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Professor Robert Davis  

Professor Robert Davis

John and Claire Bertucci Distinguished Professor of Materials Science and Engineering
Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley

Department of Materials Science and Engineering
Carnegie Mellon University
5000 Forbes Avenue
Roberts Engineering Hall 237
Pittsburgh, PA 15213-3890

Phone: (412) 268-7264
Fax: (412) 268-3113


TEDx talk - March 2, 2014 at PSU



Robert F. Davis is John and Claire Bertucci Distinguished Professor of Materials Science and Engineering. He received his Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley. He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering, a Fellow of the American Ceramic Society and a member of the Materials Research Society and TMS. He has won numerous awards including the ALCOA Distinguished Research Award, the ALCOA Award for Research Performance in a Given Year, the Alumni Research Award, the ORNL Excellence in Publications Award, the Richard M. Fulrath Memorial Award from the American Ceramic Society and the R.J.R Reynolds Award as well as the Alexander Holladay Medal for Excellence in Teaching, Research and Outreach. He also received the National Collegiate Inventor of the Year award for 1999. He has been a guest lecturer of the Troisiéme Cycle de la Physique en Suisse Romande. His research interests include (i) growth and characterization of SiC, ZnO, GaN, AlN and nitride alloy thin films, (ii) the growth and characterization of gas and bio sensors, and (iii) the deposition and characterization of metallic films on non-metallic substrates. He has edited or co-edited seven books, authored or co-authored more than 270 chapters in edited proceedings or in books, published more than 400 peer reviewed papers in archival Journals and given more than 160 invited presentations.

Research Interests

The present suite of wide bandgap electronic materials of SiC, the III-Nitrides and selected oxide materials such as ZnO-based alloys are technologically important for (1) optoelectronic devices including light-emitting diodes and semiconductor lasers that emit in the green, blue and ultra-violet regions of the spectrum for applications in next generation lighting, data storage and optical indicators; (2) microelectronic devices for high-frequency, high-power and high-temperature applications and (3) gas and biological sensors. Moreover, the size of some of these devices will continue to decrease until they comprise only a few atoms. Professor Davis’ research interests focus on the vertical integration from thin film growth of the material device structures including the use of quantum dots and their structural, microstructural, chemical, optical and electrical characterization to the development and fundamental investigations of ohmic and rectifying contacts, gate and field insulators, plasma etching, ion implantation, and device fabrication and characterization. A complementary program of very forward-looking research is that of nanolithography that will allow devices having atomic scale dimensions to be patterned and produced. A principal objective of all the research in the Davis laboratories is to provide continuous feedback to-and-from the several team members concerning fundamental problems that are hindering the continued development of the materials of choice, and/or the devices of interest that are being fabricated from these materials and the atomic scale lithography by which some of these types of devices would be made. Professor Davis’ technological interests include junction- and quantum dot-based light-emitting and solar cell devices, gas sensors, high-temperature materials, nanolithography, and the use of semiconductor and other materials in energy saving applications.

Recent Publications

Fang Liu, Li Huang, Ranga Kamaladasa, Yoosuf Picard, Edward A. Preble, Tanya Paskova, E. Preble, Robert F. Davis, and Lisa M. Porter, “Site-specific Comparisons of V-Defects and Threading Dislocations in InGaN/GaN Multi-quantum Wells Grown on SiC and GaN Substrates”, Journal of Crystal Growth 387, 16-22 (2014).

J. P. Freedman, Z. Sitar, J. Leach, E. Preble, R. F. Davis, and J. A. Malen, "Universal Phonon Mean Free Path Spectra in Crystalline Semiconductors at High Temperature ", Nature, Scientific Reports 3, 2963 - (2013).

J. H. Melby, R.F. Davis, and L.M. Porter, "Modeling the Electrical Response of Hydrogen Sensors based on AlGaN/GaN High-Electron-Mobility Transistors", Electrochemical Society Journal of Solid-State Science and Technology 2 [11], 214-219 (2013).

Li Huang, Fang Liu, Jingxi Zhu, Lisa Porter, Ed Preble, Tanya Paskova, Keith Evans and Robert F. Davis, “Microstructure of Epitaxial GaN Films Grown on Chemomechanically Polished GaN(0001) Substrates”, Journal of Crystal Growth, 347 [1] 88–94 (2012).

Robert F. Davis, “Organometallic Vapor Phase Epitaxial Growth of Group III Nitrides,” Invited Book Chapter in Comprehensive Semiconductor Science and Technology, Vol. 3, Pallab Bhattacharya, Roberto Fornari and Hiroshi Kamimura (eds.), Elsevier, Amsterdam, pp. 339 –367, 2011.

Z. J. Reitmeier, J. S. Park, R.F. Davis, X. Zhang, X. Fang and S. Mahajan, “Surface and Defect Microstructure of GaN and AlN on Hydrogen-etched 6H-SiC(0001) Substrates”, Acta Materialia 58, 2165-2175 (2010).

S. W. King, R. J. Nemanich and R. F. Davis, " Hydrogen Desorption Kinetics and Band Bending for 6H-SiC(0001) Surfaces", Surface Science 603, 3104-3118 (2009).

S.M. Bishop, C.L. Reynolds, Jr., Z. Liliental-Weber, Y. Uprety, J. Zhu, D. Wang, M. Park, J.C. Molstad, D.E. Barnhardt, A. Shrivastava, T.S. Sudarshan and R.F. Davis, “On the Origin of Aluminum-related Cathodoluminescence Emissions from Sublimation grown 4H-SiC()”, Applied Surface Science 255, 6535 – 6539 (2009).

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Recent Doctoral Theses

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