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About Paul J. Simmonds

Dr. Paul J. Simmonds joined Boise State University in 2014 with a joint appointment in the Departments of Physics and Materials Science & Engineering. He completed his Ph.D. in semiconductor physics at the University of Cambridge, where he worked with Profs. David Ritchie and Michael Pepper. His research focused on the growth of thin III-V semiconductor films and nanostructures by molecular beam epitaxy (MBE) for studies of electron transport in low-dimensional, high-mobility materials. Dr. Simmonds moved to the US in 2007 to work as a postdoc, first with Prof. Christopher Palmstrøm at the University of Minnesota / University of California, Santa Barbara and then, from early 2009, at Yale University with Prof. Minjoo Larry Lee. Dr. Simmonds’ research at Yale was chiefly based on his discovery that by using tensile strain it is possible to create III-V quantum dots on (110) and (111) surfaces, with potential significance for the fields of quantum computing and spintronics. From September 2011 to September 2014, Dr. Simmonds managed the Integrated NanoMaterials Laboratory at the University of California, Los Angeles. Working with Prof. Diana Huffaker, Dr. Simmonds oversaw research on two interconnected MBE tools configured to grow a range of different semiconductor materials for electronic and photonic applications. Dr. Simmonds was also Chair of the IEEE Photonics Society, Los Angeles Chapter.

Dr. Simmonds works at the intersection between condensed matter / semiconductor physics, materials science and electrical engineering. He is a firm believer in the power of interdisciplinary collaboration for solving the biggest, most important problems, and this is the spirit in which he pursues his research. His specific research interests center on the MBE synthesis of novel semiconductor nanomaterials and nanostructures, for example quantum dots, 2D materials, thin films and nanowires. His exploration of these nanomaterials leads to a deeper understanding of the physics underlying their behavior. In turn, this knowledge enables the design and engineering of nanomaterials for specific applications. He is currently a member of the American Physical Society and IEEE, and is an editorial board member for the journals “Crystals” and “Nanomaterials”.


2014 - Present Assistant Professor, Boise State University Department of Materials Science and Engineering
2014 - Present Assistant Professor, Boise State University Department of Physics



2018 - 2020 Continued Development of Graduate Identity Formation Through Teaching (GIFT) Education Model
National Science Foundation
Innovations in Graduate Education Award
Colleague(s): Julianne Wenner, Megan Frary, and Donna Llewellyn
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Honors and Awards

  • 2018 - The NAMBE Young Investigator Award, 34th North American Molecular Beam Epitaxy Conference

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