John J. Stankus, Ph.D.

John J. Stankus, Ph.D.

Professor, Physical Chemistry Office Location: Bonilla Science Hall, Room 108 Phone: (210) 832-2108
Dr. John Stankus joined the Department of Chemistry at the University of the Incarnate Word in August of 2006. Dr. Stankus earned a B.S. in Chemistry with Honors from the University of Texas at Austin and his Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry from Stanford University in 1993.

Prior to joining UIW, Dr. Stankus had an extensive industrial career. He worked on developing photorefractive optical storage materials at IBM Almaden Research Center in the research group led by Dr. W.E. Moerner (2014 Nobel Prize in Chemistry winner). At Motorola Semiconductor Product Sector, in both the Advanced Materials group of the Materials Research and Strategic Technology (MRST) group and Advanced Products Research and Development Laboratory (APRDL), he worked on dielectrics for high speed semiconductor chips, back end chip interconnects and optical interconnect technologies. At Nortel Networks’ Advanced Technology group he helped develop wide ranging technologies from optical switching to mesh networking systems.
Dr. Stankus has been very active in shared governance of the University leading many task forces and committees, most notably serving as the Faculty Senate President and Board of Trustees member 2017-2019.

Stanford University, Stanford, CA - 1993

  • Ph.D., Chemistry (Physical Chemistry)
  • Dynamics of Simple and Ordered Liquids
  • Optical Holographic Techniques/Ultrafast Spectroscopy
  • Thesis Advisor: M. D. Fayer

University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX - 1987

  • BS, Chemistry with Honors
  • College of Natural Sciences Dean's Scholars Program Patents
  • The University of the Incarnate Word 2006 -

    Department of Chemistry - School of Math, Science and Engineering

    Assistant Professor of Chemistry

    • Taught "Chemical Principles I" and "Chemical Principles I Laboratory" a first course in chemistry for science and engineering majors.
    • Participated in UIW new faculty mentoring program
    • Participated in UIW first year engagement committee
    • Collin County Community College Spring 2006
    • Mathematics and Natural Sciences Division - Associate Faculty Member
    • Taught lecture and laboratory sections of "Introduction to Chemistry I", a first course in chemistry for non-science majors.

    NORTEL, Richardson, TX 2000 - 2005

    Advanced Technology Group - Project Manager - Advanced Optical Technologies

    • Developed 10 Gb/s high density, low power, low cost optical transceiver technology demonstrator.
    • Prototyped 10Gb/s optical transceiver resulting in a density increase of almost 10X over the industry standard Small Footprint 10 Gigabit Transponder MSA TOMCAT module.
    • Demonstrated high performance direct connection 10 Gb/s electrical interface showing significantly better signal integrity than traditional approaches and eliminating expensive MUX/DEMUX circuitry.
    • Coordinated fabrication of prototype devices across six sites in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom.
    • Analyzed optical backplane technologies as a replacement for copper interconnects in high performance, high density systems.
      • Analyzed system requirements, impacts, costs and adoption strategies for optical backplane technologies and contrasted with advanced copper interconnect technologies. Evaluations included impacts on design, cost, thermal design, reliability and system complexity.
      • Created a multi-company consortium to compete for a 2004 NIST Advanced Technology Program grant. Led the team, consisting of five companies and two universities, through development of a $13 million optical backplane research and development program. The proposal successfully passed the NIST technology evaluation gate. Though it was not one of the proposals funded, the evaluators strongly suggested the consortium resubmit for the 2005 competition.
    • Served on the University of Texas at Dallas Telecommunications Engineering degree program Industrial Advisory Committee (2003-2005). This committee makes recommendations and provides guidance for the development and continued accreditation of the degree plan.
    • Analyzed new optical networking component technologies for technical feasibility and applicability in future networks. Technologies developed at start-up companies, universities and Nortel were evaluated. This resulted in programs for advanced development being established for the most promising technologies. For example, a photonic bandgap material (photonic crystal) based optical limiter from the University of Toronto has lead to a multiyear research engagement for which I have been the technical prime.
    • Evaluated Quantum Key Distribution (Quantum Cryptography) technology and developed the product strategy.
    • Developed network concepts for wavelength division multiplexing (WDM) metro access networks driven by advances in component technologies and developed advanced component concepts based on future network architectures.
    • Filed multiple patent disclosures leading to 4 issued U.S. patents with additional pending.

