Randy Feenstra

Professor – Physics Courtesy Professor – ECE
Office 6408 Wean Hall
Telephone (412)-268-6961

Research Interests

Professor Feenstra's research deals with structural and electronic properties of semiconductor materials and devices. The major technique used in the studies is the scanning tunneling microscope, which allows one to image the atomic structure of a surface and to perform spectroscopic measurements of the electronic energy levels. Recent work has concentrated on semiconductor heterostructures consisting of multiple layers of different types of material, with the goal of understanding how the structure of the device (including imperfections and defects) determines its electronic properties.

Semiconductor materials growth is performed in Professor Feenstra's laboratory using molecular beam epitaxy. This system is devoted to the growth of gallium nitride films on sapphire and SiC substrates. These films have application for blue light emitters and high-power field-effect transistor devices. Studies focus on understanding the film growth, including nucleation, growth kinetics and strain relaxation, with the goal of preparing improved films for device applications.

 Randy  Feenstra

Research Area

Device Science and Nanofabrication


Molecular beam epitaxy, scanning tunneling microscopy


PhD, 1982
Applied Physics
California Institute of Technology

MS, 1980
Applied Physics
California Institute of Technology

BS, 1978
Engineering Physics
University of British Columbia