Ron Birkhahn

III-Nitride Materials Engineer


2012 - Present

Transphorm Inc.

Senior Director, Global Materials Engineering & Epi Sales

Responsible for MOCVD activities in both R&D and production of AlGaN/GaN HEMTs on both SiC and Silicon substrates.

2010 - 2011

Bridgelux Inc.

Advanced Materials Manager

Guided development on using silicon substrates for GaN LED chips.

2003 - 2010

International Rectifier Inc.

Advanced Materials Manager

Established and managed IR’s remote epitaxial operations facility.  Managed rapid expansion of personnel and equipment for manufacturing activities and ISO 9001:2008 certification.  Served as general manager for MN operations.

About Me

After working in the III-Nitride semiconductor field for >17 years on both optical and electronic applications, I’ve developed expertise in materials technology development and characterization including AlGaN and AlN-based materials.  My epitaxial experience includes both MOCVD and MBE growth technology with 5 patents and over 30 manuscripts published in the III-nitride field.



Ph.D. Materials Science Engineering

University of Cincinnati


M.S. Materials Science

University of Minnesota


B.A. Physics

Wittenberg University


Epitaxy 89%
Processing 61%
Characterization 81%
Data & Systems 60%
Management & Ops 79%



CEO Award at International Rectifier

Acquisition of APA Enterprises’s assets by International Rectifier

Over 30 manuscripts published in refereed journals primarily in III-Nitride materials

University of Oregon New Venture Championship: 4th Place, 2000

University of Cincinnati MBA Business Case Competition: Winner, 1999


PATENT: US 8,575,660 B2; Group III-V semiconductor device with strain-relieving interlayers.  (2013)

PATENT: US 9,318,560 B1; Group III-V Device with Strain-Relieving Layers. (2016)

PATENT: US 8,269,253 B2; Rare Earth Enhanced High Electron Mobility Transistor and Method for Fabrication of Same. (2012)

PATENT: US 6,406,930 B2;  Fabrication of Visible Light Emitting Device Formed From Wide Band Gap Semiconductor Doped With A Rare Earth Element.  (2002)

PATENT: US 6,255,669 B1; Visible Light Emitting Device Formed From Wide Band Gap Semiconductor Doped With A Rare Earth Element.  (2001)