ECE Sweeps Nitride Semiconductors Workshop Student Awards

<p>ECE Ph.D. candidates Zachary Engel and Keisuke Motoki</p>

ECE Ph.D. candidates Zachary Engel and Keisuke Motoki

Two Ph.D. candidates in the Georgia Tech School of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) have won the top prizes at the 2022 International Workshop on Nitride Semiconductors (IWN).

Zachary Engel and Keisuke Motoki won the Best Oral Presentation Award and the Best Student Poster Award, respectively. Motoki and Engel were also co-authors on each other’s research papers. The researchers are part of ECE’s Advanced Semiconductor Technology Facility (ASTF) directed by Professor Alan Doolittle.

Engel’s research presents new semiconductor chemistries that allow for improved semiconductor quality as demonstrated by a record sheet charge and channel resistance in a next generation replacement for the current champion of power and RF transistors, AlGaN/GaN (aluminum gallium nitride / gallium nitride) transistors. This new device will allow 2.5 times higher current than present technologies. In principle, it can be integrated with ASTF’s groundbreaking aluminum nitride-based semiconductor, which previous demonstrations have shown to be the largest voltage semiconductor ever created. Engel recently won the Best Student Oral Prizeat the 2022 International Conference on Molecular Beam Epitaxy (ICMBE) for the same research. The work is supported by the DARPA COFFEE program.

Motoki’s award-wining research investigates the high structural quality of AlGaN self-assembled superlattices grown by metal modulated epitaxy (MME), a low-temperature growth technique. The research is supported by the Office of Naval Research (ONR) Multidisciplinary University Research Initiatives (MURI) Program and the Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR). His broader Georgia Tech research focuses on structural characterizations and understanding the growth kinetics of III-nitride semiconductor materials — like aluminum nitride (AlN), GaN, indium nitride (InN), and their solid solutions.

The IWN is the largest international conference focused on the latest advances in III-nitride materials, nanostructures, and devices. Growth, characterization, optical and electronic devices, novel materials and nanostructures are all topics covered during the workshop. The 2022 IWN was held October 9-14 in Berlin, Germany.

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