Electronic materials and the myriad devices made from them pervade our society, from processors to displays to power converters to wireless communication tools. At a basic level, researchers in electronic materials and devices enjoy making micro- and nanostructures with new functions, understanding their physics, and bringing them to applications. Sometimes, established materials need to be looked at in new ways. Other times, we need to understand the most fundamental aspects of unfamiliar materials. This understanding leads to diverse applications with broad use in nearly every sector of modern life.
Researchers in this department create nanotechnologies for electronics, optics, optoelectronics, magnetics, and biology. We develop new materials and device structures for manipulating and storing quantum bits of information for quantum computers. We study novel thin film semiconductors, with huge potential for solar energy conversion, displays, lighting, and large-scale flexible electronics for e-textiles. We also use photons produced by unique quantum cascade lasers to develop new methods for monitoring human health and the environment.