Gary W. Wicks received four degrees from the Applied and Engineering Physics Department of Cornell University: BS (1977), MEng (1978), MS (1979) and PhD (1981). He remained at Cornell until 1987 as a research associate, and later as a senior research associate, in the Electrical Engineering Department. In 1987 he joined the Institute of Optics faculty as an associate professor, and has held the rank of professor since 1993. From 2001 to 2011, Professor Wicks served as associate director of the Institute of Optics. In 2011, he was interim director of the Institute.
Professor Wicks' research interests center around III-V semiconductors: epitaxial growth, optical properties and optical devices. Examples of his research include development of new techniques in molecular beam epitaxial growth; reduced dimensional structures such as quantum dots and superlattices; studies of III-V heterostructure interfaces with Raman and photoluminescence spectroscopies; and quantum dot lasers and infrared detectors.
Research programs fall into two areas, semiconductor materials and semiconductor devices. In the materials area, examples of research include new developments in the growth of semiconductor crystals by molecular beam epitaxy, such as solid phosphorus sources for phosphides, and selective area growth of nitrides. In the device area, the research concentrates on arsenide and phosphide lasers in the near IR and visible, InAs bipolar transistors, and InAs/GaSb materials for mid-wave infrared light emitters and detectors.
Professor Wicks' laboratory features two molecular beam epitaxy systems, one for arsenides/phosphides/nitrides and one for antimonides/arsenides. In addition, the lab has sample fabrication equipment, extensive optical materials characterization (photoluminescence, Raman spectroscopy, FTIR spectroscopy), electrical characterization (Hall measurements, CV measurements), x-ray diffraction, and electrical and optical device characterization.