Professor Paesler earned his BA degree at Beloit College and his PhD from the University of Chicago in 1975. His PhD experimental research on disordered solids was undertaken in the laboratory of Hellmut Fritzsche. In 1976 he was a Guest Scientist at the Max- Planck-Institut für Festkörperforschung in Stuttgart, working with Professor Hans Queisser on the photo-Hall effect in crystalline gallium arsenide. Thereafter he assumed a position as a Post- doctoral Research Fellow in the Division of applied Sciences at Harvard University working with Professor William Paul studying hydrogenated amorphous silicon. Professor Paesler came to NC State in 1980 where he is now a Professor. From 1997 to 2005 he served as the Director of Graduate Programs. From 2005 to 2012 he served as Head of the department.
Area(s) of Expertise
In nearly four decades in the physics department Professor Paesler's research followed a variety of paths. His early work on optical experimental studies of amorphous semiconductors morphed into spectroscopic studies of microscopic phenomena of interest to mechanical engineers. In that role, he joined the university’s Precision Engineering Center as it became the first facility on the Centennial Campus. Work there became more and more precise until the need to resolve sub-wavelength features led his program into the then-emerging study of near-field optics, or NFO. There, his team accomplished a number of experimental firsts in NFO research where the team designed and built near-field microscopes that provided sub-wavelength optical resolution. After several years in this arena, he spent a few years working with NC State paleontologists involved in a variety of paleophysics studies. A return to amorphous semiconductors followed as he developed a group that exploited x-ray absorption spectroscopy in efforts to understand and improve phase-change optical memory devices. This effort coincided with his assumption of the headship of the physics department. After seven years in that role, he concluded his x-ray research, stepped down as department head, and joined the NC State physics education research team. As a member of that team, he helped introduce electronic technologies, including smartphones, into instruction laboratories.
The following chronological listing of sample publications span the academic career of professor Paesler and represent examples of the various research efforts described above.
- Hellmut Fritzsche OBITUARIES , PHYSICS TODAY (2018)
- Characterizing the effects of etch-induced material modification on the crystallization properties of nitrogen doped Ge2Sb2Te5 , JOURNAL OF APPLIED PHYSICS (2011)
- Analysis of the forgotten parts of the Ge K edge spectra: life before the EXAFS oscillations , PHYSICA STATUS SOLIDI C - CURRENT TOPICS IN SOLID STATE PHYSICS, VOL 7 NO 3-4 (2010)
- The influence of nitrogen doping on the chemical and local bonding environment of amorphous and crystalline Ge2Sb2Te5 , Materials and physics for nonvolatile memories (2009)
- Bond constraint theory and the quest for the glass computer , PRAMANA-JOURNAL OF PHYSICS (2008)
- Bond constraint theory studies of chalcogenide phase change memories , Journal of Non-crystalline Solids (2008)
- Bond constraint theory and EXAFS studies of local bonding structures of Ge2Sb2Te4, Ge2Sb2Te5, and Ge2Sb2Te7 , Journal of Optoelectronics and Advanced Materials (2007)
- EXAFS study of local order in the amorphous chalcogenide semiconductor Ge2Sb2Te5 , JOURNAL OF PHYSICS AND CHEMISTRY OF SOLIDS (2007)
- Intermediate phases in binary and ternary alloys. How far can we go with a semi-empirical bond-constraint theory? , Journal of Optoelectronics and Advanced Materials (2007)
- Local bonding arrangements in amorphous Ge2Sb2Te5: the importance of Ge and Te bonding , JOURNAL OF MATERIALS SCIENCE-MATERIALS IN ELECTRONICS (2007)
Honors and Awards
- Professor Paesler is a Fellow of the American Physical Society, and is a member of Phi Beta Kappa, Sigma Xi, and the NC State Academy of Outstanding Teachers. He was the sponsor of the thesis research leading to the American Physical Society Apker Award of Charles Brabec (1990).