Siddha Pimputkar, an assistant professor of materials science and engineering, is the recipient of the 2021 American Association for Crystal Growth (AACG) Young Scientist Award.

The AACG comprises engineers, scientists, educators, students, and other professionals interested in all topics related to the area of crystal growth, including the theory and practice of crystal growth, crystal characterization and allied branches of sciences. This particular honor recognizes an early career scientist for outstanding scientific and technical contributions to the field of crystal growth. 

Pimputkar leads Lehigh’s MATS (Materials for Advanced Technologies & Sustainability) Group and his research focuses on synthesizing bulk and thin-film single-crystal, nitrogen-containing materials. In addition to developing a novel high pressure spatial chemical vapor deposition (HPS-CVD) tool allowing for improved thin-film growth of ternary or quaternary group-III nitride materials of current technological interest, he is developing innovative methods to overcome the challenges of synthesizing bulk, single-crystal boron nitride (BN) and other emerging materials that hold promise in applications such as next-generation ultra-wide bandgap semiconductors. 

“I am truly humbled and honored to receive this prestigious early-career award,” he says. “I feel I am just at the beginning of a wonderful journey, and I am very grateful to be recognized for the work I have contributed to the community. While crystal growth requires both great patience and a bit of luck every now and then, having a strong and vibrant community to engage with makes the journey all the more worth it.”

Earlier this year, his proposal to develop a new method of growing bulk single-crystal nitrides—an advance that could lead to more-efficient, less-costly electronic devices and innovative manufacturing tools—was funded by the National Science Foundation’s prestigious Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) program. 

As winner of the professional association’s Young Scientist Award, Pimputkar will give a plenary talk on “Enhancing and Enabling Single Crystal Growth of Group-III and Novel Nitrides” at the 22nd American Conference on Crystal Growth and Epitaxy (ACCGE-22) and 20th US Workshop on Organometallic Vapor Phase Epitaxy (OMVPE-20), which will be held virtually August 2-4, 2021. 

Pimputkar is also co-chair of the Boron Nitride Epitaxial Growth and Characterization Symposium taking place during the virtual conference and was elected into the AACG Executive Committee for a four-year term. The symposium will explore recent advances in boron nitride synthesis, resulting material properties and defects, and general characterization of BN and the determination of metrics to assess the quality of synthesized materials.

Siddha Pimputkar

2021 American Association for Crystal Growth (AACG) Young Scientist Award winner Siddha Pimputkar is an assistant professor of materials science and engineering.