Prof. Seth Bank Receives NSF CAREER Award
Professor Seth Bank was awarded an NSF CAREER award for his research on "High-Efficiency Mid-Infrared Diode Lasers Incorporating Novel Metallic Nanoparticle-Enhanced Tunnel Junctions." This continues a successful year for Dr. Bank who also was awarded a 2009 Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, the highest honor bestowed by the United States government on young researchers. Dr. Bank also received an award from the Air Force's Young Investigator Research Program, as well as the Young Scientist Award at the 36th International Symposium on Compound Semiconductors.
The objective of his research is to address a fundamental issue that pervades modern optoelectronic and photovoltaic devices: power conversion efficiency. The efficiency of highperformance photonic devices is typically limited by a combination of electrical resistance and optical absorption. The approach of this research is to combine photonics with nanotechnology to dramatically enhance the performance of lasers that emit in the mid-infrared portion of the electromagnetic spectrum. Such laser sources will find manifold applications in medicine, emissions monitoring, communications, etc.
This research will produce a transformative photonic device paradigm that is applicable to a broad range of other problems in solid state lighting, solar power generation, and green computing/communications. The effort will integrate the proposed research with courses and outreach activities, exposing hundreds of talented students at the elementary, high school, undergraduate, and graduate levels to cutting edge photonics and nanoscience research to inspire them to pursue science and engineering careers. This work will also develop an undergraduate research program in photonics for women and underrepresented minorities.