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Dupuis to be Awarded IEEE Edison Award

Georgia Institute of Technology Press Release - 3/14/2007

Prestigious award given to inventor of fundamental LED manufacturing process

Dr. Russell Dupuis

Dr. Russell Dupuis, the Steve W. Chaddick
Endowed Chairin Electro-Optics in the
School of Electrical and Computer Engineering

ATLANTA, Ga. - The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) has selected Dr. Russell D. Dupuis, the Steve W. Chaddick Endowed Chair in Electro-Optics in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, to receive its prestigious 2007 IEEE Edison Medal. The medal will be presented at the 2007 IEEE Meeting Series II conference, to be held June 12-17 in Philadelphia.

The Edison Medal is bestowed for a career of meritorious achievement in electrical science, electrical engineering or the electrical arts. Dupuis’ award commemorates his innovative contributions to metalorganic chemical vapor deposition (MOCVD) and continuous-wave room-temperature quantum-well lasers. MOCVD is a method for depositing high-quality complex semiconductor structures that contain many layers, some only 0.1 millionths of an inch thick.

“Today, we are still using the same basic MOCVD approach that I developed in 1977 for the growth of III-V compound semiconductors to produce much more advanced structures and more challenging materials,” explained Dupuis. “This technology is used worldwide for many important device applications in both research and production areas.”

The complex semiconductor “sandwiches” produced with MOCVD are currently used to create light sources (lasers) for optical devices such as laser pointers, DVD lasers, solar cells, photodiodes, and the latest high-density DVD disc technology called “Blu-Ray,” which is expected to replace DVDs. Other applications include LED-based indicator lamps and solid-state light sources like those in flashlights and large display panels such as the NASDAQ sign in Times Square.

“MOCVD is used for virtually all high-brightness LEDs in traffic signals, automotive lighting, and LCD back lighting, and soon this technology will be widely used to illuminate public buildings and eventually your home,” said Dupuis. “I hope that my students can use the knowledge they gain at Georgia Tech and contribute to even greater future advances in this field.”

LED technology, based on Dupuis’ MOCVD process, is already transforming the lighting industry. LEDs provide a highly efficient and reliable light source. As they become increasingly useful for general illumination and displace the incandescent light bulb, the United States will save billions in energy costs. Carbon emissions from traditional power plants will also be significantly reduced.

“The Edison Medal is a very special and truly wonderful honor for me, both because of the outstanding and innovative inventor and engineer for whom it is named and for the very many truly exceptional individuals who have received it before me,” remarked Dupuis. “I am especially honored to acknowledge the impact that Dr. Nick Holonyak Jr., has had on my academic and professional career.”

Holonyak was Dupuis’ thesis advisor and mentor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where Dupuis earned his B.S. (with Highest Honors—Bronze Tablet), his M.S., and his Ph.D. in electrical engineering. Holonyak was instrumental in launching the field of multi-element semiconductors, and Dupuis has continued his own research in this area, specializing in semiconductor materials and devices, epitaxial growth, and heterojunction devices in III-V compound semiconductors. He currently directs the Center for Compound Semiconductors at Georgia Tech.

A Georgia Research Alliance Eminent Scholar, Dupuis has received many awards and distinctions. Among these is the 2002 National Medal of Technology, the nation’s highest honor for work in science and technology. President George W. Bush awarded this medal to Dupuis and two colleagues for their work on developing and commercializing LEDs.

Dupuis is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and a Fellow of the IEEE, the American Physical Society, the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the Optical Society of America. An author of more than 360 technical papers in refereed journals and a sought-after lecturer, he has held numerous leadership positions within IEEE and the IEEE Lasers and Electro-Optics Society, as well as with various conferences and workshops associated with semiconductor devices in the optoelectronic and photonics areas

Before joining Georgia Tech in 2003, Dupuis held the Judson S. Swearingen Regents Chair in Engineering at the University of Texas at Austin for 14 years. He previously worked in industry positions at AT&T Bell Laboratories, Rockwell International and Texas Instruments.

The Edison Medal is the oldest medal in engineering. It was created by Thomas Edison’s friends and associates in 1904, 25 years after Edison introduced his incandescent electric light bulb. Past Edison Medal honorees include Alexander Graham Bell, Nikola Tesla and other pioneers of the modern electronics era.

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