Robert Karlicek

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

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.


B.S. in Chemistry, Elmhurst College, Elmhurst IL (1973)

Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry, University of Pittsburgh (1979)

Focus Area

Advanced lighting systems, Advanced display technologies, Lighting and biological applications, Advanced sensor technology, Internet of Things, Optoelectronics

Selected Scholarly Works

J. Y. Tsao, M. H. Crawford, M. E. Coltrin, A. J. Fischer, D. D. Koleske, G. S. Subramania, G. T. Wang, J. J. Wierer, R. F. Karlicek Jr. “Solid-State Lighting: Toward Smart and Ultra-efficient Solid-State Lighting”, Advanced Optical Materials 2(9) 2014, p. 803 DOI:10.1002/adom.201470053

R. F. Karlicek, Jr., “Future Directions in LED Applications” in Thermal Management for LED Applications, C. Lasance and A. Poppe, Eds., Springer 2013, pgs. 519 – 542

R. F. Karlicek, Jr., “Emerging System Level Applications for LED Technology” in III-Nitride Based Light Emitting Diodes and Applications, T-Y Seong, J. Han, H. Amano, and H. Morkoc, Eds., Springer 2013, pgs. 373 - 382

A. Mao, C. D. Schaper, R. F. Karlicek, Jr. “Nanopatterning using a simple bi-layer liftoff process for the fabrication of a photonic crystal nanostructure”, Nanotechnology 24 085302 (2013); doi:10.1088/0957-4484/24/8/085302

Z. Li, J. Waldron, T. Detchprohm, C. Wetzel, R. F. Karlicek, T. P. Chow, “Monolithic integration of light-emitting diodes and power metal-oxide-semiconductor channel high-electron-mobility transistors for light-emitting power integrated circuits in GaN on sapphire substrate” App. Phys. Lett. 102 (2013) 192107