Zetian Mi receives Research Excellence Award from the College of Engineering
Mi’s research offers the promise of sustainable energy and clean water through his breakthroughs in III-nitride quantum nanostructures.
Zetian Mi, professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, received the David E. Liddle Research Excellence Award from the College of Engineering for his contributions to III-nitride nanophotonics and artificial photosynthesis.
Mi’s breakthrough research has altered the landscape of III-nitride photonics by providing a path to achieve efficient deep-UV optoelectronic devices, including LEDs and laser diodes, which can be used to achieve water purification and disinfection of surfaces and environments.
Also remarkable are his contributions to artificial photosynthesis – the chemical transformation of sunlight, water, and carbon dioxide into high energy-rich fuels – which is one of the keys to a carbon-free, storable, and sustainable source of energy. In contrast to many other fuel-generating light absorbers and catalysts, major components of the current approach are cheap, abundant, and already used in industry.
In recognition of his outstanding research and promise of continued breakthroughs, he recently received a $6.25M DoD Multidisciplinary University Research Initiative (MURI) to develop new semiconductors for artificial photosynthesis, in collaboration with three other universities.
In service to the professional community, Mi has served as General Chair of IEEE Photonics Conference in 2020, General Chair of IEEE Summer Topical Meeting in 2016-2017, and Co-Chair of International Symposium on Semiconductor Light Emitting Devices in 2017. He serves as editor of Progress in Quantum Electronics, and as a board member or editor for several additional publications.
Mi is a fellow of the Optical Society of America and SPIE, and co-founder of NS Nanotech and NX Fuels, Inc.