Pranav Badami ’15


Electrical Engineering

Project Title

QCD System Design

Presentation Link

View Pranav's Presentation

Quantum cascade detectors (QCDs) can be used to detect the presence of certain gases in the atmosphere. As a Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) intern at Mid-Infrared Technologies for Health and Environment (MIRTHE), I worked towards designing a commercially-viable QCD system for the detection low-wavelength light which is absorbed by potent greenhouse gases like methane. Similar QCD systems have been developed in the past using slow growth methods; our system was grown using Metalorganic Chemical Vapor Deposition (MOCVD) which is fast and industrially viable. In order to detect low-wavelength light, we opted to build a Gallium Nitride (GaN) system which has a high conduction band offset. Much of the internship was focused on hands-on cleanroom processing, where we fabricated GaN QCDs. After device processing was complete, we moved toward testing and characterization of the QCD. I acquired skills in photolithography, etching, and data analysis techniques; I also learned how to take measurements to determine if a QCD is functioning. I was able to present my initial data at the MIRTHE Summer Workshop. I learned a lot over the summer and gained new skills; I am considering exploring the field further once I look into other concentrations within the Electrical Engineering department.

Internship Year


Project Category

Climate and Energy


Mid-Infrared Technologies for Health and Environment (MIRTHE), Princeton, NJ


Claire Gmachl, Eugene Higgins Professor of Electrical Engineering. Vice Dean, School of Engineering and Applied Science