Choquette named SPIE Fellow

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By Lauren Eichmann, ECE Illinois
April 29, 2008

  • Prof. Kent Choquette was named a Fellow of SPIE.
  • SPIE is an international society whose goal is to advance an interdisciplinary approach to science and the application of light.
  • "To be recognized by SPIE is sort of like completing the circle," Choquette said. "SPIE will value contributions that have an impact on actual applications."

Kent D. Choquette
Kent D. Choquette

ECE Professor Kent D. Choquette has been named a Fellow of SPIE (www.SPIE.org), an international society whose goal is to advance an interdisciplinary approach to the science and application of light. He is recognized for his specific achievements in semiconductor vertical cavity surface emitting laser diodes (VCSELs). Individuals who attain Fellow status are recognized for their significant scientific and technical contributions in the fields of optics, photonics, and imaging.

This year, recipients are honored at three separate award ceremonies. Choquette attended an April banquet and conference in Strasbourg, France, in which he had prior commitments to serve as part of the program committee. Being honored as a Fellow just added to the anticipation of the conference, he said. The Europe conference is a relatively new location for SPIE, said Choquette, who described such a trip as worthwhile. "It was very exciting and eye-opening to review work that is going on in this field in Europe," he said. "(The conference) was a great opportunity to see European-centric research."

Also holding IEEE and Optical Society of America (OSA) Fellow status, Choquette said being named an SPIE Fellow means something entirely different. SPIE is more industry-oriented and commercial than either IEEE or OSA, he said, and thus closer to the application side of such technology. "To be recognized by SPIE is sort of like completing the circle," Choquette said. "SPIE will value contributions that have an impact on actual applications."

Choquette has spent nearly two decades working on VCSELs, and even developed a VCSEL conference at Photonics West (http://spie.org/x1375.xml), which will celebrate its 13th year in 2009. He is known as a leader in the design, fabrication, and characterization of VCSEL diodes, and has used a selectively oxidized VCSEL structure to develop short (650 nm) and long (1300 nm) wavelength lasers for new applications. Choquette also created the first leaky mode coupled VCSEL arrays and three terminal composite resonator VCSEL diodes. He has 16 U.S. patents to his credit, and more than 200 published papers.

For the future, Choquette explained how he hopes to push technology to create smaller, faster, better lasers. "We want to continue to improve the device physics for better devices - which inevitably means better applications," he said.

The Society, initiated in 1955, has recognized more than 500 Fellows to date. This year alone, SPIE honored 72 new Fellows. SPIE has more than 188,000 active members across 138 different countries, and "acts as a catalyst for collaboration among technical disciplines for information exchange, continuing education, publishing opportunities, patent precedent, and career and professional growth." Overall, the society concentrates on a wide range of topics: from lasers and LEDs, to lithography systems for semiconductors.

Editor's note: media inquiries should be directed to Brad Petersen, Director of Communications, at bradp@illinois.edu or (217) 244-6376.

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