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Eugene E. Haller
In Memoriam

Eugene E. Haller

Senior Faculty Scientist, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Liao-Cho Innovation Endowed Chair Professor of Materials Science and Engineering, Emeritus

UC Berkeley
An expert in semiconductor materials and a pioneer in ultrapure semiconductors research, Professor Eugene Ernest Haller, passed away in Berkeley, California, on June 22, 2018. He was 75.

Haller was born on January 5, 1943 in Basel, Switzerland. He earned his diploma in nuclear physics in 1967 and his Ph.D. in solid-state and applied physics in 1970, both from the University of Basel. In 1970, he joined the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab), first as a postdoctoral fellow of the Swiss National Foundation, and three years later as a staff scientist. In 1980, Haller was appointed associate professor in the Department of Materials Science and Mineral Engineering at the University of California, Berkeley, becoming professor in 1982. He remained on the faculty at UC Berkeley and as senior faculty scientist at the Berkeley Lab through 2011 when he retired. He held the Liao-Cho Innovation Endowed Chair at UC Berkeley since 2005.

Throughout his career, Haller earned respect and affection from a wide network of friends, colleagues and collaborators across the globe including the U.S., Asia, and Europe. His work was rewarded with numerous honors, including the 1999 James C. McGroddy Prize for New Materials from the American Physical Society, the 2005 David Turnbull Lectureship from the Materials Research Society, the 2010 FMD John Bardeen Award of The Minerals, Metals and Materials Society, and the 2010 election to the National Academy of Engineering for “improvements in semiconductor performance through contributions to the synthesis of ultrapure and doped crystals.”

Haller’s research had extraordinary impact on the doping, alloying, purification, characterization and understanding of semiconductors, as well as their applications. Indeed, Haller’s ultrapure germanium is key to one of the most important devices in the Spitzer telescope: the Multiband Imaging Photometer. This infrared telescope was launched into space in 2003 and is still currently used to study the formation of planets near distant stars. Haller authored or coauthored over 1,000 publications during his career. He provided significant leadership for the semiconductor research community and its international meetings. He also served on the editorial advisory boards of major journals and on numerous scientific advisory boards and panels. Haller was a central figure in establishing semiconductor materials as an important area of research for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). In 1984, Haller founded the Berkeley Lab’s Electronic Materials Program (EMAT), a DOE-funded program that continues to this day.

Haller was an inspiring mentor for students and young scholars. During his career he graduated over 50 Ph.D. students, and hosted numerous postdoctoral researchers and visitors. Many of these scholars have gone on to prominent positions within academia, national laboratories and industry both domestically and internationally. He has served as the chair of the Applied Science and Technology Graduate Group at UC Berkeley.

Those who knew Haller fondly recall his sharp mind, his unrivaled talent in experimental research, his steady, inspiring leadership, his fierce loyalty and his wry sense of humor. He will be missed not only for his scientific contributions but also for his deeply caring nature.

Eugene Haller is survived by his wife, Marianne, his daughters, Isabelle and Nicole, and their families.

Junqiao Wu
Oscar Dubon Jr.