4 July 2012
UCSB receives $500,000 for SSLEC as James Speck named Seoul Optodevice chair in solid-state lighting
At University of California Santa Barbara (UCSB) the Solid State Lighting and Energy Centre (SSLEC), a hub for research in energy-efficient lighting, power electronics and solar energy technology, has received a $500,000 endowment from Korea’s Seoul Optodevice Company to further its research on gallium nitride (GaN) for use in electronics and solid-state lighting.
Picture: James Speck.
UCSB professor of materials James Speck, a member of SSLEC’s Executive Committee and director of the Interdisciplinary Center for Wide Band-Gap Semiconductors, has been named the campus’ first Seoul Optodevice Chair in Solid State Lighting.
“Chung Hoon Lee and the Seoul Optodevice Company are leaders in the field, and have been long-standing supporters of UC Santa Barbara’s Solid State Lighting and Energy Center, which is advancing the frontiers of research in energy-efficient solid-state lighting,” says chancellor Henry T. Yang. “Professor Speck is world-renowned for his pioneering research in electronic materials and physical properties, and is the ideal choice to hold this prestigious endowed chair.”
The endowment represents an important partnership between UCSB and the Seoul Optodevice Company. Established in Korea in 2002, the firm engineers products with applications including outdoor and architectural lighting, LCD technology, and both visible (V-) and ultraviolet (UV-) LED products.
“Under the visionary leadership of Mr Chung Hoon Lee, Seoul Semiconductor and Seoul Optoelectronic Device Companies are leading the transformation to solid-state lighting,” says Speck. “UCSB and the Solid State Lighting and Energy Center have greatly benefited from the strong support from these two companies,” he adds.
Most silicon-based semiconductors in existing electronics, such as those found in computer microprocessor chips and transistors, are highly inefficient in their use of energy, says UCSB. New processors that use the wide-bandgap semiconductor GaN (which can be used for high-frequency, high-power transistors capable of operating at high temperatures) offer increased data processing capabilities while using minimal power.
“This endowment by Seoul Optodevice Company is critically important because our research in gallium nitride semiconductors places the college at the forefront of energy-efficiency technology,” says Rod Alferness, dean of the College of Engineering. “Professor Speck is leading this charge and understands how our relationship with industry is a driving force behind discoveries in solid-state lighting,” he adds.
Speck’s research focuses on the relationship between thin-film electronic materials growth, and microstructure, as well as the link between microstructure and physical properties. He has worked extensively on the materials science of GaN and related alloys. Speck received the Quantum Device Award from the International Symposium on Compound Semiconductors in 2007. In 2010, he received the IEEE Photonics Society Aron Kressel Award for his work on nonpolar and semipolar GaN-based materials and devices.