pioneered technological advances in synthetically modulated
semiconductor structures, nanophotonic devices, and other optoelectronic
device and integrated circuit developments. One of his first important
breakthroughs was discovery and subsequent elucidation of quantum dot formation, accomplished with
his colleague Jasprit Singh. Later in 1996, with his graduate students and
colleague Ted Norris, Bhattacharya demonstrated the first room temperature
quantum dot laser. Quantum dot lasers outperform other semiconductor lasers,
and are finding numerous applications in communications and other areas.
Bhattacharya subsequently worked on quantum dot infrared photodetectors,
capable of operating at high temperatures, with his graduate student (and
now colleague) Jamie Phillips. These detectors are now being inserted into
He is currently working on high-speed and high-power quantum dot lasers,
quantum dot infrared photodetectors, photonic crystal quantum dot devices,
and spin-based heterostructure devices. His group recently demonstrated the
first semiconductor based spin valve, spin amplifier, and an electrically
injected spin laser.
Reflecting on these years of discovery, Prof. Bhattacharya stated, "This
has been an incredible journey. There were a lot of non-believers of the
potential of these nanostructures and those who proclaimed that quantum dots
would not amount to much. But through the complementary work of Norris,
Singh, Rachel Goldman (Materials Science and Engineering) and Brad Orr
(Physics), and of groups elsewhere, we laid a very strong foundation. The
ensuing science and device physics and technology have been very exciting."
Professor Bhattacharya is currently Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of
Physics D. He has edited Properties of Lattice-Matched and Strained
InGaAs (UK: INSPEC, 1993) and Properties of III-V Quantum Wells and
Superlattices (UK: INSPEC, 1996). He authored the textbook
Semiconductor Optoelectronic Devices (Prentice Hall, 2nd edition), which
is still used worldwide.
Professor Bhattacharya has received many professional honors and awards,
including the 2008 John Bardeen Award, the John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship, the IEEE (EDS) Paul Rappaport Award, the IEEE (LEOS) Engineering Achievement Award, the Optical
Society of America (OSA) Nick Holonyak Award, the SPIE Technical Achievement
Award, the Quantum Devices Award of the International Symposium on Compound
Semiconductors, and the IEEE Nanotechnology Pioneer Award. At the University
of Michigan, he was awarded the S. S. Attwood Award, the Ted Kennedy Family
Team Excellence Award, and the Research Excellence Award from the College of
Engineering, and the University of Michigan Distinguished Faculty
Achievement Award. He is a Fellow of IEEE, the American Physical Society,
the Institute of Physics (UK), and the Optical Society of America.