Steven DenBaars

Materials, Electrical and Computer Engineering
denbaars [at] engineering [dot] ucsb [dot] edu

Institute Role
Head of Lighting Solutions Group

Role in Affiliated Centers
Co-Director of the Solid State Lighting & Energy Center; Member of the Interdisciplinary Center for Wide Bandgap Semiconductors and the Center for Energy Efficient Materials

Diagram of a GaN and phosphorous white LED.
Diagram of a GaN and phosphorous white LED.

Steven DenBaars is interested electronic materials growth and the fabrication of new semiconductor devices. He explores energy efficiency through research on high-efficiency, high-power LEDs; group three nitrides (III-N) high-efficiency solar cells; and metal/semiconductor nanocomposites for high-efficiency thermoelectrics. Specific interests include growth of wide-bandgap semiconductors (GaN based), and their application to Blue LEDs and lasers and high power electronic devices. This research has lead to the first US university demonstration of a Blue GaN laser diode and over 7 patents pending on GaN growth and processing.

Steven DenBaars received a Ph.D. (1988) in Electrical Engineering and an M.S. degree (1986) in Materials Science from the University of Southern California, Los Angeles, as well as a B.S. degree (1984) in Materials and Metallurgical Engineering from the University of Arizona. DenBaars is currently a Professor at UC Santa Barbara where he holds a joint appointment in the Materials and Electrical and Computer Engineering Departments. He is Co-Director of UCSB’s Solid-State Lighting and Energy Center and in 2005 was appointed the Mitsubishi Chemical Chair in Solid State Lighting and Displays. From 1988-1991, DenBaars was a member of the technical staff at Hewlett-Packard's Optoelectronics Division, where he was involved in the growth and fabrication of visible LEDs. In 1997, he co-founded Nitres, Inc., a startup focused on nitride semiconductor device development. He currently serves as a scientific advisor to Cree, Inc., which acquired Nitres in 2000. DenBaars received a NSF Young Investigator award in 1994, and the IEEE Fellow award in 2005. Most recently, he was awarded the 2010 IEEE Photonics Society’s Aron Kressel Award for his pioneering work with Jim Speck in the development of high-efficiency nonpolar and semipolar nitride-based materials and devices for solid state lighting. DenBaars has authored or co-authored over 600 technical publications, 250 conference presentations, and has been granted over 30 patents.

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