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William L. Wilson

William Wilson

Research Professor, Principal Scientist - Director of Central Facilities

Office 2013 F. Seitz Materials Research Laboratory

Telephone 217-244-5083 Fax 217-244-2278

Mail Address F. Seitz Materials Research Laboratory
104 South Goodwin Avenue, Urbana, IL 61801


  • Profile
  • Research
  • Publications
  • Awards


Professor Wilson received a BSc in Chemistry from Saint Joseph’s University, Philadelphia, PA and a PhD in Physical Chemistry from Stanford University.  After a 14 year career at Bell Labs, Lucent Technologies, he co- founded and served as Chief Scientist of InPhase Technologies.  In 2011, he joined the faculty at Illinois as a research professor of Materials Science and Engineering after an appointment at Johns Hopkins University. Professor Wilson also serves as Principal Scientist and Director of Central Facilities for the Frederick Seitz Materials Research Laboratory (MRL).


My current research interest is in the application of non-linear and super-resolution microscopies to advance the study of nanostructured materials problems.  Over the last 10-15 years, Non-linear Microscopy has revealed its potential to become an important tool in the study of biological systems.  Historically, nonlinear optical spectroscopies had not been widely utilized as standard probes due to their experimental complexity, but the introduction of user-friendly ultrafast lasers turned the tide technologically.  Advances in these imaging technologies have driven a revolution in the biological sciences, with multi-photon fluorescence imaging becoming an essential commercial research tool and techniques like second and third harmonic generation, and coherent Raman imaging, offering new “label-free” spectral probes of cellular systems.  We explore the utility of non-linear imaging and super-resolution imaging paradigms to deepen our understanding nano-structured advanced materials and engineered biomaterial systems.  These techniques allow application of a wide range of spatially resolved, steady-state and time-resolved nonlinear spectroscopies to aid development of the design space and exploration of the fundamental properties of complex materials systems.


Aligned Macroscopic Domains of Optoelectronic Nanostructures Prepared via Shear-Flow Assembly of Peptide Hydrogels; Brian D. Wall, Stephen R. Diegelmann, Shuming Zhang, Thomas J. Dawidczyk, William L. Wilson, Howard E. Katz, Hai-Quan Mao and John D. Tovar,  Advanced Materials (in Press 2011).

Permanent Polarity and Piezoelectricity of Electrospun α-Helical Poly(α-Amino Acid) Fibers; Dawnielle Farrar, Kailiang Ren, Derek Cheng, Sungjoo Kim, Wonkyu Moon, William L. Wilson, J. E. West, and M. S. Yu; Advanced Materials (23) 34, 3954 (2011).

Holographic Data Storage: from Theory to Practical Systems: William L. Wilson, Kevin Curtis, A. Hill, Lisa Dhar and Mark Ayres., John Wiley & Sons Ltd. (2010).

High Density, High Performance Optical Data Storage Via Volume Holography: The Lucent Technology Hardware Platform, William L. Wilson, Kevin Curtis, M. Tackitt, A. Hill and S. Campbell, “Holographic Data Storage”, Part 5, Optical Science Book Series, Springer Verlag (2000), pp. 359.

Optoelectronics; William L. Wilson, The Encyclopedia of Chemical Physics and Physical Chemistry, Vol 3,  Institute of Physics Publishing, (2001), pp. 2545.

Synthesis, Layer Assembly, and Fluorscence Dynamics of Poly(phenylenevinylene) Oligoner Phosphonates;  H. E. Katz, S. F. Bent, William L. Wilson, M. L. Schilling, and  Solomon B. Ungashe; Journal of The American Chemical Society, Volume 116, Number 15, 6631, (1994).

Quantum Confinement in Size Selected, Surface Oxidized Silicon NanocrystalsWilliam L. Wilson, P. F. Szajowski, and L. E. Brus, Science,  262, 1242 (1993).

Radiative Recombination and Vibronic Relaxation in Sigma Delocalized Silicon Backbone Network Polymers: Energy Thermalization in Poly(n-hexylsilyne);  William L. Wilson and T.W. Weidman, Physical Review B, 48(4), 2169, (1993).

Luminescence Properties of CdSe Quantum Crystallites: Resonance Between Interior and Surface;  M.G. Bawendi, P.J. Carroll, William L. Wilson, and L.E. Brus;  Journal of Chemical Physics,  96(2), 946 (1992).

Polar Orientation of Dye Molecules in Robust Multilayer Films by Zirconium Phosphate Phosphonate Interlayers;  H.E. Katz, G. Scheller, T.M. Putvinski, M.L. Schilling, William L. Wilson and C.E.D. Chidsey, Science, 254, 1485, (1991).

Electronic Structure and Photoexcited Carrier Dynamics CdSe Nanoclusters, (Quantum Dots);  M.G. Bawendi, William L. Wilson, L. Rothberg, P.J. Carroll, T.M. Jedju, M.L. Steigerwald and L.E. Brus, Physical Review Letters, 65, 1623, (1990).


  • W. Lincoln Hawkins Mentoring Excellence Award, Lucent Technologies, Bell Laboratories (1999)
  • Distinguished Member of Technical Staff, Lucent Technologies, Bell Laboratories (1998)
  • Research Affirmative Action Award, Lucent Technologies, Bell Laboratories (1998)
  • Cooperative Research Fellowship, AT&T Bell Laboratories (1982-1987)
  • National Science Foundation Pre-doctoral Fellowship (1982)