Steven DenBaars

Materials, Electrical & Computer Engineering


3514 Engineering Science Building II

University of California, Santa Barbara Santa Barbara, CA 93106-5080

IEE Research Areas: 


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


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

Research Description: 

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.


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)


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.