Jerry M. Woodall

Jerry M. Woodall

Distinguished Professor

(530) 752-9581


  • Ph. D. in Electrical Engineering, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, 1982
  • B.S. in Metallurgy, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, 1960

Professional Experience

  • Distinguished Professor, University of California, Davis, Electrical & Computer Engineering, 2012-present
  • Barry and Patricia Epstein Distinguished Professor, Purdue University, Electrical & Computer Engineering, 2005-2012
  • C. Baldwin Sawyer Professor, Yale University, Electrical Engineering, 1999-2004
  • Charles William Harrison Distinguished Professor, Purdue University, Microelectronics, 1993-1998
  • IBM Corporate Fellow, IBM Research, Yorktown Hts., NY, 1985-1993
  • Research Staff Member, IBM Research, Yorktown Hts., NY, 1962-1985
  • Staff Engineer, Clevite Transistor Products, Waltham, MA, 1960-1962

Research Activities

Jerry Woodall pioneered and patented the development of GaAs high efficiency IR LEDs, used today in remote control and data link applications such as TV sets and IR LAN. This was followed by the invention and seminal work on gallium aluminum arsenide (GaAlAs) and GaAlAs/GaAs heterojunctions used in super-bright red LEDs and lasers used, for example, in CD players and short link optical fiber communications. He also pioneered and patented the GaAlAs/GaAs heterojunction bipolar transistor used in, for example, cellular phones. Also, using GaAs/InGaAs strained, non-lattice-matched heterostructures, he pioneered the “pseudomorphic” high electron mobility transistor (HEMT), a state-of-the-art high speed device widely used in cellular phones. The technological and commercial importance of his seminal work led to the 2000 Nobel Prize in Physics for heterojunctions awarded to Herbert Kroemer and Zhores Alferov. His demonstration of the GaAlAs/GaAs heterojunction led to the creation of important new areas of solid-state physics, such as: superlattice, low dimension, mesoscopic, and resonant tunneling physics. Also, using the technique called molecular beam epitaxy (MBE) and the GaAs/InGaAs strained, non-lattice-matched heterostructure, he pioneered the “pseudomorphic” high electron mobility transistor (HEMT), a state-of-the-art high speed device widely used in devices and circuits including those found in cellular phones. This work led to the use of the pseudomorphic InAs/GaAs heterostructure to make “self-organized” quantum dots, a currently popular topic in physics. His recent past work involves the MBE growth of III-V materials and devices with special emphasis on metal contacts, the thermodynamics of extremely large doping concentrations, and devices made of non-lattice matched heterojunctions and substrates. More recently he invented, developed and published a breakthrough global scale “green” energy storage technology in which bulk aluminum rich alloys split both fresh water and salt water into hydrogen gas on demand, thus obviating the need to store and transport hydrogen. The aluminum hydroxide reaction product is easily recycled back to aluminum via the commercial Hall electrolysis process. This feature coupled with the fact that aluminum has the highest volumetric total chemical energy density known, and the fact that aluminum has the highest volumetric total chemical energy density known, and the fact that aluminum is the third most abundant element on earth’s surface promises to make this technology a serious contender for a long haul , global scale, economically viable , alternative green energy solution.

Selected Publications

J.T. Ziebarth, J.M. Woodall, R.A. Kramer, Go Choi, Liquid Phase-enabled Reaction of Al-Ga and Al-Ga-In-Sn Alloys with Water, International Journal of Hydrogen Energy, Vol. 36 (2011) 5271-5279

R.D. Koudelka, J.M. Woodall, and E. Harmon, Novel light emitting device with ultrafast color switching, Electron Devices Meeting,2002. IEDM '02. Digest. International, 2002, pp. 99-102.

S. Ahmed, M.R. Melloch, D.T. McInturff, J.M. Woodall, and E.S. Harmon, Low temperature grown GaAs tunnel junctions, Electronics Letters, Vol. 33, pp. 1585-1587, 1997.

J.M. Woodall, R.T. Hodgson, and R.L. Gunshor, Low-Resistivity P-Type ZnSe Through Surface Fermi Level Engineering, Applied Physics Letters, Vol. 58, pp. 379-381, 1991.

H.J. Hovel and J.M. Woodall, Technique for producing "good" GaAs solar cells using poor-quality substrates, Applied Physics Letters, Vol. 27, pp. 447-449, 1975.

J.M. Woodall, H. Rupprecht, and W. Reuter, Liquid phase epitaxial growth of Ga(1x)Al(x)As, Journal of the Electrochemical Society, Vol. 116, pp. 899-903, 1969.