Aden and Marjorie Meinel Technology Achievement Award: Joe C. Campbell

Joe Campbell, professor of electrical and computer engineering at University of Virginia, wins the 2019 Aden and Marjorie Meinel Technology Achievement Award
02 October 2019
Joe C. Campbell. Credit: Dan Addison, University of Virginia Communications

Avalanche photodiodes (APDs) are the basis of high-sensitivity receivers and are used throughout the world by a wide variety of companies. Joe C. Campbell, the Lucien Carr III Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at University of Virginia, has been a leader in APD research for the past 30 years.

In recent years, Campbell's group has continued to refine and improve the performance of APDs and advance fundamental knowledge of the physical principles that contribute to low-noise and high-gain bandwidth products in APDs. Modeling by Campbell's students has shown that the very low multiplication noise that has been achieved is a result of the nonlocal nature of impact ionization and its importance in APDs with thin multiplication regions. Using new materials and structures, Campbell's group has demonstrated record low-noise and gain-bandwidth products for communications APDs.

For these pioneering contributions to high-speed, low-noise APDs used in optical communication systems, Campbell is the 2019 recipient of the SPIE Aden and Marjorie Meinel Technology Achievement Award.

"There can be no question that Joe was the major contributor worldwide in developing useful long wavelength (1300-1600 nm) APDs," says Larry Coldren, Fred Kavli Professor of Optoelectronics and Sensors at University of California, Santa Barbara. "His original invention of the separate absorption and multiplication structure, as well as his many contributions to novel structures since, has had a major impact in the optical communications arena. He continues to make significant contributions to detectors and receivers in the UV and visible as well as in the IR spectral regions."

The SPIE Aden and Marjorie Meinel Technology Achievement Award is presented in recognition of outstanding technical accomplishment in optics, electro-optics, photonic engineering, or imaging. Campbell received the award at SPIE Optics + Photonics in August 2019.

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