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M. Saiful Islam



M. Saif Islam

Professor and Chair of Electrical and Computer Engineering

Integrated Nanodevices & Nanosystems Lab
University of California - Davis
3135 Kemper Hall, Davis, CA, 95616
Ph: (530) 754-6732, Fax: 530-752-8428



Please join us at Micro-Nanotechnology Sensors, Systems & Applications, DCS 2019,


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Biographical Background


Education and Appointments:      

  • Professor and Chair , Electrical & Computer Engineering, Unive. of California, Davis, CA, 2017-present
  • Professor, Electrical & Computer Engineering, Unive. of California, Davis, CA, 2011-present
  • Director, Center for Nano & Micro-Manufacturing (CNMM), 2012-2014
  • Vice Chair , Electrical & Computer Engineering, Unive. of California, Davis, CA, 2011-2013
  • Associate Professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of California, Davis, CA, 2008-2011
  • Assistant Professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of California, Davis, CA, 2004-08
  • Affiliate Faculty, Berkeley Sensors & Actuator Center, BSAC, 2005-present
  • Affiliate Faculty, Davis MM-Wave Research Center (DMRC), 2011-present
  • Adjunct Assistant Professor, Department of EE, San Jose State University, San Jose, CA, 2002-03
  • Postdoc Research Fellow, Quantum Science Res., Hewlett-Packard Labs, 2002-04, Dr. R. Stanley Williams
  • Senior Scientist, Gazilllion Bits, Inc., San Jose, CA, 2001-02, Dr. Shih-Yuan (SY) Wang
  • Staff Scientist, Optical Networking Research, JDS Uniphase Corp./SDL Inc., 2000-01, Dr. David F. Welch
  • Ph.D. Electrical Engineering, Univ of California, Los Angeles, 2001, Prof. Ming C. Wu          
  • M.S. Electrical Engineering, Univ of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), 1999, Profs. Ming C. Wu & Tatsuo Itoh   
  • M.Sc. Physics, Bilkent University, Ankara, Turkey 1996, Prof. Ekmel Ozbay   
  • B.Sc. Physics with Highest Honors, Middle East Technical University, Ankara, 1994, Prof. Sinan Bilikmen

Honors and Awards:

  • Fellow: American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) 2018 Link
  • Fellow: National Academy of Inventors (NAI), 2014 Link
  • Fellow: Optical Society of America (OSA) 2018 Link
  • Fellow: International Society for Optics and Photonics (SPIE) 2017 Link
  • Best Ph.D. Dissertation Mentor: Nano-bridges for the Fabrication of 3D Gate-All-Around Field Effect Transistors, 2014 Link
  • Outstanding Mid-career Research Faculty Award, College of Engineering, UC Davis, 2012, Link
  • Academic Senate Distinguished Teaching Award: The Highest Teaching Honor University of California Davis Bestows on its Faculties, 2010, Link
  • IEEE Best Paper Award, IEEEICE, Dhaka, Bangladesh, 2010
  • IEEE Outstanding Professor of the Year, Electrical and Computer Engineering Department, 2005 & 2009
  • Outstanding Junior Faculty Award, College of Engineering, UC Davis, 2006, News Link
  • NSF Faculty Early CAREER Development Award (2006-11), News Link
  • Associate Editor: IEEE Photonics Journal, IEEE Transaction of Nanotechnology, IEEE Access, Journal of Nanophotonics, (2007-8), Nanphotonics for Communications
  • Editorial Board: (i) Science of Advanced Materials, (ii) Nano Communications, and (iii) ISRN Nanomaterials
  • Conference Chair, Nanosensing Materials, Devices and Systems 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007; Nanomaterial Synthesis and Integration for Sensors, Electronics, Photonics, and Electro- Optics 2005, 2006, 2007; Nanophotonics for Communication: Materials, Devices and Systems 2006, 2007; Micro-Nanotechnology Sensors, Systems, and Applications 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012; Nanoepitaxy: Homo and Heterogeneous Synthesis, Characterization and Device Integration of Nanomaterials 2009, 2010.
  • Symposium Co-organizer,  MRS Negative Index materials: Microwave to Optical, 2006 & Nanocontacts, 2012
  • Guest Editor, (a) International Journal of Nanotechnology, 2006-7, Focused Issue on Nanosensors, (b) Applied Physics A: Materials Science & Processing, 2006-7, Focused Issue on Negative Index Materials
  • University of California Chancellor's Fellowship, 2000 Link
  • IEEE Laser and Electro-Optic Society (IEEE/LEOS) Fellowship, 2000, News Link
  • President's Award: The President of the People's Republic of Bangladesh (1989) for ranking first in both secondary (SSC) and higher secondary (HSC) exams in entire Bangladesh (Rajshahi Cadet College)

