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Personal profile

Research Interests

My 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, frequently employed to provide structured illumination fields with sophisticated spatial and temporal control. These devices have great potential in application areas such as visible light communications, object location and motion control, and materials processing. Hybrid assembly methods for GaN devices involving advanced transfer printing techniques increasingly underpin this area of research. My earlier projects at Strathclyde 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 a novel and patented wet etch technique. 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 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. A recent research interest developing with IoP colleagues concerns synthesis of luminescent halide perovskite nanoparticles, which was the subject of a fuitful MSc project in 2017.

In addition to my personal research at Strathclyde, I manage the Institute of Photonics microfabrication cleanroom facility in the Technology and Innovation Centre. This facility offers multi-user access to a wide range of tools for lithography, metal and dielectric deposition, wet and dry etching, and microelectronic assembly.

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 170 refereed publications in total. I am a member of the Royal Society of Chemistry, with CChem status, and the Institute of Physics.


  • gallium nitride, semiconductor devices, light-emitting diodes
  • chemical vapour deposition, semiconductor characterisation

Fingerprint Fingerprint is based on mining the text of the person's scientific documents to create an index of weighted terms, which defines the key subjects of each individual researcher.

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Projects 2007 2023

Research Output 2001 2018

Open Access
radiant flux density
53 Citations (Scopus)

A review of gallium nitride LEDs for multi-gigabit-per-second visible light data communications

Rajbhandari, S., McKendry, J. J. D., Herrnsdorf, J., Chun, H., Faulkner, G., Haas, H., Watson, I. M., O'Brien, D. & Dawson, M. D., 4 Jan 2017, In : Semiconductor Science and Technology. 32, 40 p., 023001 .

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Open Access
Gallium nitride
gallium nitrides
Light emitting diodes
optical communication
light emitting diodes


Novel optical communications and imaging enabled by CMOS interfaced LED technology

Author: Griffiths, A., 1 Apr 2018

Supervisor: Dawson, M. (Supervisor) & Watson, I. (Supervisor)

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis

Activities 2008 2018

International proposal review

Ian Watson (Recipient)
9 Jun 2018

Activity: Other activity typesTypes of External academic engagement - To be assigned

PhD examiner

Ian Watson (Examiner)
18 May 2018

Activity: Examination typesExamination


Impact from commercial microfabrication access

Ian Watson (Participant)

Impact: Economic and commerce

Impact from dissemination to public and professional audiences

Ian Watson (Participant)

Impact: Impact - for External PortalEducation, Economic and commerce, !!Social impacts