UNM ECE Professor Receives Prestigious DARPA Young Faculty Award

October 2, 2013 - Charles Reuben

FeezellDaniel Feezell, Assistant Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, recently received a highly competitive DARPA Young Faculty Award (YFA). The objective of the DARPA YFA program is to identify and engage rising research stars in junior faculty positions at U.S. academic institutions and expose them to Department of Defense needs as well as DARPA’s program development process.

Feezell’s project, titled High-Speed Nonpolar InGaN/GaN Light-Emitting Diodes Using Plasmonic Core-Shell Nanowires, will focus on creating nanoscale LEDs for potential applications in optical communications, supercomputing, and sensing. To achieve very high modulation speeds, the LEDs will be shrunk to the nanoscale and integrated into plasmonic metal-coated cavities. The target bandwidth is 100 GHz; top-of-the-line conventional diode lasers are limited to several tens of GHz.

Additional targets for the research include the development of a low-cost, silicon-compatible process and low energy consumption per transmitted bit. The resulting devices would have a smaller form factor than current electrical interconnects and run faster and cleaner. The success of the project would pave the way for more manufacturable, easily scalable, and higher-speed photonic systems.

The $500,000 grant will fund Feezell’s research for two years and enable him to hire a graduate student and a post-doctoral researcher. Feezell is also participating in the Smart Lighting Engineering Research Center (ERC), tasked by the National Science Foundation to develop new technologies and applications to change the way society uses lighting. As the Sources Thrust Leader, Feezell is making nano-structured LED arrays for solid-state lighting.

Read more about Feezell's research, awards, publications, and background here.