Majeed Hayat
Majeed Hayat

UNM Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering Majeed Hayat has been appointed as a fellow of the Optical Society of America.  The designation is given to members who have served with distinction in the advancement of optics.  Hayat was cited for "pioneering the dead-space formulation of impact ionization and noise in avalanche photodiodes and developing non-uniformity correction algorithms for infrared sensors."

Hayat has pioneered radically new mathematical techniques for modeling the behavior of avalanche photodiodes (APDs), ubiquitous devices that are used as to efficiently convert light to electrical current. His techniques are now widely accepted as essential for describing and engineering the fast and low-noise APDs that are incorporated in modern optical fiber communications systems and quantum communication systems.

Hayat's theory, which is able to account for a key physical effect, called dead space, predicted that dead space can be exploited to dramatically enhance the performance of APDs. This prediction was later demonstrated experimentally by leading APD groups around the world.

Dr. Hayat has also created image-processing algorithms for reducing noise in infrared imagers, also known as focal-plane arrays (FPAs).  One of the principal factors that limit the performance of FPAs is nonuniformity noise, a fixed pattern artifact superimposed on any infrared imagery. With his students they pioneered entirely new algorithms, implemented by software, for removing fixed-pattern noise in FPAs without requiring the use of a shutter, as traditionally done when
fixed-pattern noise is addressed. This means that infrared cameras can be operated without the usual disruption caused by dropping a shutter periodically to clean the fixed-pattern noise. The software-based approach also reduces the manufacturing and maintenance cost due to elimination of the mechanical parts required by the shutter.

In addition to his faculty responsibilities, Hayat is also associate director of UNM's Center for High Technology Materials.