Governor Visits Lab of Physics Professor Siva Sivananthan

On September 21, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn visited the Sivananthan Laboratories where he learned about the lab’s pioneering research and ongoing innovation in molecular beam epitaxy (MBE) a technology widely-used in the manufacture of semiconductor devices. MBE has more recently been found to be critical in the production of efficient solar cell energy and that is a major area in which Professor Sivananthan and his colleagues are currently innovating. Participating in the Governor’s fact-finding tour with Sivananthan were Jennifer Woodard, UIC associate vice chancellor for civic and corporate relations, Nancy Sullivan, director of UIC’s Office of Technology Management, and LAS Dean Astrida Orle Tantillo.

“It was an honor and a pleasure to be able to share the achievements of Siva Sivananthan—one of our outstanding alumni (PhD, ’88) and faculty members—with Governor Quinn,” the Dean said. “I was delighted to visit Siva’s lab and to learn firsthand about its active role in building bridges between industry, academia and government. The College and Sivananthan Laboratories share a common belief in the importance of innovation, collaboration and education for overcoming complex economic and scientific problems.”

Professor Sivananthan was named an LAS Distinguished Professor in 2011 when he was honored for his work in the field of experimental condensed matter. He is Director of the Microphysics Laboratory in the Department of Physics. He has been a pioneer in the growth of single-crystal II-VI materials on silicon for twenty years and proposed their use for the manufacture of ultrahigh-efficiency single-crystal II-VI on silicon photovoltaic solar cells fifteen years ago. Sivananthan founded EPIR Technologies in 1997 for the commercialization of MBE-grown CdTe on silicon (CdTe/Si) for defense infrared night vision applications and the development of ultrahigh-efficiency photovoltaic solar cells. EPIR has grown over the past decade out of Sivanathan’s basement into a world-class research and development organization and, more recently, a manufacturing enterprise. His honors include a 2005 “Friend of the Night” award by the U.S. Army Night Vision and Electronic Sensors Directorate for his leadership in this field. Sivananthan serves as a member of the Editorial Board of the Journal of Infrared and Millimeter Waves  and the National Advisory Board for the Nanotechnology Core Facility.  His continuing contributions to the field of II-VI semiconductor research and development are evidenced by his over 200 refereed publications and his numerous invited talks.