Jarod Meyer has taken full advantage of the undergraduate research opportunities at Illinois and won an Outstanding Presentation Trophy at this year’s GCURS.

Holonyak Lab student receives Outstanding Presentation Trophy at GCURS

One of the draws of the University of Illinois is the opportunity to conduct research as part of an undergraduate degree. This allows students to gain experience and give them an edge on the job market. Holonyak Lab senior Jarod Meyer has taken full advantage of this opportunity and it resulted in him winning an Outstanding Presentation Trophy at this year’s Gulf Coast Undergraduate Research Symposium (GCURS) at Rice University.

The conference experience was a new one for Meyer, and definitely a positive one.

Jarod Meyer
Jarod Meyer

“I was nervous going in, even though I’d practiced a lot, because I’d never been at a conference before,” said Meyer, a materials science and engineering student. “I was able to give a talk that people enjoyed, and it’s nice to know people are interested in something I’ve been working on for over a year.”

Meyer’s research, titled “Impact of Defects on Shockley-Read-Hall and Radiative Recombination in Bulk GaN under Weak Excitation,” involves improving the efficiency of LEDs.

“Right now for LEDs, there isn’t an efficient emitter in the green range,” said Meyer. “If you want to make a white LED, you have to use a blue LED with a yellow phosphor. This approach has a loss in efficiency, but if you had an efficient green LED you could mix red, green, and blue light to make a more efficient and cheaper white LED.”

Can Bayram
Can Bayram

Filling the “green gap,” as it’s called, could result in longer-lasting, more efficient and cheaper lighting that is also safer and more durable than current incandescent lights. Meyer, along with adviser and Holonyak Lab Professor Can Bayram, are specifically looking at how impurities in gallium nitride, the main material in LEDs, can lead to recombination inefficiencies in LEDs. Jarod submitted a first-authored journal paper about this research and is planning to apply his work to devices in the future.

“Held annually, GCURS welcomes hundreds of students from around the world to present their original research discoveries,” said Bayram, electrical and computer engineering professor. “I am glad that Jarod’s innovative work crosscutting material science and photonic devices was well-received with the trophy. This certainly shows University of Illinois undergraduate research is not only fun but also impactful.”

Meyer’s conference experiences were funded in part by the GCURS Travel Award and a University of Illinois Office of Undergraduate Research Conference Travel Award. This work is supported by the National Science Foundation Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Program.