Eli Yablonovitch

Research Expertise and Interest

optoelectronics, physical electronics, high speed optical communications, nanocavity lasers, photonic crystals at optical and microwave frequencies, quantum computing and communication

Research Description

Eli Yablonovitch introduced the idea that strained semiconductor lasers could have superior performance due to reduced valence band (hole) effective mass. With almost every human interaction with the internet, optical telecommunication occurs by strained semiconductor lasers.

He is regarded as a Father of the Photonic BandGap concept, and he coined the term "Photonic Crystal". The geometrical structure of the first experimentally realized Photonic bandgap, is sometimes called “Yablonovite”.

In his photovoltaic research, Yablonovitch introduced the 4(n squared) (“Yablonovitch Limit”) light-trapping factor that is in worldwide use, for almost all commercial solar panels.

His mantra that "a great solar cell also needs to be a great LED”, is the basis of the world record solar cells: single-junction 29.1% efficiency; dual-junction 31.5%; quadruple-junction 38.8% efficiency; all at 1 sun.

His startup company Ethertronics Inc., shipped over 2 billion cellphone antennas.

He co-Founded Luxtera Inc., the originator and world leader of Silicon Photonics, now acquired by Cisco Systems. There is a 2-dimensional Photonic Crystal, in every Luxtera Silicon Photonics chip, millions of which are in major data centers, used by billions all around the globe.

In the News

Three innovators elected to National Academy of Inventors

Three faculty members – Tsu-Jae King Liu and Eli Yablonovitch of electrical engineering and computer sciences and Daniel Portnoy of molecular and cell biology and public health – have been named fellows of the National Academy of Inventors.

Featured in the Media

Please note: The views and opinions expressed in these articles are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or positions of UC Berkeley.
December 12, 2018
Tom Avril
Five Berkeley affiliates were honored with prestigious Franklin Institute awards this week. Electrical engineering and computer sciences professor Eli Yablonovitch won the 2019 Benjamin Franklin Medal in Electrical Engineering, recognizing his research boosting the efficiency of solar panels and for his innovations in photonics, widely used in telecommunications, computers, and other high-tech applications. Former Berkeley immunologist James Allison won the Franklin Medal in Life Science, recognizing cancer research he conducted at Berkeley, for which he also won a Nobel Prize this year. Former physics professor John Hopfield won the Franklin Medal in Physics for his contributions to various biological sciences, as well as machine learning and computer science. And other honorees included doctoral alumni Frances Arnold (chemistry) and Marcia Johnson (computer and cognitive science). For more on this, see our story at Berkeley News.
Loading Class list ...