Eugene A. Fitzgerald
Professor Eugene Fitzgerald’s research pushes the limitations of electronic materials, especially limitations created by imperfections in materials such as point, line, and planar defects. Much of the Fitzgerald Group’s efforts are focused on lattice-mismatched semiconductor systems, in which layers in electronic materials and devices have different lattice parameters. Such material combinations have potential in printing, storage, display, communications, and interconnect applications. The utility of these materials depends on the ability to understand and eliminate crystalline defects, which can be generated because of the lattice-mismatch between semiconductor layers.
Professor Fitzgerald earned a BS in materials science and engineering at MIT in 1985 and a PhD at Cornell in 1989. Building on early experience at AT&T Bell Labs, he and colleagues invented high-mobility strained silicon and commercialized the technology through AmberWave System Corporation—a company he co-founded in 1998. Most silicon integrated circuits in cell phones, computers, and other applications use the technology today. He also founded or co-founded six other companies specializing in semiconductors, water purification, and silicon-based high-efficiency multi-junction solar cells. He was appointed CEO and director of the Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research and Technology, or SMART, MIT’s research enterprise in Singapore. Under Professor Fitzgerald’s leadership, SMART’s Low Energy Electronic Systems program saw the development of manufacturable methods for integrating compound semiconductors into silicon integrated circuits. As a result, a new silicon integrated circuit company was founded in Singapore. Fitzgerald is the co-author of the 2010 book Inside Real Innovation, which provides insights into the processes behind innovation.