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Paul Daniel Dapkus

Professor Emeritus of Electrical and Computer Engineering


  • Doctoral Degree, Physics, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • Master's Degree, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign


Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering, 1970, U. of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, IL.

Professor Dapkus is the William M. Keck Professor of Engineering and the director of the The Photonics Center at USC at USC. His research group has been active in the development of photonic materials and devices of the past 19 years. Prior to coming to USC Professor Dapkus was a member of technical staff at Bell Laboratories where he worked on visible light emitting diodes. He then worked at Rockwell International where he led the group responsible for the demonstration of the viability of MOCVD as a device epitaxy process. MOCVD is now the most widely used process for the research and manufacture of photonic materials and devices. At USC, Professor Dapkus' research has centered on the invention and demonstration of novel and high performance photonic devices. They have made important contributions to the physics and technology of 1.55 micron lasers for fiber optic technology, ultralow threshold edge emitting lasers and vertical cavity surface emitting lasers. His group has continued to develop the MOCVD process by developing an understanding of the chemical reactions and surface processes operative in growth. His current research involves the application of selective area growth to functional photonic devices, the development of resonator based devices for WDM and signal processing and the development of novel GaN based lasers for biochip applications. Professor Dapkus has been awarded several honors for his work including the IEEE David Sarnoff Award in 2001 and the IEEE LEOS Engineering Achievement Award in 1995. He was also selected as an IEEE LEOS Distinguished Lecturer and awarded the USC Lockheed Senior Research Award. He is the author or coauthor of over 300 publications in reviewed journals.

Research Summary

Photonics, MOCVD & III-V materials vertical cavity surface emitting lasers, novel photonic devices.


  • 2009 International Symposium on Compound Semiconductors Welker Medal
  • 2009 USC Associates Award for Creativity in Research and Scholarship
  • 2005 Optical Society of America Nick Holonyak, Jr. Award
  • 2004 National Academy of Engineering
  • 2001 IEEE David Sarnoff Award
  • 1995 IEEE Photonics Society Engineering Achievement Award
  • 1993 IEEE Photonics Society Distinguished Lecturer
  • Ming Hsieh Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
  • Mork Family Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science
  • Physics and Astronomy
  • VHE 310
  • Vivian Hall of Engineering
  • 3651 Watt Way, Los Angeles, CA 90089
  • USC Mail Code: 243
Contact Information
  • (213) 740-4414