About the Solid State Institute


About the Solid State Institute

The Solid State Institute is an interdisciplinary research center designated to house and serve scientists from various faculties who are interested in the study of solids and solid interfaces. Pure and applied research projects, some of which may ultimately be of use to industry, are being carried out at the Institute in many individual and/or collaborative research efforts. The physical proximity fosters cooperation between scientists from different disciplines and different faculties that otherwise would not take place.

The academic staff comprises of about thirty faculty members from physics, electrical engineering, chemistry, and material sciences, who partially or exclusively carry out their research at the Institute. About forty graduate students from chemistry, physics, and electrical engineering are being trained in the Institute. In addition, the institute hosts several  new immigrant scientists which are partially supported by the Giladi program. The Institute also hosts several postdoctoral students and short-term visitors every year. The non-academic staff includes six engineers, eight technicians, and two administrative employees. Altogether, about 100 people are active in research in the Solid State Institute.

 Most of the basic and applied research carried out in the Institute focuses on the study of electrical and optical properties of semiconductor materials, including diamond and quantum nanostructures made of semiconductors. In addition to the focus on optical and electrical properties of semiconductors, a large scientific effort is devoted to the fields of chemistry and physics of surfaces, interfaces, and light-emitting polymers. Thin films of diamond are produced in the diamond laboratory and are studied by optical, electrical and other physical methods, within the Solid State Institute.

 The Solid State Institute houses about half of the laboratories of the Optoelectronics Center, a center of excellence established by the Technion and fully supported by the New York Metropolitan chapter of the American Technion Society. Several of the Microelectronics Center laboratories are also located within the Solid State Institute building.  The Institute maintains three scientific service laboratories that provide services to scientists, both in and out of the Technion. These laboratories are: the ion implantation laboratory, the surface science laboratory, and the laboratory for x-ray crystallography of thin layers.

The Research within the Institute is funded almost exclusively by grants, and contracts won in national and international competition. At present, we are supported by about 30 active grants, totaling $1,250,000.

The Solid State Institute is currently chaired by Professor David Gershoniadministration and Maintenance Mr. Pinhas Ron and Secretary Ms. Ariela Sharon

History of the Solid State Institute

In the early sixties, a group of leading solid state physicists from the Technion, Hebrew University and Weizmann Institute contemplated the idea of founding a national Solid State Institute. They could not agree on the location for the institute as each one of them thought that his University was the natural and the most suitable home for the Institute. After the Six Day War it was clear that there will not be an agreement within the group of scientists about the site. At that point the Technion took upon itself to establish a Solid State Institute of its own. This decision was enthusiastically supported by leading physicists like the late Soul Buchsbaum from Bell Laboratories and George Feher from UCSD with whom the Technion president, Mr. Alexander Goldberg consulted. With the generous Donation of the Rosen family from Philadelphia, a compact and very functional building was built, and in 1974 scientists from several Technion faculties started to occupy it. At first mainly members from the Physics Department moved in, and then the late Prof. Kidron and his group of the EE faculty occupied one of the three floors of the building. In those times Israel could not purchase anywhere in the world infra red detectors that were desperately needed for the Israeli Defense Forces. Prof. Kidron and his group members managed to master the scientific and technical concepts of these detectors. 

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