John Williams, Ph.D.

John WilliamsAssistant Professor
Electrical & Computer Engineering


OB 406
(256) 824-2898
(256) 824-6803

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Engineering Science, Louisiana Sate University
Engineering Science, Louisiana Sate University
Physics, Louisiana Sate University 



 Dr. John D. Williams received his BS in Physics from the Louisiana State University (LSU) in 1996 where he examined the breakdown of low temperature aluminum superconducting Josephson junctions in low temperature superconductors. He then became a process and beamline technician at LSU's Center for Advanced Micro Devices (CAMD). At CAMD, he developed hands on experience with ultra high vacuum equipment, sputter deposition, ion milling, contact and deep X-ray lithography, wet and dry etching of silicon, scanning electron microscopy, and electroplating. In 1998, he joined the staff of the Cornell Nanofabrication Facility (CNF) as its first MEMS Exchange Engineer and worked to characterize and document CNF fabrication processes for the DARPA MEMS Exchange program. During his stint at CNF, Dr. Williams learned a great deal about Bosch and chorine inductively couple plasma etching, step and repeat lithography, various etch techniques, and chemical vapor deposition. He returned to LSU in 1999 to complete a Masters in Engineering Science on UV LIGA fabrication processes in 2001. Dr. Williams completed his PhD in Engineering Science from Louisiana State University in 2004 after developing a series of novel resist processes for high aspect ratio SU-8 microstructures using contact lithography and combining UV-LIGA processes to develop a micro-electromagnetic relay. In the summer of 2004, Dr. Williams moved to Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque, New Mexico where he was responsible for the science and technology development of LIGA microfabrication. At Sandia, Dr. Williams spearheaded the development of the tilted woodpile photonic crystal, and the lithographic patterning of transparent glass microstructures for the DARPA NGIMG project. During his 3.5 year tenure at SNL, Dr. Williams aided in the development of a dozen microfabricated devices, including THz waveguides, a handheld NMR, and the DARPA Nano Air Vehicle project. Dr. Williams left Sandia to join the Electrical and Computer Engineering faculty at UAHuntsville, in the spring of 2008. He is currently an assistant professor and Associate Director of the Nano Micro Devices Center. His interest include RF MEMS engineering, Bio inspired sensors, 3-D Photonics, and Glass MEMS.


Research Expertise

Dr. Williams’ research is focused primarily in the Electromechanical Engineering, Optics, and Materials Science.  He uses lithographic and electrochemical techniques to pattern polymers, metals and glasses for the development of mechanical, optical, and fluidic devices.  This fabrication process, commonly known as LIGA, uses any number of different lithographic light sources and electrochemical baths, requiring a solid understanding of materials science to accurately design and model and test the performance of these devices.

Honors & Awards

  • Sandia National Laboratories Outstanding Team Award: DARPA NGIMG, 2007
  • Cover of the Journal of Micro/Nanolithography, MEMS, and MOEMS, 2010
  • Cited in the Microwave Journal as one of the “Top 10 Divine Innovations Changing the Future of Passive and Control Components” in Microwave Technologies, 2011


Recent Publications

W. R. Gaillard, K. H. Tantawi, V. Fedorov, E. Waddell, J. D. Williams, “In-plane Spectroscopy with Optical Fiber and Liquid Filled APEX Glass Microcuvettes,” J. Micromech. MicroEng. vol. 23, 107001, 2013.

 K. H. Tantawi, R. Cerro, B. Berdiev, J.D. Williams, “Investigation on Transmembrane Ion Channels Suspended Over Porous Silicon Membranes,” Proceedings of Biotech 2013, Washington DC (May 2013).

W. R. Gaillard, J. D. Williams, “Photosensitive Glass Processing for Microfluidic Applications,” 10th International Workshop on High Aspect Ratio Micro and Nano System Technologies: HARMNST, Berlin, Germany (April 2013).

