UCSB Engineering

Chris Van De Walle



Chris Van De Walle


Materials Department
University of California
Santa Barbara, CA 93106

tel: (805) 893-7144
fax: (805) 893-8983

Personal web site

"Hydrogen Multicentre Bonds"

"Hydrogen Multicentre Bonds"

Research Description

* Novel electronic materials; wide-band-gap semiconductors (III-V nitrides, II-VI compounds, …), oxides.

* Physics and chemistry of hydrogen interactions with solids, liquids, and molecular systems.

* Hydrogen in materials: storage, production (photoelectrochemical cells).

* Computational physics. Density-functional theory, pseudopotentials. Atomic and electronic structure of crystalline, polycrystalline and amorphous materials, interfaces, surfaces, defects.

* Semiconductor heterojunctions and superlattices; effects of strain; deformation potentials. Metal-semiconductor interfaces, Schottky barriers.

* Defects and impurities in solids, doping, diffusion. Calculation of hyperfine parameters and vibrational modes.

* Device simulations; optical gain in laser structures.

Research Groups


Before joining the Materials Department in 2004, Chris Van de Walle was a Principal Scientist in the Electronic Materials Laboratory at the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center (PARC). He received his Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University in 1986. He was a postdoctoral scientist at the IBM T. J. Watson Research Center in Yorktown Heights, New York (1986-1988), a Senior Member of Research Staff at Philips Laboratories in Briarcliff Manor, New York (1988-1991), and an Adjunct Professor of Materials Science at Columbia University (1991). Prof. Van de Walle develops and employs first-principles techniques to model the structure and behavior of electronic materials. He has performed extensive studies of semiconductor interfaces (including the development of a widely used model for band offsets) and of defects and impurities in semiconductors, with particular emphasis on doping problems. In recent years he has been focusing his attention on wide-band-gap semiconductors, oxides, and on the behavior of hydrogen in materials. He has published over 200 research papers, has 18 patents, and has given over 100 invited and plenary talks at international conferences. Prof. Van de Walle is a Fellow of the American Physical Society, a Senior Member of the IEEE, and the recipient of a Humboldt Award for Senior US Scientist and the David Adler Award from the APS. He has chaired three conferences; recently he was Program Chair for the 27th International Conference on the Physics of Semiconductors (Flagstaff, AZ, 2004) and co-chair of the International Symposium on Hydrogen Production and Storage (Santa Barbara, CA, 2006).


  • California NanSystems Institute (CNSI)


  • PARC Excellence Award, 2003
  • David Adler Award, American Physical Society, 2002
  • PARC Golden Acorn Award, 2002
  • Humboldt Research Award for Senior US Scientist, Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, Germany, 1998

Selected Publications

  • Direct determination of the built-in polarization field in InGaN/GaN quantum wells, Proceedings of SIMC-XII-2002 (Semiconducting and Insulating Materials Conference, 2003, 48-51, R. Schmidt, P. Kiesel, M. Kneissl, C. G. Van de Walle, N.M. Johnson, F. Renner, and G. H. Döhler
  • Hydrogen interactions with semiconductors and oxides, C. G. VProceedings of the International Workshop on Hydrogen in Materials and Vacuum Systemsan de Walle, 671, 2003, C. G. Van de Walle
  • Effects of stoichiometry on point defects and impurities in gallium nitride, Proceedings of the 4th Symposium on Non-Stoichiometric III-V Compounds, 2002, C. G. Van de Walle, J. E. Northrup, and J. Neugebauer
  • Novel configuration of Mg-H complexes in GaN, GaN and Related Alloys, 693, 2002, S. Limpijumnong, J. E. Northrup, and C. G. Van de Walle
  • Vibrational spectroscopy of GaN:Mg under pressure, GaN and Related Alloys, 693, 2002, M. D. McCluskey, K. K. Zhuravlev, M. Kneissl, W. Wong, D. Treat, S. Limpijumnong, C. G. Van de Walle, and N. M. Johnson
  • Controlling the conductivity of wide-band-gap semiconductors, Proceedings of the 25th International Conference on the Physics of Semiconductors, 2001, 3, Chris G. Van de Walle and J. Neugebauer
  • Performance characteristics of cw InGaN multiple-quantum-well laser diodes, Materials Research Society Symposium Proceedings, 639, 2001, M. Kneissl, W. S. Wong, C. G. Van de Walle, J. E. Northrup, D. W. Treat, M. Teepe, N. Miyashita, P. Kiesel, and N. M. Johnson
  • Stability, diffusion, and complex formation of beryllium in wurtzite GaN, GaN and Related Alloys, 639, 2001, G4.3, S. Limpijumnong, C. G. Van de Walle, and J. Neugebauer
  • Theoretical study of Si/Ge interfaces, Vac. Sci. Technol. B, 3, 1985, 1256, C. G. Van de Walle and R. M. Martin, J.
  • The significance of interference effects in thin film Cu2S/CdS solar cells, Solar Cells, 9, 1983, 353, C. Van de Walle and P. De Visschere