Background: Professor Islam's work has covered a broad variety of topics: molecular electronic devices, synthesis and device applications of 0D and 1D semiconductor nanostructures, ultra-fast optoelectronics, high-power and linear gain-clamped semiconductor optical amplifiers, fiber optical communication systems, and RF photonic devices and links. He was the first to demonstrate the velocity-matched distributed balanced photodetectors with a record high linear photocurrents and an ultra-fast response. He also worked on the first demonstration of ultra-fast resonant cavity enhanced (RCE) Schottky photodiodes. At Hewlett-Packard Labs, Dr. Islam developed the technique for generating ultra-smooth metal surfaces for interfacing molecular electronic devices that dramatically helped improve the yield of molecular switching devices fabricated with self-assembled monolayers (SAMs) of molecules. He demonstrated the world's first semiconductor nanowire bridging technique which effectively addresses the chllanges of interfacing and integrating one-dimensional semiconductors in nanodevices.

Current Research Focus - Nanodevices for Computing, Sensing, Imaging and Energy Storage: Currently Professor Islam's nanotechnology research focuses on the incorporation of low-dimensional nanostructured materials and devices with conventional IC elements, employing processes compatible with mass-manufacturing. Unlike the research-based approach of sequentially connecting electrodes to individual nano-structures for device physics studies, massively parallel and manufacturable interfacing techniques are crucial for reproducible fabrication and incorporation of dense, low-cost nanodevice arrays in highly integrated material systems. Dr. Islam has developed two novel nano-device integration and mass-production techniques termed 'nano-bridges' and 'nano-colonnades' that are entirely compatible with existing microelectronics fabrication processes. His group's (Inano) current research objectives include the development of massively parallel synthesis and integration processes for 0D and 1D nano-structures (such as semiconductors, metals, oxide, molecules etc.) for potential applications in nanoscale electronics, photonics, energy conversion, high density energy storage, bio-chemical sensors, memory, logic, MEMS/NEMS devices, 3D device/chip integration, substrate-less devices and circuit fabrication. An important focus of Inano is nanoepitaxy for homo and heterogeneous nanomaterial synthesis, characterization, device integration. Inano research currently emphasizes on nanoscale sensors, detectors for datacom and telecom, transistors, memory and storage devices and systems for room ambient as well as extreme temperature applications. We design, fabricate and explore the ultimate performance limit of our devices, circuits and systems for high frequency (RF), high power and high radiation environment.

Solar Energy Conversion and Storage Devices (Batteries): Our work on photovoltaic devices addresses the solar-grade semiconductor scarcity (silicon and other materials) and the cost of manufacturing PV devices and panels. To this end, we fabricate devices in the shape of vertically oriented micro/nano-pillars and ridges/walls and transfer-print them to low cost, flexible and amorphous surfaces using a mass-manufacturable polymer assisted shear-fracturing process at ambient condition. This allows us to improve the efficiency and lower the costs, since the original epitaxial wafers can be repeatedly used for generating more devices. We believe that it is wasteful and environmentally detrimental to employ an expensive wafer solely for mechanically supporting a thin layer of devices. Our initial work has already demonstrated the potential of the array transfer process based on our innovative shear fracture method. This was the first demonstration of such an approach that is not dependent on any specific substrate material. The light gathering and trapping function of our micro/nano-pillar shaped devices that resemble ‘antennas’ also offers opportunities for light trapping higher efficiency in photodetectros and imaging sensors. Our group is also pursuing innovative technolgies for energy storage using silicon and similar materials as anodes in Li-ion batteries.

Metamaterials: In order to manipulate the propagation of light, a study is underway on a new class of materials, called "negative index metamaterials (NIM)" that demonstrate unusual electric and magnetic properties not found in nature and offer opportunities for unprecedented functionalities in virtually every area of classical optics and photonics. His group is involved in developing new methods and tools for constructing 3D NIMs using manufacturable nanofabrication techniques and studying nano-structure integrated NIM based theoretical and experimental schemes. Besides device integration, the group is also actively involved in minimizing the losses that are inherent in NIM by exploring various thin film nucleation methods. The overall research activities in NIM are based on exploiting the synergy of nanoepitaxy for eventual monolithic realization of NIM enabled electronics and photonics.

