Professor Van de Walle leads the Computational Materials group and develops and employs first-principles techniques to model the structure and behavior of materials. He has performed extensive studies of semiconductor interfaces and of defects and impurities in semiconductors, with particular emphasis on doping problems and on the role of hydrogen. He has made important contributions to the understanding of wide-band-gap semiconductors, including the nitride materials used for solid-state lighting; oxides for use as transparent conductors or in novel electronic applications; and hydrogen storage materials. His work on Auger recombination and free-carrier absorption has provided new insights in loss mechanisms in optoelectronic devices.
Chris G. Van de Walle has been a Professor in the Materials Department at the University of California, Santa Barbara since 2004. Prior to joining UCSB he was a Principal Scientist at Xerox PARC (1991-2004). He received his Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering in 1987 from Stanford University, performed postdoctoral research at the IBM T. J. Watson Research Center (1986-1988), and joined Philips Laboratories in Briarcliff Manor, New York (1988-1991). Professor Van de Walle is a Fellow of the APS, the AVS, the AAAS, the MRS, and the IEEE, and the recipient of a Humboldt Award for Senior US Scientist, the 2002 David Adler Award from the APS, and the 2013 Medard W. Welch Award from the AVS.