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SPIE Professional July 2008

Sanjay Krishna Wins Early Career Achievement Award

Photo of Sanjay Krishna, winner of SPIE Early Career Achievement Award
Sanjay Krishna, associate professor of electrical and computer engineering at the University of New Mexico, has been given the inaugural SPIE Early Career Achievement Award in recognition of his tremendous contributions to the development of mid-infrared focal plane arrays using self-assembled quantum dots in a well (DWELL) design.

The new SPIE award was established to honor an early career professional for significant and innovative technical contributions to the photonics community.

Krishna's pioneering work with quantum dots in infrared sensing has led to many advances in space-based atmospheric sensing and remote sensing of biological agents. For example, he developed a novel class of midwave infrared detectors based on self-assembled quantum dots using a DWELL structure. This resulted in a revolutionary midwave/longwave detector with bias-dependent responsivity, leading to a new paradigm in spectral sensing.

In collaboration with NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Krishna's DWELL design led to the demonstration of the first 640 x 512 quantum-dot based camera, a device designed for the high sensitivities needed in spaceborne applications for monitoring atmospheric temperature profiles, relative humidity profiles, and cloud characteristics.

His impressive list of firsts also includes the first two-color quantum dot-based camera, the first longwave infrared quantum dot-based camera, the first quantum dot laser grown on a silicon substrate, and the first intersubband emission from quantum dots.

His present research interests include growth, fabrication and characterization of self-assembled quantum dots and type_II InAs/InGaSb based strain layer superlattices for mid infrared detectors.

Krishna, who received his PhD in applied physics from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, in 2001, is a faculty member of the Optical Science & Engineering Program at the University of New Mexico and its Center for High Technology Materials. He spearheads internship programs at UNM, organizes public seminars, works with area high school students, and serves on several university committees.

As an SPIE member, Krishna initiated the SPIE Student Chapter at UNM and serves as the group's faculty adviser.

Among his many other awards:

  • The Gold Medal from IIT, Madras in 1996
  • Best student paper award at the 16th NAMBE Conference in Banff in 1999
  • The 2002 Ralph E Powe Junior Faculty Award from Oak Ridge Associated Universities
  • The 2003 IEEE Outstanding Engineering Award
  • 2004 Outstanding Researcher Award from the ECE Department
  • The 2005 School of Engineering Junior Faculty Teaching Excellence Award
  • 2007 NCMR-DIA Chief Scientist Award for Excellence
  • 2007 NAMBE Young Investigator Award
  • 2008 IEEE-Nanotechnology Council Early Career Award

Krishna has authored/co-authored more than 70 peer-reviewed journal articles, over 70 conference presentations, two book chapters and has two issued and six pending patents.

Krishna's plenary talk at SPIE Optics+Photonics on 12 August is entitled, "Infrared Retina Using Nanoscale Quantum Dots and Strain Layer Superlattices."

* More information on SPIE annual awards.

This is an extended version of an article that appeared in the July 2008 issue of SPIE Professional. Have a question or comment about this article? Write to us at SPIEprofessional@spie.org