Sean Rommel Headshot

Sean Rommel

Department of Electrical and Microelectronic Engineering
Kate Gleason College of Engineering

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Sean Rommel

Department of Electrical and Microelectronic Engineering
Kate Gleason College of Engineering


BS, Ph.D., University of Delaware


Sean L. Rommel (IEEE Senior Member) received the B.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Electrical Engineering from the University of Delaware. His Ph.D. work focused on the realization of a CMOS compatible Si/SiGe Resonant Interband Tunnel diodes. From 2000-2002, he worked as a postdoctoral research associate at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, focusing on the fabrication of low-loss InP ring resonators. In 2002, he was hired as an Assistant Professor at the Rochester Institute of Technology, where his group demonstrated the integration of Si/SiGe RITDs with CMOS. In 2008, he was awarded tenure and promoted to Associate Professor. His group also demonstrated a world record peak-to-valley current ratio for GaAs/InGaAs Esaki diode integrated on a Si substrate as well as the highest tunnel current density reported in Esaki Diodes. Prof. Rommel is the recipient of the 1997 George W. Laird Merit Fellowship, the 2000 Allan P. Colburn Prize for Dissertation in Mathematics and Engineering, and the 2000 Teaching Assistant Award. For more about Dr. Rommel see his personal website at:


Semiconductor Devices, Tunneling Devices, III-V on Si, Electron Beam Lithography, Scanning Electron Microscopy

Currently Teaching

1 - 4 Credits
This course is a capstone project using research facilities available inside or outside of RIT.
3 Credits
An overview of semiconductor technology history and future trends is presented. The course introduces the fabrication and operation of silicon-based integrated circuit devices including resistors, diodes, transistors and their current-voltage (I-V) characteristics. The course also introduces the fundamentals of micro/nanolithography, with topics such as IC masking, sensitometry, radiometry, resolution, photoresist materials and processing. Laboratory teaches the basics of IC fabrication, photolithography and I-V measurements. A five-week project provides experience in digital circuit design, schematic capture, simulation, bread-boarding, layout design, IC processing and testing.
3 Credits
This course introduces students to the fundamentals of III-V, SiGe and Silicon on Insulator (SOI) devices and fabrication technologies. The course will first discuss the band structure of the SiGe material system, and how its properties of band structure and enhanced mobility may be utilized to improve traditional Si devices. Basic heterojunciton theory is introduced to students. Some specific applications that are introduced include heterojunction bipolar transistors (HBTs), SiGe-channel MOS devices, high-electron mobility transistors (HEMTs) and tunnel FETs. Fabrication technologies for realizing SOI substrates that include SIMOX and SMART CUT technologies are described. The physics of transistors built on SOI substrates will be discussed. At the completion of the course, students will write a review paper on a topic related to the course.
3 Credits
Covers basics of DC circuit analysis starting with the definition of voltage, current, resistance, power and energy. Linearity and superposition, together with Kirchhoff's laws, are applied to analysis of circuits having series, parallel and other combinations of circuit elements. Thevenin, Norton and maximum power transfer theorems are proved and applied. Circuits with ideal op-amps are introduced. Inductance and capacitance are introduced and the transient response of RL, RC and RLC circuits to step inputs is established. Practical aspects of the properties of passive devices and batteries are discussed, as are the characteristics of battery-powered circuitry. The laboratory component incorporates use of both computer and manually controlled instrumentation including power supplies, signal generators and oscilloscopes to reinforce concepts discussed in class as well as circuit design and simulation software.
3 Credits
An introductory course on the fundamentals of semiconductor physics and principles of operation of basic devices. Topics include semiconductor fundamentals (crystal structure, statistical physics of carrier concentration, motion in crystals, energy band models, drift and diffusion currents) as well as the operation of pn junction diodes, bipolar junction transistors (BJT), metal-oxide-semiconductor (MOS) capacitors and MOS field-effect transistors.
1 - 4 Credits
This course is a faculty-directed tutorial of appropriate topics that are not part of the formal curriculum. The level of study is appropriate for a masters-level student.
0 Credits
One semester or summer of paid work experience in microelectronic engineering.
1 - 5 Credits
A supervised investigation within a microelectronic engineering area of student interest.
1 - 4 Credits
This course number is used to fulfill the internship requirement for the master of engineering degree program. The student must obtain the approval of the department head before registering for this course.
1 - 6 Credits
The master's thesis in microelectronic engineering requires the student to prepare a written thesis proposal for approval by the faculty; select a thesis topic, adviser and committee; present and defend thesis before a thesis committee; prepare a written paper in a short format suitable for submission for publication in a journal.
1 - 3 Credits
This course number should be used by students who plan to study a topic on an independent basis under the guidance of a faculty member. A written proposal with an independent study form is to be submitted to the sponsoring faculty member and approved by the department head prior to the commencement of work.
0 Credits
Up to six months of full-time, paid employment in the microelectronic engineering field. See the graduate program coordinator or RIT's Office of Cooperative Education for further details.

Select Scholarship

Journal Paper
Grede, Alex and Sean L. Rommel. "Components of Channel Capacitance in Metal-insulator-semiconductor Capacitors." Journal of Applied Physics 114. 11 (2013): 114510 -114514. Print.
Romanczyk, Brian, et al. "Benchmarking Current Density in Staggered Gap In[sub 0.53]Ga[sub 0.47]As/GaAs[sub 0.5]Sb[sub 0.5] Heterojunction Esaki Tunnel Diodes." Applied Physics Letters 102. 21 (2013): 213504-4. Print.
Published Article
Pawlik, David, M. Barth, P. Thomas, S. Kurinec, S. Mookerjea , D. Mohata, S. Datta, S. Cohen, D. Ritter,and S. Rommel. “Sub-Micron InGaAs Esaki Diodes With Record High Peak CurrentDensity.” 68th Device Research Conference,21-23 June 2010. 163-164. Web. † ≠ «