Professor Jon Heffernan

PhD, BSc

Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering

Professor in Electrical Engineering

National Epitaxy Facility Research Group

Headshot of Jon Heffernan
+44 114 222 5165

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Professor Jon Heffernan
Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering

I graduated with a PhD in Physics from Trinity College Dublin in 1994 with a thesis on optical switching for optical computing applications.

From 1994 to 1996 I was a post-doctoral researcher working on the first blue-green laser diodes in collaboration with Sony Corporation. From 1996 to 2013 I was employed in the European research laboratories of Sharp Corporation in Oxford, eventually as Director of Advanced Optoelectronic Devices for the company.

In this seventeen years in industrial research I was involved in the development of three generations of optical storage technology: CD, DVD and Blu-ray.

I also led research and development on LED lighting and display technologies using blue LEDs and novel quantum dot phosphors, and on record-holding Silicon and GaAs-based solar cells. Much of this work was transferred into mass production and commercialised globally.

In 2013 I joined the University of Sheffield as Professor of Semiconductor Materials and Devices and concurrently Director of the EPSRC National Epitaxy Facility.

My current research is in the area of Quantum Science and Technology especially the epitaxy of semiconductor quantum dots which are used in developing single photon and entangled photon sources for quantum communications and quantum information processing.

I am also active in manufacturing research for photonics and I am deputy Director of the Future Photonics Manufacturing Hub with the University of Southampton.

  • PhD, Trinity College Dublin
  • BSc (Physics), Cork
Research interests
  • Epitaxy of novel semiconductors materials and devices
  • Molecular beam epitaxy
  • Semiconductor nanostructures and their applications
  • Nitride-based semiconductors and their applications

Journal articles

Conference proceedings papers


Professional activities
  • Professor of Semiconductor Materials and Devices
  • Director of EPSRC National Epitaxy Facility
  • Deputy Director of the Future Photonics Manufacturing Hub
Research students
Student Degree Status Primary/Secondary
Trapalis, A PhD Graduated Primary
Chen, X MPhil Graduated Primary
Jiang, S PhD Graduated Secondary
Godsland, M PhD Current Primary
Young, I N PhD Current Primary
Wang, C PhD Current  Primary
Ovenden, C PhD Current  Secondary
Sharaf, A PhD Current  Secondary