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UCSD Jacobs School of Engineering

Shaya Fainman Awarded Cymer Chair

Chair Celebration
Cymer chairman and chief executive officer Bob Akins (left), UC San Diego chancellor Marye Anne Fox, professor Shaya Fainman, Sandra Timmons, wife of Rick Sandstrom, and Cymer chief technology advisor Rick Sandstrom celebrate the endowed chair March 6 at the UC San Diego Faculty Club.

San Diego, CA, March 6, 2008 -- Information technology, health care,lighting, sensing and national security applications are all benefiting from the field of nanophotonics, which involves the fabrication of devices that can generate, manipulate and control light at the nanoscale. For his contributions to this field,Yeshaiahu (Shaya) Fainman, an electrical engineering professor at the Jacobs School, was named the first holder of the Cymer Inc. Endowed Chair in Advanced Optical Technologies.

The  endowed chair is the second donated to the Jacobs School by Cymer co-founders Bob Akins, chairman and chief executive officer, and Rick Sandstrom, chief technical advisor. The two met as UC San Diego students more than 30 years ago and their 20-year-old company now employs nearly 1,000 people worldwide.

"Both Rick and Bob received their undergraduate and graduate degrees from UCSD, and now they’re helping others achieve their dreams," said UC San Diego chancellor Marye Anne Fox at a March 6 celebration of the award of the chair to Fainman. "I’m proud to report that we established 17 new endowed chairs last year, including the Cymer Chair Advanced Optical Technologies, during our first-ever Chancellor’s Chair Challenge. This is quite impressive when you consider the 17 new chairs are almost a third of the 54 endowed chairs established during our seven-year campaign."

In the early 1990s, Fainman began working with light on the sub-wavelength scale and helped to develop what is now called the field of nanophotonics. “At any scale, optics can be an enabling technology.We are looking to integrate optical, electrical, fluidic, magnetic, mechanical, acoustic, chemical, and biological signals and processes on a single chip,” said Fainman.

“At Cymer we’re committed to pushing the limits of DUV lithography in order to advance the production of chips that power the electronic devices we rely on everyday,” said Bob Akins, Cymer Chairman and CEO.“The work of Shaya and others at UCSD on lithography applications for commercially viable nano-optics is of great interest to us, as these advances will help drive the industry forward.”

Fainman, for example, has been working on the CMOS-compatible integration of optical interconnects onto processors. He is also director of the DARPA-funded Center for Optofluidic Integration, which includes world-class researchers from Caltech, Stanford, UCSD and Harvard. In a project that could be useful for large scale protein analysis and single molecule DNA detection, Fainman and colleagues are using massively parallel surface plasmon resonance sensors to monitor biochemical binding reactions. In addition, Fainman is involved in the development of nanolasers that could be used to further miniaturize optical sources for integrated nanophotonic circuits and systems of the future.

He is also using surface plasmonics to build new microscopy tools. “With his pursuit of deep knowledge in several cutting-edge research areas that touch important aspects of society, Shaya is a quintessential Jacobs School engineering professor. He has shown great leadership in forming interdisciplinary teams across departments, universities, and industry,” said Jacobs School dean Frieder Seible.

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