L. Chao, O. Sholiyi, M. N. Afsar, J. D. Williams, “ Characterization of Micro-Structured Ferrite Materials: Course and Fine Barium, and Photoresist Composites,” IEEE Transactions on Magnetics, vol. 49, no. 7, pp. 4319-4322, 2013. 

K. H. Tantawi, E. Waddell, J. D. Williams, “Structural and Composition Analysis of Apex and Foturan Photodefinable Glasses,” J. Materials Science, vol. 48, no. 15, pp. 5316-5323, 2013.

K. H. Tantawi, W. Gaillard, J. Helton, E. Waddell, S. Mirov, V. Fedorov, J. D. Williams, “In-plane spectroscopy of microfluidic systems made in photosensitive glass,” Microsyst Technol, vol. 19, pp. 173-177, 2013.

K. H. Tantawi, B. Berdiev, R. Cerro, J. D. Williams, “Porous Silicon Membrane for Investigation of Transmembrane Proteins,” Superlattices and Microstructures, vol. 58, pp. 72-80, 2013. 

K. H. Tantawi, R. Cerro, B. Berdiev, M. E. Diaz Martin, F. J Montez, J. D. Williams, “Investigation of Transmembrane Protein fused in Lipid Bilayer Membranes Supported on Porous Silicon,” J. Med. Eng. Tech., vol. 37, no. 1, pp. 28-34, 2013. 

P. Sun, J. D. Williams, “Metallic Spiral Three-Dimensional Photonic Crystal with a Full Band Gap at Optical Communication Wavelengths,” IEEE Photonics J., vol. 4, no. 4, pp. 1155–1162, Aug. 2012. 

K. H. Tantawi, J. D. Williams, “Transparent Glass Microfabrication for Optical Spectroscopy Applications in Microfluidics,“ Kentucky nanoSymposium 2012, Bowling Green, KY (March 2012). – Invited Keynote.

P. Sun, J. D. Williams, “Photonic Paint Developed with Metallic Three-Dimensional Photonic Crystals,” Materials, vol. 5, no. 7, pp. 1196–1205, Jul. 2012.

P. Sun, J.D. Williams, “Studies on Metallic-Tilted Woodpile Photonic Crystals,” Frontiers in Optics 2011/ Laser Science XXVII, San Jose, Ca. (Oct. 2011).

P. Sun, J. D. Williams, “Passband modes beyond waveguide cutoff in metallic tilted-woodpile photonic crystals,” Opt Express, vol. 19, no. 8, pp. 7373–7380, Mar. 2011. UAH - OSE Best Paper Award, 2011.

K. H. M. Tantawi, J. Oates, R. Kamali-Sarvestani, N. Bergquist, J. D. Williams, “Processing of photosensitive APEX™ glass structures with smooth and transparent sidewalls,” J. Micromech. Microeng., vol. 21, no. 1, p. 017001, Jan. 2011.

R. Kamali-Sarvestani, J. D. Williams, “Design and Fabrication of Monolithic High Quality Factor Rf-Solenoids Using Dielectric Substrate,” Microwave J, vol. 54, no. 11, pp. 76–90, 2011. 

R. Kamali-Sarvestani, J. D. Williams, “Fabrication of High Quality Factor RF-Solenoids Using Via Structures,” IEEE Wireless and Microwave Technology Conference, Clearwater FL. (April 2011).

R. Kamali-Sarvestani, J. D. Williams, “New High Quality Factor Solenoid Based Tuned Resonator,” IEEE International Microwave Symposium, Baltimore, MD. (June 2011).

R. Kamali Sarvestani, J. D. Williams, “Fabrication of High Quality Factor RF-Resonator Using Embedded Inductor and Via Capacitor,” Conference of the IEEE Industrial Electronic Society (IECON) Phoenix, AZ. (Nov. 2010). Top 10 Student Paper Award - 1400 Attendees

J. D. Williams, C. Schmidt, D. Serkland, “Processing advances in transparent Foturan® MEMS,” Appl. Phys. A, vol. 99, no. 4, pp. 777–782, May 2010. 

