Dr. John E Spencer

Dr. John E. Spencer – Plasma / Lasers

John E. Spencer is Founder, President and CEO of Photodigm, Inc., a supplier of laser diodes based on the Company’s proprietary DBR laser technology. Along with technologist Dr. Gary Evans, Professor of Electrical Engineering at SMU, Dr. Spencer founded Photodigm as a venture-backed startup developing novel laser diodes for telecom/datacom markets. Following the telecom crash, he redirected the company into new markets, where the company’s proprietary DBR laser diodes found ready acceptance in emerging commercial and defense applications. With this change in business plan, Dr. Spencer led a team of investors, acquiring the company from its early venture backers. Today, Photodigm DBR laser diodes, fabricated in Photodigm’s own laser fab in Richardson, Texas, are sold worldwide, and offer the highest performance instrumentation laser diodes available today.

From 1988-1998, Dr. Spencer was Founder and President of PlasmaQuest, Inc., a full service, worldwide provider of advanced materials processing equipment for the microfabrication industry.

Prior to forming PlasmaQuest in 1988, Dr. Spencer held positions early in his career as manager of research and development, Machine Technology, Inc. (MTI) in Richardson Texas; Member of the Technical Staff, Texas Instruments, Inc., Dallas, Texas; research chemist, General Electric Company, Cleveland, Ohio; and postdoctoral research associate, University of California, Irvine. While at MTI, he was principal developer of the first production-worthy single wafer dry photoresist stripper for the semiconductor industry. As a Member of the Technical Staff at Texas Instruments Inc., Dr. Spencer developed etch processes and dry etch equipment in support of 64K, 256K, and 1 MBit DRAM technologies. At General Electric Company, Lighting Research and Technical Services Operation, he was involved in developing improved plasma light sources.

Dr. Spencer holds the B.S. from Millsaps College, and the Ph.D from Rice University. He has published over 50 papers and holds 12 patents in the fields of applications of semiconductor lasers; industrial applications of plasma, including lighting, plasma sources for materials processing, semiconductor etching, and chemical vapor deposition.

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