Professor Brian Sealy - Inspec Ruby Author

Outline of research career.

BJS left the University of Surrey in 1966 (the year the University received its Charter) with a BSc in Physics to join Morganite Research and Development in Wandsworth to work as a Research Scientist engaged in the development of new ceramic materials for high temperature furnace elements.

After two years he moved to Zenith Radio Research Corp UK in north London again as Research Scientist studying the development of lead chalcogenides as possible thin film transistors. During the four years with Zenith Radio he carried out a collaborative PhD with the Department of Physics at the University of Surrey. At this time the Research Labs at Zenith Radio were closed down and all staff made redundant.

In 1972, he took the post of Research Fellow in the Dept of Physics at the University of Surrey to carry out an electron microscopy study of ion implanted gallium arsenide. After about 18 months he joined the Electronic and Electrical Engineering Department as Mullard Fellow, then Post Office Fellow and MoD Fellow. Throughout these fellowships he was responsible for a considerable, collaborative activity on ion implanted III-V compound semiconductors. 

It was during the early stages of this work that he invented the technique of Rapid Thermal Annealing (RTA), which industrial collaborators found interesting but not potentially useful! - RTA has since become a major technique used widely by industry in the manufacture of silicon integrated circuits.

Our industrial collaborators supported students and research fellows over a period of at least ten years which enabled them to access at Surrey and develop in house, the technique of ion implantation in III-V compounds, particularly gallium arsenide. During this time, BJS carried out the implantation for the first ion implanted Gallium Arsenide MESFET in the UK and pioneered the technique of laser annealing in the UK.

In 1979 BJS was appointed to the lecturing staff and subsequently became Reader and Head of the Ion Implantation and Solid State Devices Research Group. He was awarded a Personal Chair in 1990 for his work on ion implantation in compound semiconductors. The group subsequently changed its name to the Surrey Centre for Research in Ion Beam Applications (SCRIBA) for which he became Director, leading the activity for about 18 years in total.

Since 1978, the Ion Beam Centre, as it is now called, was supported continuously by the EPSRC as a Centre of Excellence. However, it was necessary to fight hard and continuously to maintain significant support for this large international activity. To recognise this work, the Ion Beam Centre in conjunction with the Optoelectronics Group at Surrey was awarded the prestigious Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Further and Higher Education, 2002.

BJS is one of a group of academics at Surrey who established the Advanced Technology Institute which is now recognised as a key electronics and photonics research facility, with an international reputation. BJS has subsequently retired but holds an Emeritus Professorship which enables him to continue his research on a part-time basis.