UNM Rainforest Innovations

Stephen D. Hersee, Ph.D.
Professor Emeritus
IEEE Fellow
Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering
Member, Center for High Technology Materials
The University of New Mexico

2012 STC Innovation Fellow

As the 2012 STC Innovation Fellow, Dr. Hersee is recognized as an outstanding innovator in developing nanoscale epitaxial materials. Especially gallium nitride (GaN) and related materials that are important for solid-state lighting and high-speed transistors.

Since the 1990’s Dr. Hersee’s vision was to obtain the highest possible performance from semiconductor devices and integrated circuits, by efficiently combining different semiconductor materials in a novel process that he termed “Nanoheteroepitaxy”. (The combination of two or more semiconductors is known as a heterojunction.) Fundamental to Nanoheteroepitaxy is the use of nanostructures to accommodate and mitigate the mechanical strain and defects that accompany semiconductor heterojunctions.

Along with his students and staff, he developed a process for growing high quality GaN nanostructures by selective growth on a patterned masked surface. Working collaboratively with Dr Steve Brueck of CHTM/UNM, this process allows the growth of massive arrays of oriented, single crystal GaN nano-structures. Importantly, this work was the first indication that GaN nanostructures could be efficiently used in the large-scale production of solid-state lighting and integrated circuits.

Since retiring in 2012, Dr Hersee has followed his family’s long-lasting passion for music. In 1871 Rose Hersee, his great aunt, became Prima Donna at the National Opera Company in London. Dr Hersee is now performing regularly in Neon Roadster (a Blues band) and The Oxford Jazz Trio.

Technologies listing this individual as an inventor, may be found at the UNM Flintbox Researcher page. Each of the respective technologies will display updated patent and publication information.

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