    MOTOROLA, INC., Austin, TX 1994 - 2000

    Advanced Products Research and Development Laboratory

    Advanced Process Development Group

    • Project leader of Optical Advanced Silicon Interconnect Systems (OASIS) project including exploratory proposal, program planning and execution.
    • Evaluated optical interconnect technologies for viability in interconnect application which included evaluating technology insertion tradeoff points, manufacturability, process complexity, power consumption, die space utilization and reliability.
    • Developed university interactions in support of the OASIS project with the University of Texas and Vanderbilt University.
    • Supported advanced lithography phase shift mask (PSM) development through optical modeling and mask modification utilizing Numerical Technologies phase shift mask software system. This work enabled lithographic printing of subwavelength sized structures on 193 nm stepper systems.
    • Represented Motorola on the Semiconductor Research Corporation's Back-End-Process/Interconnect Technical Advisory Board (TAB Chairman for 2000).
    • Filed multiple patent disclosures leading to 5 issued U.S. Patents.

    Materials Research & Strategic Technology

    Advanced Materials Group - Senior Staff Scientist

    • Responsible for materials characterization, process development and process integration of low k polymer interlayer dielectrics.
    • Developed polymer coat and cure processes for several promising polymer dielectrics.
    • Characterized the isolated polymer film and the polymer/hard dielectric stack to be used for process integration.
    • Explored innovative microwave cure processes that reduced cure cycle time from 10 hours to less than ten minutes.
    • Worked closely with hard dielectric films, photolithography, etch and advanced metallization groups to develop a back end of the line (BEOL) integration method for low dielectric constant polymers with copper (high conductivity) interconnect. This was the first copper in polymer dielectric integration and reduced interconnect capacitance by 40%.
    • Coordinated setup of new 3000 square foot Advanced Materials class one clean laboratory room including bay layout, tool facilitization, installation coordination and budget tracking. The project was completed on time and came in under budget.
    • Primary engineering contact for Advanced Materials Group with tool vendors including leading tool source inspection teams.

    IBM CORPORATION, Almaden Research Center, San Jose, CA 1993 - 1994

    • Investigated organic polymeric photorefractive holographic optical storage materials.
    • Explored the mechanism of the photorefractive effect through both optical and non-optical methods determining the limiting factors for speed and diffraction efficiency and the optimization of these properties for polymeric photorefractive materials.
    • Developed methods to produce thick uniform films of photorefractive materials for device development.

    Stanford University, Stanford CA 1987-1993


    Ph.D. Thesis Research Summary

    • Investigated the fast time scale rotational and librational motions of ordered liquids such as liquid crystals and their analogs. Liquid crystals have a high degree of local order that persists for an extended time period, providing an opportunity to investigate the effect of local liquid structure on the dynamics of molecules. A clear understanding of the structureand dynamics of liquids is required for the optimization of chemical reactions, materials processing and the development of materials. Developed and refined a unique 200-300 femtosecond tunable pulsed laser system. This laser system has the capability to measure these material dynamics on a scale from femtoseconds to tens of nanoseconds; an improvement of four orders of magnitude over most prior experiments.
    • Designed and fabricated novel instrumentation and electronic systems to facilitate the research
  • John J. Stankus, ,“ Identifying preparation gaps in the flipped classroom to enable effective micro-lectures and other interventions.”, 25th Biennial Conference on Chemical Education, Notre Dame, IN, July 29-August 2, 2018; Division of Chemical Education, American Chemical Society: Washington, DC; Oral Presentation 911.
  • John J. Stankus “To Flip or Not to Flip” UIW Center for Teaching and Learning Workshops – Presented twice January 30, 2018 and, University of the Incarnate Word, San Antonio, TX.
  • John J. Stankus, Robert Garner, Sara Tallarovic, Angela Guadian-Mendez,“Bridge to success: CHEM-Start summer program for chemistry preparation at a Hispanic Serving Institution”, ALEKS Chemistry Symposium, Austin TX, February 2-4, 2017, Invited Talk.
  • Michael DeLomba, Michael Hernandez, John Stankus, “Speed of sound in gases measured by in-situ generated white noise”, Journal of Chemical Education 2016, 93 (11), pp 1961–1964.
  • John J. Stankus, Robert Garner, Sara Tallarovic, Angela Guadian-Mendez,“Bridge to success: CHEM-Start summer program for chemistry preparation at a Hispanic Serving Institution”, 24th Biennial Conference on Chemical Education, Greeley, CO, July 31-August 4, 2016; Division of Chemical Education, American Chemical Society: Washington, DC; Oral Presentation P708.
  • Harvey A. Schwertner, John J. Stankus “Characterization of the fluorescent spectra and intensities of Dabigatran and Dabigatran Etexilate: Application to HPLC analysis with fluorescent detection” Journal of Chromatographic Science. 2016, 54 (9) 1648-1651., doi: 10.1093/chromsci/bmw122
  • Brian McBurnett, John Stankus, Sara Tallarovic, Angela Guadian-Mendez “Assessment of student learning outcomes after implementation of a response-adaptive online homework system”, 251st ACS National Meeting, San Diego, CA, March 13-17, 2016; American Chemical Society: Washington, DC; Oral Presentation CHED-1799.
  • Sara Tallarovic, Angela Guadian-Mendez, John J. Stankus, Gilivaldo Castaneda “Bridge to Success: Summer Programs for Mathematics Remediation and Science Preparation” HACU 29th Annual Conference, Miami Beach, FL, October 10-12, 2015, Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities, San Antonio, TX, Workshop presentation
  • J. J. Stankus, S. M. Silence, W. E. Moerner, G. C. Bjorklund, "Electric field switchable stratified volume holograms in photorefractive polymers." Optics Letters 19 (1994) 1480.
  • John J. Stankus, Renato Torre, M. D. Fayer,  "The influence of local liquid structure on orientational dynamics: The isotropic phase of liquid crystals." Journal of Physical Chemistry, 97 (1993) 9478.