Fundamental Forces in Nanotechnology: Quantum electrodynamical (QED) phenomena lead to Casimir force which can be observed when metallic, semiconductor or dielectric surfaces are placed in close proximity (< 100 nm). This opens doors to exciting opportunities, particularly in the field of nanodevices and nanomechanics, such as nanoscale levitation, stiction prevention, and highly responsive sensors. Nanotechnology is capable of fabricating devices with diminishingly small dimension and this force cannot be disregarded any more. Inano studies this and other fundamental physical forces in nanoscale devices for improving old and creating new technologies.

Sensors for Extreme Systems: A wide range of economic and security challenges in industry require components that operate in harsh environments, such as those found on terrestrial oil and ore extraction equipment (temperature and pressure), in vehicle engines including planes and spacecrafts (temperature and radiation), inside nuclear power plants (radiation), and industrial processing plants (corrosives). Integrated sensors that are capable of operating in extreme conditions, exhibiting exceptional thermal and chemical stability, high electrical endurance (e.g., breakdown voltage, electromagnetic shielding to survive in solar flares), very high oscillation frequency, and extraordinary reliability. These characteristics offer the potentias to design future-generation integrated systems that will allow sensors and electronics to operate in situations never before possible, thereby increasing the safety, precision, and efficiency of many machines and operating systems. .

Prof. Islam is a member of the Graduate Group of Chemical Engineering and Material Science, Electrical and Computer Engineering and is affiliated with Davis MM-Wave Research Center (DMRC) NEAT, CITRIS, BSAC and National Institute for Nano Engineering (NINE), Sandia National Laboratories, UCD-METU AOC and NAIST, Japan.

Keywords: nanoscale science and technology, nanodevices, nanoelectronics, nanophotonics, optoelectronics, nanosensors, nanoepitaxy, nanowire, micro-nanopillars, MEMS/NEMS, molecular junction, molectronics, nanomanufacturing, nano-interfacing, self-assembly, images sensors, photovoltaics, devices for energy conversion and storage, substrateless device fabrication, transfer-printing, field ionization and emission, devices based on charged particles, negative index materials, metamaterials.


Selected Publications:

  • Cansizoglu et al., “Surface-illuminated photon-trapping high-speed Ge-on-Si photodiodes with improved efficiency up to 1700nm arrays”, Photonic Research, 2018. PDF
  • Gao, Cansizoglu et al., “Photon-trapping microstructures enable high-speed high-efficiency silicon photodiodes arrays”, Nature Photonics, 2017. PDF
  • Kaya, Dryden et al., “Spontaneous delamination via compressive buckling facilitates largescale Ga2O3 thin film transfer from reusable GaAs substrates arrays”,physica status solidi, 2017. PDF
  • M. M. Ombaba et al., “Precision stress localization during mechanical harvesting of vertically oriented semiconductor micro- and nanostructure arrays”, Applied Physics Letters, 2014. PDF
  • Mark Triplett et al., "High-Precision Transfer-Printing and Integration of Vertically Oriented Semiconductor Arrays for Flexible Device Fabrication, Nano Research, 2014. PDF
  • Jin Yong Oh et al., “3D-Transistor Array Based on Horizontally Suspended Silicon Nano-bridges Grown via a Bottom-up Technique”, Advanced Materials, 2014. PDF
  • Hakan Karaagac et al., “Enhanced Field Ionization Enabled by Metal Induced Surface States on Semiconductor Nanotips”, Advanced Functional Materials, 2013. PDF
  • Matthew Ombaba et al., “Seamless integration of an elastomer with electrode matrix and its in-situ conversion into a solid state electrolyte for robust Li-Ion batteries”, Advanced Functional Materials. 2013. PDF
  • Ramin B. Sadeghian et al., "Ultralow-voltage field-ionization discharge on whiskered silicon nanowires for gas sensing applications", Nature Materials, 2011. PDF
  • Logeeswaran VJ et al., "A Perspective on nanowire photodetectors: Current status, future challenges and opportunities", IEEE Jour. Selected Topics Quantum Electronics, 2011 (invited). PDF
  • M. Saif Islam et al. “Nanoscale Materials and Devices for Future Communication Networks”, IEEE Communications Magazine, 2010. PDF
  • Logeeswaran VJ et al., "Ultra-smooth silver thin films deposited with a Ge nucleation layer",Nano Letters, 2009. PDF
  • A. Choudhry et al., "Ultra-low contact resistance of epitaxially interfaced Si nanowires", Nano Letters, 2007. PDF
  • M. Saif Islam, et al., "Ultrahigh-density semiconductor nano-bridges formed between two semiconductor surfaces", Nanotechnology, 2004. PDF
  • M. Saif Islam et al., "High power and highly linear monolithically integrated distributed balanced photodetectors", IEEE/OSA Journal of Lightwave Technology, 2002. PDF



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