Christian Wetzel

Constellation Professor


Department of Physics, Applied Physics & Astronomy, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute


Ph.D. (Dr. rer. nat.), Physics, Technical University Munich, 1993.


Dr. Wetzel was a Visiting Scientist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory through 1996. In 1997 he joined the High Tech Research Center at Meijo University Nagoya, Japan. In October 2000 he joined Uniroyal Optoelectronics as a Senior Epi Scientist and Green Project Manager. He was responsible for new MOCVD epi processes and developed a production process for high brightness green GaInN/GaN LEDs.

Since March 2004 he is a Future Chips Constellation Professor and Associate Professor of Physics at Rensselaer. The Constellation comprises three chaired faculty who develop new concepts for light emitting devices and optoelectronics. Dr. Wetzel's work has been published in some 110 papers that received over 1500 citations.

Research Interests

Dr. Wetzel’s research centers on the electronic band and defect structure of wide band gap semiconductor materials and devices by means of optical spectroscopy under external perturbation. Since 1993, Dr. Wetzel has focused on group-III nitrides with major contributions in the identification of the residual donor in GaN as oxygen and its DX-type behavior. In the group of Prof. Akasaki, he studied the processes of light emission in GaInN quantum wells. He demonstrated the dominance of piezoelectric polarization in the band structure and the light emission processes. At RPI he implements the concepts of piezoelectric bandstructure control to realize new concepts of high efficiency light emitting devices and solar cells. Current emphasis lies on high brightness light emitting diodes emitting in the 520 – 560 nm green spectral region.


Christian Wetzel

Low Center for Industrial Innovation, Room 7117
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
110 8th Street
Troy, New York 12180

Office: (518) 276-3755
Fax: (518) 276-8042