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In the Spotlight...

Ganesh Balakrishnan, Ph.D.

FINAL gunny photoGanesh Balakrishnan, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Associate Chair, Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering
The University of New Mexico

Dr. Balakrishnan has disclosed 15 inventions to STC, received five UNM-affiliated issued U. S. patents and has four pending U. S. patent applications for his semiconductor, reconfigurable antenna, and solar cell technologies.

Dr. Balakrishnan’s primary research focus for the past decade has been the growth and characterization of highly mismatched III-Sb compound semiconductors on GaAs and silicon substrates. His specific contribution to this area of research is the novel use of interfacial misfit dislocation arrays in enabling low defect-density, bufferless, monolithic integration of III-Sb on GaAs and silicon substrates for increased functionality of antimonide devices on mature platforms.

The suite of patents on highly mismatched antimonide devices along with CVD diamond based thermal management patents have formed the basis for several world record lasers and photovoltaic devices with applications ranging from gas sensing to infrared counter measures.

Dr. Balakrishnan has also been part of technologies such as the OPRAS antenna technology which merges photonics with reconfigurable antennas to provide an antenna technology that can be reconfigured dynamically at very high speeds.  Discrete semiconductor photoconductive elements act as switches between antenna elements, dynamically changing the resonant frequencies of the antenna without using required bias lines to activate the switches. The elimination of bias lines is a very important advantage and feature of this technology since bias lines can interfere with the design and operation of the antenna.

The technology is also a complete departure from traditional antenna designs in that it eliminates all metal from the antenna plane. Through the use of a photo-conducting layer integrated with a pixilated array of vertical-cavity, surface-emitting lasers (VCSELs), metal-like regions can be dynamically created on the substrate layer to “fabricate” an antenna. The pixilated VCSEL array is comprised of lasers that can be individually addressed and dynamically programmed with a field-programmable gate array (FPGA). This allows for the fabrication and reconfiguration of the desired antenna in real time.

The OPRAS antenna systems can also conform to any surface, such as ship bulk-heads or aircraft fuselages and are inconspicuous.  It would also be possible to fabricate an OPRAS-based frequency-selective surface for design of radomes (radar protective coverings), circuit interconnects and metamaterials.

7,432,175 Quantum Dots Nucleation Layer of Lattice Mismatched Epitaxy, issued October 7, 2008
7,700,395 Hybrid Integration Based on Wafer-Bonding of Devices to AISb Monolithically Grown on Si, issued April 20, 2010
8,410,523  Misfit Dislocation Forming Interfacial Self-Assembly for Growth of Highly-Mismatched III-Sb Alloys, issued April 2, 2013
8,482,465 Optically-Pumped Reconfigurable Antenna Systems (OPRAS), issued July 9, 2013

Multi-Source Optimal Reconfigurable Energy Harvester
Fiber Coupled Solar Cell Modules for Concentrated Operation in Consumer Electronics Applications
Fiber Coupled Solar Cell Modules for Concentrated Operation in Consumer Electronics Applications
High Quality AlSb for Radiation Detection

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