R. K. Sarvestani, J. D. Williams, “Frequency-Dependent Control of Grain Size in Electroplating Gold for Nanoscale Applications,” Electrochemical and Solid-State Letters, vol. 13, no. 6, pp. D37–D39, 2010. 

J. D. Williams, “Fatigue and fracture mechanics aspects of LIGA fabricated nickel and Ni-20%Fe microstructures,” IJTAMM, vol. 1, no. 3, p. 266, 2010. 

J. D. Williams, P. Sun, W. C. Sweatt, A. R. Ellis, “Metallic-tilted woodpile photonic crystals in the midinfrared,” J. Micro/Nanolith. MEMS MOEMS, vol. 9, no. 2, p. 023011, 2010.  Cover Article

J. D. Williams, W. Sweatt, “Method to Fabricate a Tilted Logpile Photonic Crystal,” US Patent No. US 7,820,365 B1, Oct. 26, 2010.

R. Kamali Sarvestani, J. D. Williams, “Pulse Plating Effects on Nano Grain Size of Gold Films,” Alabama Composites Conference, Birmingham, AL (Aug. 2010).

K. H. M. Tantawi, J. D. Williams, “The Biology Age: Electricity from Proteins,” Alabama Composites Conference, Birmingham, AL (Aug. 2010).

K. H. M. Tantawi, J. Oates, J. D. Williams, “Processing of lithographically defined Apex glass structures with smooth and transparent sidewalls,” 6th International Conference and Exhibition on Device Packaging, Scottsdale, AZ (March 2010).

J. Namkung, Y. Zou, R. Kamali, J D. Williams, R. G. Lindquist, “Improvement of sensing characteristics by using microelectroplating technique for nematic liquid crystals based chemical and biological sensors,” CLEO, San Diego, CA, (May 2010).

R. Kamali Sarvestani, J. D. Williams, “Application of Pulse Frequency to Control the Nano Grain Size of Gold Plated Thin Films,” ICCE-17, Honolulu, HI. (2009).

X. G. Peralta, M. C. Wanke, C. L. Arrington, J. D. Williams, I. Brener, A. Strikwerda, R. D. Averitt, W. J. Padilla, E. Smirnova, A. J. Taylor, “Large-area metamaterials on thin membranes for multilayer and curved applications at terahertz and higher frequencies,” Appl Phys Lett, vol. 94, no. 16, pp. 161113–161113, 2009. 

G. Papadopoulos, J. Tyll, A. Drake, R.Chue, J. D. Williams, P. C. Galambos, “Air Entrainment Studies for a Supersonic Micro Ejector System,” ASME Fluids Engineering Conference, Jacksonville FL. FEDSM2008-55220 (2008).

X. G. Peralta, C. L. Arrington, M. C. Wanke, I. Brener, J. D. Williams, E. Smirnova, A. J. Taylor, J. F. O’hara, A. Strikwerda, R. D. Averitt, W. J. Padilla, "Flexible, Large-Area Metamaterials Fabricated on Thin Silicon Nitride Membranes," in Conference on Lasers and Electro-Optics/Quantum Electronics and Laser Science Conference and Photonic Applications Systems Technologies, OSA Technical Digest (CD) (Optical Society of America, 2008), paper CFY4.

X. Peralta, C. L. Arrington, J. D. Williams, A. Strikwerda, R. D. Averitt, W. J. Padilla, J. F. O’Hara, I. Brener, “Terahertz metamaterials on Thin Silicon Nitride Membranes,” MRS Spring Meeting # 1077-L07-18 (2008).

W. Sweatt, J. D. Williams, “Laser Remote Sensing of Backscattered Light from a Target Sample,” US Patent No. US 7,336,351 B1, Feb. 26, 2008.