New Faculty Profile: Assistant Professor Kunal Mukherjee

Friday, July 29, 2016

UCSB Materials will welcome Assistant Professor Kunal Mukherjee on November 1 to the Electronic and Photonic Materials research group. Prof. Mukherjee is interested in synthesizing compound semiconductors for improved optoelectronic, imaging, and power generation devices. This involves developing a detailed understanding of thin film growth phenomena in semiconductor alloys, aspects of lattice engineering, role of crystalline defects and reliability, as well as a variety of microstructural characterization techniques. Studying the challenges associated with the integration compound semiconductors on to heterogeneous substrates like silicon is a central theme of his work.   

Prof. Mukherjee plans to establish expertise in narrow bandgap semiconductor growth in the III-V and the lesser studied IV-VI material systems. These semiconductors will have application in detecting and emitting in the infrared as well as test beds for novel physical phenomena. Students in his group will gain an in-depth understanding of epitaxy, electron microscopy, optical spectroscopy, and device physics – tools needed to unlock the potential of a new semiconductor. He envisions a day when a designer can identify a material with new properties and drop it on to an integrated circuit with little compromise, thus marrying cheap computing with all-encompassing interaction with the environment.     

Prof. Mukherjee is very excited to work with a group of students and faculty who are simply the best at what they do. The expertise in thin films and compound semiconductors at UCSB is exceptional and the students go on to become thought leaders in industry and academia. The Materials Department is famous for the collaborative nature of its research and Prof. Mukherjee confesses that the excellent shared facilities are also quite the draw. 

Prof. Mukherjee comes to UCSB from the IBM T.J. Watson Research Center in Yorktown Heights, NY, where he is a postdoctoral researcher.  He received his Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering from MIT and his B.Eng. in Electrical and Electronics Engineering from the Nanyang Technological University (NTU) in Singapore. He worked as an optical transceiver engineer for Finisar Corporation prior to graduate school. Prof. Mukherjee also has Master’s degrees in Materials Science from MIT and the National University of Singapore as a part of the Singapore-MIT alliance. 

Welcome Prof. Mukherjee!!