On June 11, the Micro and Nanotechnology Lab (MNTL) celebrated its renaming as the Nick Holonyak, Jr. Micro and Nanotechnology Lab in honor of ECE ILLINOIS alumnus Nick Holonyak, Jr (BSEE ’50, MSEE ’51, PhD ’54), John Bardeen Endowed Chair Emeritus in Electrical and Computer Engineering and Physics
A three-time Illinois alumnus (BSEE 1950, MSEE 1951, PhD 1954), Holonyak’s GaAsP red alloy LED paved the way for today’s solid-state lighting revolution that is replacing Edison’s incandescent bulb and other less efficient light sources.
After productive stints with Bell Labs and GE and service in the U.S. Army Signal Corps in Japan, Holonyak joined the Illinois faculty in 1963, establishing a research program in the Electrical Engineering Research Lab.
For the next forty years, Holonyak and his students would continue to produce major technology advancements such as the world’s first quantum-well laser, the impurity-induced layer disordering technique for high-power laser, and the stable native oxide for vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers (VSCELS).
These advancements led to brighter and more efficient LEDS and lasers which are used in modern fiber-optic communications, CD and DVD players, optical storage, medical diagnosis, surgery, ophthalmology, and other applications.
A photo gallery from the ceremony can be found here.
Read more about Holonyak’s legacy here.