Prize Recipient

Recipient Picture

David E. Aspnes
North Carolina State University


"For his creative applications of experimental and theoretical methods to the study of optical properties of thin films, surfaces, and interfaces; in particular, for electric-field modulation, spectroscopic ellipsometry, and dynamic control of epitaxial growth."


David. E. Aspnes is a Professor of Physics at North Carolina State University. He obtained BS and MS degrees in Electrical Engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1960 and 1961, respectively, and a Ph.D. in Physics from the University of Illinois Urbana/Champaign in 1965. After a year as a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the University of Illinois and another at Brown University, he joined Bell Laboratories as a Member of the Technical Staff in 1967. In 1983 he joined Bellcore to organize and head the Interface Physics Department. He became a member of the faculty of North Carolina State University in 1992.

Principal research interests have been in the areas of optical spectroscopy and semiconductor and surface physics. Contributions include the discovery, elucidation, and development of low-field electroreflectance for high-resolution spectroscopy of semiconductors and the determination of their band structures, the development and application of spectroscopic ellipsometry to surfaces, interfaces, thin films, and bulk materials, and the development and application of reflectance-difference spectroscopy to real-time analysis of epitaxial growth. Current research activities are directed toward nondestructive analysis of surfaces and interfaces, and in particular the real-time diagnostics and control of semiconductor epitaxy by organometallic chemical vapor deposition.

Prof. Aspnes has published over 300 papers and has been granted 8 patents. He is a member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Physical Society, the American Vacuum Society, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, the Materials Research Society, the Optical Society of America, Sigma Xi, and the Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers. Among other activities he has served as a Director of the American Vacuum Society, as Chair of the Electronic Materials and Processing Division of the AVS and of IUVSTA, and is presently serving a 4-year term as a Councilor of the American Physical Society from the Division of Condensed-Matter Physics. He is currently on the Editorial Boards of Thin Solid Films, Applied Surface Science, and Physical Review B.

Prof. Aspnes is a Fellow of the American Physical Society (1973) and of the Optical Society of America (1979). In 1976 he received an Alexander von Humboldt Senior Scientist Award, and in 1987 was awarded the Wood Prize of the Optical Society of America for his work on spectroscopic ellipsometry. His contributions to real-time diagnostics and control of epitaxy were recognized by the 1993 John Yarwood Memorial Medal of the British Vacuum Council, and those to optical processes in solids by the 1996 Frank Isakson Prize of the American Physical Society.