Dvorak's doctoral research wins medal

Jun 27, 2002, vol. 24, no. 5
By Stuart Colgleugh

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“As a grad student, you don't normally expect you'll be doing anything that's actually useful - especially for the long term,” chuckles recent SFU engineering science PhD graduate Martin Dvorak (left).

But that's exactly what Dvorak accomplished with his doctoral research at the university's compound semiconductor device laboratory (CSDL), which has lead to the world's fastest bipolar transistor and earned him this year's Douglas R. Colton medal for research excellence.

The new cooler-running transistor could play a key role in future semiconductor electronics applications, particularly new fibre-optic and wireless tele-communications technologies, says CSDL director Colombo Bolognesi, who initiated the project.

“We developed three generations of transistors through a grant from NSERC (the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council) and Martin worked on all of them - but this last one was all his, “ says Bolognesi, who was Dvorak's advisor for his engineering science masters and PhD theses.

“He developed some process improvements that allow the fabrication of very small-area devices that ended up being very fast.”

Dvorak, who convocated in June, and his young family are now based in Santa Rosa, Calif., where he works at scientific equipment maker Agilent Technologies' micro-technology centre.

The annual Colton medal recognizes outstanding research and development in microelectronics or related technologies by faculty, students or alumni who have successfully completed a master's or PhD degree at any Canadian university within the previous three years.

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