Materials, Electrical & Computer Engineering

 Steven DenBaars


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.


Solid State Lighting & Energy Center, Co-Director
Interdisciplinary Center for Wide Bandgap Semiconductors, Member
Center for Energy Efficient Materials, Member


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.


2010 Aron Kressel Award, IEEE Photonics Society
1994 NSF Young Investigator Award
2005 IEEE Fellow


BS: Materials and Metallurgical Engineering, University of Arizona (1984)
MS: Materials Science, University of Southern California (1986)
PhD: Electrical Engineering, University of Southern California (1988)

IEE Research Areas