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Robert Karlicek

Director, Center for Lighting Enabled Systems & Applications (LESA) & Professor, Electrical, Computer, and Systems Engineering | Center for Lighting Enabled Systems & Applications (LESA), Electrical, Computer, and Systems Engineering


Develops advanced optoelectronic systems for lighting and display applications.


Areas of Expertise

OptoelectronicsAdvanced Sensor TechnologyAdvanced Display TechnologiesAdvanced Lighting SystemsLighting and Biological ApplicationsInternet of Things


Dr. Robert F. Karlicek, Jr. is the Director of the Center for Lighting Enabled Systems & Applications (LESA) at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, an NSF and industry funded program exploring advanced applications for next generation solid state lighting systems. Prior to joining RPI, he spent over 30 years in industrial research and R&D management positions with corporations including AT&T Bell Labs, EMCORE, General Electric, Gore Photonics, Microsemi, Luminus Devices and SolidUV. His technical experience includes epitaxial growth of high performance LEDs and lasers, advanced device fabrication and high power LED packaging, thermal management, control systems design and applications research in solid state lighting as well as other novel LED uses such as IR and UV LED applications, wireless communications using lighting (LiFi) and advanced LED display applications.

Dr. Karlicek is well known globally as an LED industry expert, and is a frequent presenter at conferences and workshops. He obtained his Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry from the University of Pittsburgh and has over 56 peer reviewed technical papers and 44 U.S. patents. He is the founder and president of SolidUV, Inc., and sits on the technical advisory boards of several high tech startup companies.



Image for publication on Handbook of Advanced Lighting Technology





Image for vimeo videos on Smart Lighting 2014: Interview with Dr. Robert F. Karlicek


University of Pittsburgh

Ph.D., Physical Chemistry


Elmhurst College, Elmhurst IL

B.S., Chemistry


Media Appearances

Transforming patient health care and well-being through lighting



"Today, the field of lighting and health care is undergoing rapid development," said Robert F. Karlicek Jr., LESA director, who also serves as a professor in the Department of Electrical, Computer, and Systems Engineering at Rensselaer. "As research continues to build the link between lighting spectral power distributions and wellness, LED lighting technology strives to bring new healthy lighting to market. Often commercialization in this capacity happens without establishing the clinical data to demonstrate a value-added benefit for patients or the providers, or a defined return on investment for the health-care industry."...

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STRATEGIES IN LIGHT SPOTLIGHT — LEDs connect the dots between disinfection and smart lighting

LED Magazine  


Having presented at Strategies in Light two years back, Vital Vio executive Colleen Costello will stand at the podium this time with well-known researcher Robert “Bob” Karlicek to explain how LED-based continuous disinfection can be merged with connected lighting technology to optimize the antimicrobial capability of LEDs. It’s shaping up to be a truly exciting market with many opportunities for solid-state lighting (SSL) to evolve and enable a multitude of novel applications. Keep reading for insight into this double-duty technology and join us at Strategies in Light in Las Vegas next week...

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Toward Smart and Ultra‐efficient Solid‐State Lighting | Advanced Optical Materials

Jeffrey Y Tsao, Mary H Crawford, Michael E Coltrin, Arthur J Fischer, Daniel D Koleske, Ganapathi S Subramania, George T Wang, Jonathan J Wierer, Robert F Karlicek Jr


Solid‐state lighting has made tremendous progress this past decade, with the potential to make much more progress over the coming decade. In this article, the current status of solid‐state lighting relative to its ultimate potential to be “smart” and ultra‐efficient is reviewed. Smart, ultra‐efficient solid‐state lighting would enable both very high “effective” efficiencies and potentially large increases in human performance...

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Inductively Coupled Plasma Etching of GaN | Applied Physics Letters

RJ Shul, GB McClellan, SA Casalnuovo, DJ Rieger, SJ Pearton, C Constantine, C Barratt, RF Karlicek Jr, C Tran, M Schurman


Inductively coupled plasma (ICP) etch rates for GaN are reported as a function of plasma pressure, plasma chemistry, rf power, and ICP power. Using a Cl2/H2/Ar plasma chemistry, GaN etch rates as high as 6875 Å/min are reported. The GaN surface morphology remains smooth over a wide range of plasma conditions as quantified using atomic force microscopy...

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A Modified Pulsed Gradient Technique for Measuring Diffusion in the Presence of Large Background Gradients | Journal of Magnetic Resonance

RF Karlicek Jr, IJ Lowe


An NMR technique for measuring the diffusion constant D in the presence of a large nonuniform background magnetic field gradient G0 is presented. The technique uses a Carr-Purcell-Meiboom-Gill of pulse train that attenuates the effects of diffusion due to the background gradient, interspersed with an alternating pulsed field gradient sequence (APFG) that attenuates the observed echo in the presence of the known applied gradient. Calculations for the observed echo amplitude are presented that show the APFG technique eliminates contributions from the cross term between the background and applied gradients...

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