University of Rochester

Engineer Wins Prize for Work on Porous Silicon

November 4, 1994

Philippe Fauchet, professor of electrical engineering at the University of Rochester and senior scientist at the University's Laboratory for Laser Energetics, has been awarded the Guibal- Devillez Prize from the Faculté Polytechnique in Belgium.

The prize, named after the two founders of the institute, is given once every four years to the author of a publication signaling a major discovery in applied technology.

Fauchet received the prize last month for his paper on porous silicon, a pore-filled cousin of crystalline silicon, the material that forms the basis of the entire electronics industry.

Fauchet is studying the material's light-emitting properties and is exploring applications such as solar cells, where the material would be used to convert the sun's rays into useful energy. Fauchet, who has one of the largest groups in the world studying the material, is collaborating with engineers at Xerox Corp. and CVC Inc. to improve the material's efficiency.

Fauchet's work on porous silicon is supported by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority and Rochester Gas & Electric.

Fauchet is widely known as an expert on optoelectronics, where engineers combine the properties of light and electricity. He is a graduate of the Faculté Polytechnique, Brown University, and Stanford University, and taught at Stanford and Princeton before joining the University in 1990. He has received several awards, including a Sloan Research Fellowship, an NSF Presidential Young Investigator Award, and an IBM Faculty Development Award.