Preeminent Scientist Yves Chabal to Join UT Dallas

Researcher Will Hold the University’s First Chair in Nanoelectronics

Aug. 19, 2007

Dr. Yves Chabal, one of the world’s foremost authorities on semiconductor surfaces, semiconductor materials and the interfaces between them — areas that are central to developing future generations of microchips — is joining The University of Texas at Dallas, where he will be the first holder of the Texas Instruments Distinguished University Chair in Nanoelectronics.

The $2 million chair was made possible by the Texas Nanoelectronics Research Superiority Initiative, which is a joint venture between the State of Texas Emerging Technology Fund, The University of Texas System, UT Dallas, UT Austin, UT Arlington and private industry, to make Texas a leader in nanoelectronics research.

The new chair is a permanent endowment for the Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science, where Chabal will lead the materials science and engineering faculty.  It is the first chair to be established at UT Dallas in nanoelectronics, a field of science whose goal is to control individual atoms and molecules to create computer chips and other devices that are much smaller than current technologies permit.

Chabal was previously director of the Laboratory for Surface Modification at Rutgers University, where he had appointments in the departments of chemistry and chemical biology, biomedical engineering, and physics and astronomy.  Prior to that, he spent two decades at Bell Labs.

Chabal’s work in materials science is key to developing ever smaller, more powerful and energy-efficient semiconductors.  His areas of research include manipulating DNA scaffolding to develop nano-scale integrated circuits.  He is also investigating the biomedical applications of carbon nanotubes, work that complements nanotube research already under way in the Jonsson School.

The Texas Nanoelectronics Research Superiority Initiative was founded to help attract the Nanoelectronics Research Initiative-sponsored Southwest Academy of Nanoelectronics, or SWAN, to the state.  SWAN is a nanoelectronics initiative involving the UT System, the State of Texas, Texas Instruments and other industry partners.  With more than $30 million in funding spread across three years, universities participating in the initiative collaborate as one research center to develop and exploit nanoelectronic technology.

“Yves will add tremendous expertise to nanoelectronics research at UT Dallas, and we would not have been able to attract someone of his stature without the support made possible by the Texas Nanoelectronics Research Superiority Initiative,” said Dr. Bruce Gnade, vice president for research at the University.

Chabal will have significant lab space in UT Dallas’ new 192,000-square-foot Natural Science and Engineering Research Laboratory, which was designed to both encourage multi-faceted studies and to attract world-class researchers to the University.

“The research I’m involved with is interdisciplinary in nature, with collaborations in physics, chemistry, materials science, chemical engineering and biomedical engineering,” Chabal said.  “An important goal is to develop the synergy necessary for substantial scientific advances that benefit core industries and Department of Energy initiatives.  I firmly believe UT Dallas will provide ample opportunity to explore all this and more.”

The recipient of numerous awards and honors for his work, Chabal collected back-to-back Best Paper awards from the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers and received the Rutgers Board of Trustees Award for Excellence in Research.  He has authored or co-authored more than 250 papers and has received more than 10,000 citations in scholarly and scientific publications.  He is also a fellow of both the American Vacuum Society and the American Physical Society. 

During his 22 years at Bell Labs in Murray Hill, New Jersey, Chabal rose to the rank of Distinguished Member of Technical Staff, and then to Consulting Member of Technical Staff.  He received his bachelor’s degree in physics from Princeton University and his Ph.D. degree in physics from Cornell University.

Highly regarded for his work at Bell Labs and Rutgers, Chabal has ongoing collaborations with several national laboratories and with researchers in Belgium, France, Germany and Italy.

Chabal formally starts work at UT Dallas in January, but, prior to that, he will be on campus periodically to establish his lab and meet with students and faculty. 

About UT Dallas
The University of Texas at Dallas, located at the convergence of Richardson, Plano and Dallas in the heart of the complex of major multinational technology corporations known as the Telecom Corridor, enrolls more than 14,500 students.  The school’s freshman class traditionally stands at the forefront of Texas state universities in terms of average SAT scores.  The university offers a broad assortment of bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs.  For additional information about UT Dallas, please visit the university’s web site at

Contact:  Jenni Huffenberger, UT Dallas, (972) 883-4431, [email protected]

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Dr. Yves Chabal

Dr. Yves Chabal

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March 21, 2019