Lionel Kimerling

Thomas Lord Professor of Materials Science and Engineering
SB Metallurgy, MIT, 1965
PhD Metallurgy, MIT, 1969


(617) 253-5383


(617) 253-6782


  • Electronic Materials
  • Nanotechnology
  • Photonic Materials


Prof. Kimerling's research activities address the fundamental science of imperfection in solids and the processing of electronic materials. All his programs include an emphasis on both materials science and applications. His MIT research on silicon processing has addressed photovoltaic cells environmentally benign integrated circuit manufacturing. Among the achievements of this research are the creation of a process simulator for wafer contamination gettering; development of a new ultrasensitive measurement for silicon surface perfection; the discovery of a surface passivation method for the reduction of cleaning steps in manufacturing; and the development of in-situ diagnostic tools for wet chemical process control. His group’s Microphotonics research has produced a series of first ever achievements with the goal of monolithic integration of optical interconnection with integrated microelectronic circuit chips. The research has developed submicron dimensioned optical structures by employing materials systems with high refractive index contrast for confining light. His research results in this area include the optoelectronic physics and materials processing of rare earth-doped semiconductors culminating in the first room temperature operational, erbium-doped silicon light emitting diode; the monolithic integration of MOSFET driver circuitry with Si:Er LEDs and Si/SiO2 waveguides; the process development silicon optical waveguides to yield low loss microphotonic signal distribution; the fabrication and demonstration of the first waveguide-integrated microcavity resonators based on photonic crystal designs at a wavelength of 1.54 microns; the fabrication and demonstration of optical add/drop microphotonic circuits for high capacity WDM data distribution based on microring resonator filter junctions; and the process development and testing of high performance, heteroepitaxial Ge-on-Si photodetectors for microphotonic applications.

Robert H. Richards, class of 1868, established MIT’s Alumni Association. He was also Course III’s first department head.