1972 …2020

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Personal profile

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Herzl Aharoni was born in Haifa Israel in 1937. He received his B.Sc (1964), M.Sc  (1967), Dipl Ing(1970), and D.Sc(1972), in Electrical Engineering, all from the Technion, Israel Institute of Technology (IIT), Haifa, Israel. After receiving his Doctorate, he joined the Department of Electrical Engineering at Ben-Gurion University (B.G.U) of the Negev, Beer-Sheva, Israel, in 1973, where he was a tenured full professor (since Feb. 2007-Professor Emeritus). He was in the founding team of faculty members of this department; His research interests lay in the area of physics and technology of solid-state electronic materials and devices. The specialization field of Professor Aharoni is teaching and research of the physics and technology of semiconductor based solid state photovoltaic, electronic and optoelectronic devices and related materials. He focuses on new processing development in microelectronics in order to optimize the performance of semiconductor electron devices. He has been working on diversified subjects in this area. He has authored and co-authored over 200 scientific publications, including four conference invited papers and a plenary paper and published two poetry books. He is a teacher and researcher in this field for over fifty five years of continues academic activities, starting  upon graduation, as a full-time classroom and laboratory teaching assistant and instructor for undergraduate students, at the Technion, while conducting an experimental research in the semiconductor area for the fulfillment of his graduate requirements.

 

                             Professor Aharoni spent 33 years(1973-2007) of working at Ben-Gurion University as a regular Faculty member.  Following his retirement on 2007 (mandatory) from B.G.U he continued to teach there some ten more years. During his tenure at B.G.U he served, in additon to his regular teaching/research activities, in a wide range of capacies in and out the university, some of which are outlined below:  

                             In charge of instruction and curriculum development of  the physics of semiconductor electronic materials, devices and circuits, semiconductor technology and microelectronics. Academic head of the Electronic Devices and Microelectronics Laboratory.  Academic head of the Electronic Circuits Laboratory. Chairman/Member of the Departmental Committee on Curriculum and Academic Affairs. Member of the Departmental Committee for Appointments and Promotions. Member of the Council of the Faculty of Technological Sciences. Member of University Senate for twenty years (1984-2004). Member of Israeli Government Interdepartmental Committee for Microelectronics Development in Israel (appointed by theMinister of Science and Technology August 1991). Chairmen of a committee appointed by the Governmental Council for Higher Education (J/S), for upgrading the B.Tech degree to B.Sc degree in the Department of Electrical Engineering at the Ariel Collage.  Reviewer for the NRF (National Research Foundation) of South Africa, for the scientific evaluation of university faculty members (since 1984) .  

                                               

As part of his academic activities at Ben-Gurion University, he has undertaken International collaborative research in the semiconductor area abroad, being invited to various universities and research institutions for over 13 years. In the 1978-1979 academic years, he spent a sabbatical at the University of California, San Diego, USA, as a visiting associate professor in the department of Applied Physics and Information Science teaching circuit analysis and semiconductor technology. He spent 15 months (1979-1980) at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), Pasadena, California, USA, where he joined the advanced photovoltaic research group. He spent an extended sabbatical in 1984-1986 (26 months) at the Solar Energy Research Institute (SERI now NREL) at Golden, Colorado, USA, developing novel photovoltaic devices. In 1994-1996 (22 months), in 1999-2001 (26 months) and in (2006-2007) he spent extended sabbaticals at Tohoku University in Sendai, Japan as a professor, where he conducted research aimed towards the scaling down of Si based electronic devices. He paid recurrent visits to Rand Afrikaans University, Johannesburg, South Africa, from 3 to 4 months each, during 1981-1983 and 1989-1990 (totalling 16 months), working on reflectivity properties of ion-implanted single crystal silicon for the determination of the resulting crystal  disorder and recrystallization following annealing. He also paid recurrent visits (3 to 4 months each) to the University of Pretoria in South Africa as a visiting Professor, for a total of 30 months from 1991 to 2003 (including 8 months sabbatical in 1993/94), working on light emission from silicon devices that he invented. He performed research at IMEC, Leuven, Belgium, in 1987, for four months, on the subject of epitaxial growth of III-V compounds by MBE, and at the Physics Department at McGill University, Montreal, Canada, in 1988, for 4 months, working on the growth of ZnSe by Organo Metallic CVD.

