My current research centres on the materials science, microfabrication and device applications of wide bandgap materials from the gallium nitride (GaN) materials family. In current projects, these materials are principally utilised in the form of micro-pixellated light-emitting diode (LED) arrays. These devices have great potential in fast-developing application areas such as visible light communications and integrated microsystems for bio-science and materials processing. Flexible circuits made from GaN devices by advanced transfer printing techniques form another very exciting and recent area of application. My earlier projects involving significant GaN process development included fabrication of macro-scale LEDs featuring photonic quasi-crystal patterns, planar microcavity structures, and air-gap Bragg mirrors. The latter two topics depended critically on the use of sacrificial layers comprised of aluminium indium nitride, for which I developed novel wet etch techniques. Up to 2009 I was also active in the growth of nitride semiconductor layers by metal organic chemical vapour phase epitaxy (MOVPE). Research outputs with leading international collaborators using samples grown in that period continue, and during 2013 I published an invited article on nitride semiconductor MOVPE for Coordination Chemistry Reviews. In addition to GaN-based research, I contribute to research with Chemistry Department colleagues on organic photovoltaics, I am Adviser for an MSc course in Photonics and Device Microfabrication, and co-ordinate much of my Institute’s planning for relocation into the TIC facility in 2014. My research experience before joining Strathclyde in 1998 had a strong emphasis on MOVPE and related techniques. I worked on a diverse range of thin film materials, including gallium arsenide for space solar cell applications at EEV Ltd, II-VI compound semiconductors at Imperial College London, and oxide superconductors from the yttrium barium copper oxide family at CambridgeUniversity. I published an invited review of MOVPE of the latter class of materials in 1997, and have over 150 refereed publications in total. I am a member of the Royal Society of Chemistry, with CChem status, the Institute of Physics, and the Materials Research Society.
Dr Ian Watson is (or has formerly been) affiliated with Institute of Photonics, Strathclyde, Strathclyde-gan-materials-university-of-strathclyde and University of Strathclyde.
Areas of Expertise
- gallium nitride, semiconductor devices, light-emitting diodes, chemical vapour deposition, semiconductor characterisation