From Microelectronics Lab to MNTL

Thanks to the leadership of ECE Professor Greg Stillman, the vision of semiconductor industry leaders, and the financial backing of the state, HMNTL opened in 1989 as the Microelectronics Laboratory and home of the National Science Foundation Center for Compound Semiconductor Microelectronics (CCSM).

Over its 10-year lifespan, the CCSM conducted fundamental research that was critical to the realization of products based on high-speed optical interconnect technologies. CCSM researchers developed new concepts, materials, devices, and systems to help eliminate interconnection bottlenecks that were limiting the performance of high-speed digital systems. CCSM directors included Stillman, ECE Professor Joe Verdeyen (1988-89), and ECE Professor Steve Bishop (1989-2000).

In 2002, Microelectronics Lab Director Ilesanmi Adesida expanded the facility’s mission to include biotechnology; the building was renamed the Micro & Nanotechnology Lab to signal a broader capacity for research in the areas of biotechnology, microelectronics, nanotechnology, and photonics.

Here’s a summary of former core faculty and their research interests while they were at HMNTL during the last 25 years.

  • Ilesanmi Adesida: nanoscale semiconductor processing techniques and the realization of ultra-high-speed optoelectronic devices and circuits.
  • Steve Bishop: characterization of crystalline and amorphous semiconductors; rare earth-doped chalcogenide glasses and GaN.
  • K.Y. Norman Cheng: research and development of semiconductor heterostructure materials and devices using MBE.
  • Shun Lien Chuang: optoelectronics, semiconductor device physics, semiconductor lasers, modulators, quantum electronics, and electromagnetics.
  • Jim Coleman: research and development of III-V semiconductor lasers and optical devices grown by MOCVD.
  • Nick Holonyak Jr.: semiconductor devices and physics, stable native oxides and their use in heterostructure devices, VCSELs, transistor laser
  • K.C. Hsieh: semiconductor materials, device processing and characterization.
  • Greg Stillman: ultra-pure GaAs characterization and avalanche photodetector development.

Today, HMNTL is one of the premier university-based research facilities in the United States for advanced research in photonics, microelectronics, biotechnology and nanotechnology.