 

 His research activities have been extensive and diversified, as briefly described below. He pioneered in Israel as part of his Doctoral work the subject of Atmospheric Pressure Chemical Vapour Deposition (C.V.D) of Ge-Si heteroepitaxial layers growth. He designed, build, calibrated and operated two epitaxial growth systems, the first by the reduction of  SiCl4 and GeCl4 in Hydrogen, and the second by thermal decomposition of SiH4 and GeH4 in order to grow single crystal thin Si-Ge films, studying the nucleation, island and coalescence process, and determining the changes in the lattice parameter as a function of the Si/Ge ration  He conducted  research investigating the influence of the epitaxial layer parameters on the breakdown mechanisms in Si based epitaxial devices. He also worked on developing novel photovoltaic devices for space applications, from gallium arsenide, by Organo Metallic CVD and from ITO/InP by ion beam sputtering. He conducted research regarding low temperature processing required for the transfer of the Si based materials and devices fabrication technology from VLSI to ULSI. He conducted research regarding the growth of SiO2 and Si3N4, thin films grown at 400oC using advanced plasma techniques, which yielded superior resistance to electric field induced breakdown, then films grown by conventional techniques at 1000 oC. He worked on reflectivity properties of ion-implanted single crystal silicon wafers, in order to experimentally determine the critical dose for the formation of Si crystal disorder.

 

A seminal groundbreaking contribution was made by Professor Aharoni in the emerging field of Silicon Photonics. He transformed science into technology and engineering through pioneering the transformation of a known physical phenomena of light emission from silicon, into a variety of practical single crystal Silicon Light Emitting Devices (SiLEDs) that did not existed before at all. He introduced, initiated and guided in a leading role a research on developing practical two-terminal and multi-terminal integrated silicon light-emitting devices (Si-LEDs) for the fabrication of on-chip, low operating voltage, all-silicon novel monolithic electronic circuits and systems. This was done by utilizing standard IC processing technology and design rules without any adaptation. As a result, high-speed, highly efficient, cost-effective, integrated Silicon Light Emitting devices, operating in the avalanche mode (Si Av LEDs) and spectrally matched integrated Si detectors can be fabricated together on the same silicon chip in a tight proximity, enabling the formation of optical coupling. The optical coupling replaces the metallic coupling usually used for signal transmission between devices, facilitating higher rate of signal transmission and processing. This approach enables to integrate on the same chip the SiLEDs with other components using the same masks and processing procedures. This means that the yield, reliability, and price of the Si Av LEDs are the same as the other Si devices integrated on the same chip. This enables the fabrication of much desired novel all-silicon integrated optoelectronic signal processing systems, and specifically, the highly desired monolithic integration of photonic analog and digital communication systems on CMOS, bi-polar and FinFET optical integrated platform. Professor Aharoni is a co-author of several patents on Si-LED`s and received wide international recognition for his accomplishments in this field which gave rise to a worldwide research on SiLEDs.

 

 

 

 

 

Professor Aharoni received a U.S NRC-NASA, award in1979 for performing a research at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), Pasadena, California, USA. He has received four teaching awards at B.G.U, two Faculty of Engineering “Best Teacher” awards in 1987 and 1988, and an “Esteemed Teacher” citation from the Students' Association of Ben-Gurion University for 1988/89. In 2005 and 2006 he received the 'Outstanding Teaching Award" presented to him by the President and the Rector of Ben-Gurion University. In 2017 he received the "Career-long Excellence in Teaching Award" presented to him by the President and the Rector of BGU.  He was appointed a Distinguished Research Professor at the Materials Laboratory of Rand Afrikaans University in 1990. In November 1997 he received the research prize of Ben-Gurion University, for research contributions in applied electronics. He supervised a research and co-authored a student paper that received the “Young Researcher Award” (SSDM 2001 conference, Japan). In 2003 he received the grade of a Fellow of the Institution of Electrical Engineers (IEE now IET)and was promoted to IET HONORARY FELLOW in 2020.and .At 2005 he received the grade of a Fellow of the Institute of Physics (IOP), the grade of a Fellow(2007) of the American Physical Society (APS), a grade of a Fellow(2011) of the International Society for Optical Engineering (SPIE), a grade of a

 Fellow (2016) of The Optical Society of America (OSA now Optica), a grade of a  Fellow(2016) of the South African Institute of Electrical Engineers (SAIEE) and a grade of

 Fellow (2018) of the European Physical Society (EPS). He received a Certificate of "Recognition and Appreciation"-by the IEEE Electron Device Society as an IEEE Distinguished Lecturer (2003-2015). He received the 2010 "iNEER Achievement Award" Presented by the international advisory board of the International Network for Engineering Education &Research (iNEER). Professor Aharoni is a Life Senior Member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers(IEEE). He is a member the Israel Physical Society (IPS) and of the Society of Electrical and Electronics Engineers in Israel (SEEEI).

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