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James H. Edgar

University distinguished professor
Head, department of chemical engineering

James Edgar

James Edgar has made pioneering contributions to the field of wide band-gap semiconductors that use boron and nitrogen compounds rather than the more common silicon. His research has improved the materials that are the building blocks of a new generation of micro devices. Such devices are revolutionizing communications, transportation, lighting, medicine and consumer applications.

Edgar leads a prolific research group in the area of III-nitride and boron-V wide band-gap semiconductors. The group's work is focused on materials synthesis and characterization, and device fabrication.  Edgar has received more than $9 million from a variety of funding sources including the National Science Foundation, the Department of Defense, the Department of Energy, Department of Homeland Security and the II-VI Foundation.

The most recent focus of Edgar's research has been on boron compound semiconductors such as boron nitride, boron phosphide and boron arsenide. Applications for these materials include optical devices such as ultraviolet light emitting diodes and laser diodes, high speed transistors, radiation detectors, and nuclear to electrical power conversion devices. His work involves optimizing their crystal growth to produce large and high quality crystals with electrical properties that are suitable for devices.

At K-State he has mentored more than two dozen advance-degree students. He was named university distinguished professor in 2013, is a past recipient of K-State's Commerce Bank Distinguished Faculty Award, William H. Honstead Professorship in Chemical Engineering, Outstanding Scientist Award and College of Engineering Research Excellence Award. Edgar served as interim head of the department of chemical engineering from 2003-2004, and was named head of the department in 2009.

Edgar earned his doctorate from the University of Florida in 1987. He joined the K-State chemical engineering faculty in 1988. He has served as a research fellow at the NASA Lewis Research Center and has spent sabbaticals at the Naval Research Laboratory in Washington, D.C., and Radboud University in the Netherlands.

Edgar can be reached at 785-532-4320 or edgarjh@k-state.edu.