The Center for Nanophotonics conducts research and development on manipulation of photons-electrons in nano-scale materials for innovative photonic devices and emerging technologies. The Center’s research areas cover a broad spectrum, ranging from basic to applied, and dealing with state-of-the-art nano-scale material synthesis, fundamental physics, device fabrication and testing.
In particular, our research is dedicated to the advancement of III-nitride wide bandgap semiconductors (BN, GaN, AlN, AlGaN, InGaN, and InAlGaN). These semiconductors are recognized as a very important technological material system for the fabrication of optoelectronic devices operating in the blue and UV spectral regions and electronic devices capable of operating under high power and high temperature conditions. Our group’s concentration areas are epitaxial growth, micro- and nano-structure and device fabrication, and fundamental optical and transport investigations. We have pioneered the developments of the following emerging technologies:
- Growth of wafer scale (up to 2-inch in diameter) hexagonal boron nitride (hBN) epitaxial layers by MOCVD. Achieved p-type hexagonal boron nitride epilayers by in-situ Mg doping using MOCVD. These materials will be highly useful for deep ultraviolet photonics/optoelectronics, neutron detection, graphene electronic and photonic devices;
- Deep UV LEDs and deep UV and extreme UV detectors based on III-nitrides for applications of probing intrinsic fluorescence in protein, equipment/personnel decontamination, photocatalysis, EUV metrology and astronomy
- Neutron detectors based on semiconducting hexagonal boron nitride with conversion efficiency approaching 80% for fissile materials sensing
- InGaN quantum well solar cells for improved solar conversion efficiency;
- InGaN photoelectrochemical cells for hydrogen generation and energy storage;
- Thermoelectrics based on InGaN and InAlGaN alloys for converting waste heat to electricity;
- Full scale high-resolution self-emissive blue/green microdisplays capable of delivering video graphics images for high brightness pico-projector and head-up/wearable display applications;
- Integration of III-nitride 1.5 micron light-emitting devices with CMOS compatible substrates for Si photonics and optical communications;
- III-nitride photonic crystal LEDs with feature size in sub-100 nm range, demonstrated first by our group, are being recognized as one of the most prominent technologies to boost the LED efficiency for solid-state-lighting technology;
- Growth and fabrication of UV & blue micro- and nano-size photonic structures and devices based on III-nitrides, including micro-size emitters, submicron waveguides, micropyramids, microlens arrays, and photonic crystals – laid the groundwork for achieving photonic integrated circuits which are active in blue and UV regions;
- Our group has made the transition from basic research to practical device components by utilizing tiny micro-size. Examples include the world’s first semiconductor blue and green microdisplays, interconnected microdisk LEDs, and micro-LED array based single chip AC-LEDs;
- Our work on the fundamental optical transitions in III-nitrides has revealed that, as a direct consequence of the band structure of AlN, the TM mode is the dominant laser emission in UV laser diodes (LDs) using high Al-content AlGaN as active layers, in contrast to all other semiconductor LDs in which the TE mode is the dominant lasing emission. This revelation will have a significant implication on the future design of UV LDs based upon AlGaN;
- By minimizing the density of native defects, our group has achieved high Al content AlGaN alloys with record high conductivities and expanded active photonic materials into the deep UV spectral range down to 200 nm;
- Our group’s contributions to the advancement of science also include the development of an unprecedented DUV picosecond time-resolve photoluminescence spectroscopy system for probing fundamental properties of excitons and free carriers and their dynamics in a wide range of nano-scale materials;
Find out more about our research at our Research Areas page.
Our current research is supported by:
Professor Hongxing Jiang and Professor Jingyu Lin were the team members of the following III-nitride research programs:
BMDO GAMPA Program
The founding of the TTU Nanophotonics Center would not have been possible without the support of Mr. Ed Whitacre and the AT & T Foundation.
Dr. Jing Li, Research Professor
Tel. (806) 742-3462
Engineering and Technology Lab Building
10th and Akron Ave.
Texas Tech University
Lubbock, TX 79409