Representative Patents:

  • 7,787,628     R. Kuang, G. Q. Wang, John J. Stankus, Double phase encoding quantum key distribution.
  • 6,417,077     John J. Stankus, Edge growth heteroepitaxy processes with reduced lattice mismatch strain between a deposited semiconductor material and a semiconductor substrate. 
  • 6,411,758     John J. Stankus, Method and apparatus for aligning a waveguide to a device  (also Chinese patent CN1319770, and Japanese patent JP2001235661).
  • 6,150,190     John J. Stankus, B. Fowler, Method of formation of buried mirror semiconductive device.
  • American Chemical Society (ACS)
  • Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) - Senior Member


  • University of Texas National Merit Scholar, 1983-1987.
  • IBM Thomas J. Watson Memorial Scholarship, 1983-1987.
  • CONOCO Chemistry Scholarship, 1986,1985,1984,1983.
  • National Honor Society Chapter Scholarship, 1983.

College Honors

  • Phi Lambda Upsilon - Chemistry Honor Society - 1987.
  • Pi Mu Epsilon - Mathematics Honor Society - 1986.
  • Golden Key National Honor Society - 1985.
  • Designated College Scholar by the Dean of the College of Natural Sciences - 1985 and 1986.
  • Dean's Honor List, College of Natural Sciences - 1983, 1984.
  • Alpha Lambda Delta - Freshman Honor Society - 1984.
  • Phi Eta Sigma - Freshman Honor Society - 1984.
  • Dean's Scholars Program, College of Natural Sciences, University of Texas - 1983-1987.
Dissertation committees served on
  • Jeremy Schaub Ph.D. Electrical Engineering University of Texas at Austin 2000
  • Ru Li Ph.D. Electrical Engineering University of Texas at Austin 2000
  • Dhruvish Shah M.S. Electrical Engineering University of Texas at Dallas 2003
  • Kalai Narayanan M.S. Electrical Engineering University of Texas at Dallas 2003
  • Sanjeev Lakshmanan M.S. Electrical Engineering University of Texas at Dallas 2003
Assistant Professor of Chemistry – UIW
  • Chemical Principles I Lecture (3 Sections) Fall 2006
  • Chemical Principles I Lab Lab (2 sections) Fall 2006
Associate Faculty
  • Introduction to Chemistry I Collin County Community College Spring 2006                      (Lecture and Laboratory)

Teaching assistantships

  • Stanford University Fall 1990*, 1989*, 1988
    • Graduate Quantum Mechanics
  • Stanford University Spring 1988
    • Introductory Organic Chemistry Laboratory
  • Stanford University Winter 1988
    • Physical Chemistry for Biological Sciences
  • Stanford University Fall 1987
    • Freshman Chemistry
  • The University of Texas Spring 1986
    • Introductory Chemistry Laboratory
  • Austin Community College Summer 1984
    • Introductory Engineering Physics
    • Introductory College Physics
         * Lead Teaching Assistant
Dr. Stankus’ research interests include Chemical Education, particularly developing new laboratory experiments to assist students’ understanding of new areas of physical chemistry.  He also has interests in liquid dynamics, spectroscopy and hydrogen bonding.