Home > Profiles > Mark Wistey

Mark Wistey

Mark Wistey

Assistant Professor

Department of Electrical Engineering

Assistant Professor
College of Engineering

Email: mwistey@nd.edu

Phone: 574-631-1639

Office: 266 Fitzpatrick Hall

Education

Ph.D. Stanford University, 2005 M.S. Stanford University, 2000 B.S. Montana State University-Bozeman, 1995

Biography

I grew up in Montana enjoying God's country: hiking, biking, kayaking, skiing, windsurfing, and more. The strength of the Honors Program brought me to Montana State University (Bozeman), where I took a broad swath of electrical engineering and physics classes and met the jewel I would marry many years later. After graduation, I worked at a Mac consulting shop, where we developed new peripherals for laptops and developed a Mac forensics class. In 1997, I started graduate school at Stanford, where I designed and grew III-V optoelectronics by molecular beam epitaxy (MBE). We made the first GaAs lasers suitable for long-haul fiber optic communications, using dilute nitrides (GaInNAsSb) to reach the necessary wavelengths in the near-infrared. I then joined Arizona State University as a postdoc working on silicon photonics, heteroepitaxy, GeSn processing, and chemical vapor deposition. As a postdoc at UC Santa Barbara, I led the growth and fabrication teams which developed the first III-V MOSFET transistors capable of being scaled to 22nm dimensions with high performance. These transistors use high mobility materials to make computer chips faster. I also helped develop contacts and regrowth techniques for terahertz transistors. I arrived at Notre Dame in summer, 2009. I've had some great mentors along the way. I learned wild innovation, independence, and adaptability from James Harris, powerful physical insight and persuasive, unassuming leadership from Art Gossard, and intense and intellectually rigorous device analysis from Mark Rodwell... not to mention my father's tinkering! I advise students of all ages: whatever you're doing, find something interesting to learn. When I was in high school, I dabbled in electronics, computer programming and simulations, and even car repair, which all turned out to be valuable for MBE, and MBE allows us to make devices which no one on earth has ever made before. That's a thrill that's hard to beat.

Summary of Activities/Interests

Research Interests: Computer chips and solar cells have something in common: they both need new electronic materials. Computer advertisements have quietly deleted processor speeds because CPU clock speeds have plateaued. Solar cells are either cheap or efficient, but not both. At Notre Dame, I will be working in silicon photonics and hybrid integrated electronics to add new materials and new functions to silicon devices. Silicon is a poor absorber and emitter of light, so if you want to make a communications laser or an efficient solar cell on silicon, you need to grow another material on top. This growth has been very difficult in the past, but new discoveries have enabled nearly perfect, defect-free growth of Ge and III-V's on silicon. This opens whole new worlds for an electrical engineer. My group will be growing new lasers, multijunction solar cells, terahertz devices, and high-speed electronics all on silicon chips. Heterojunctions are nanometer-scale interfaces between different materials, which won a Nobel prize because they're so useful (not to mention cool physics!). We will soon be able to grow arbitrary heterojunction devices on silicon using many other materials. In the long term, I hope to work toward biomedical applications such as neural prosthetics, which require infrared lasers to trigger neurons safely and reliably. Helping people, improving the environment, and making devices that were once impossible... these are all in a day's work for an electrical engineer.

I grew up in Montana enjoying God's country: hiking, biking, kayaking, skiing, windsurfing, and more. The strength of the Honors Program brought me to Montana State University (Bozeman), where I took a broad swath of electrical engineering and physics classes and met the jewel I would marry many years later. After graduation, I worked at a Mac consulting shop, where we developed new peripherals for laptops and developed a Mac forensics class. In 1997, I started graduate school at Stanford, where I designed and grew III-V optoelectronics by molecular beam epitaxy (MBE). We made the first GaAs lasers suitable for long-haul fiber optic communications, using dilute nitrides (GaInNAsSb) to reach the necessary wavelengths in the near-infrared. I then joined Arizona State University as a postdoc working on silicon photonics, heteroepitaxy, GeSn processing, and chemical vapor deposition. As a postdoc at UC Santa Barbara, I led the growth and fabrication teams which developed the first III-V MOSFET transistors capable of being scaled to 22nm dimensions with high performance. These transistors use high mobility materials to make computer chips faster. I also helped develop contacts and regrowth techniques for terahertz transistors. I arrived at Notre Dame in summer, 2009. I've had some great mentors along the way. I learned wild innovation, independence, and adaptability from James Harris, powerful physical insight and persuasive, unassuming leadership from Art Gossard, and intense and intellectually rigorous device analysis from Mark Rodwell... not to mention my father's tinkering! I advise students of all ages: whatever you're doing, find something interesting to learn. When I was in high school, I dabbled in electronics, computer programming and simulations, and even car repair, which all turned out to be valuable for MBE, and MBE allows us to make devices which no one on earth has ever made before. That's a thrill that's hard to beat.



 

Advisee(s)