Kevin R. Bagnall visited AME Tuesday, October 4, 2016, to discuss his research on gallium nitride (GaN)-based semiconductor devices. Currently, most electronics use semiconductor devices based on silicon, which cannot meet the demands of many high-performance applications due to its intrinsic material limitations. The goal of his research is to understand and characterize the performance and reliability of GaN-based devices.
According to Bagnall, this work has provided exciting new insights into the fundamental physics of self-heating in this revolutionary technology and has opened new avenues to simultaneously probe thermal, mechanical, and electrical behavior in these devices as never before.
The application of this technology could be used in utility, transportation, and consumer products, such as electric cars or laptops. Although GaN allows for reduction in the size of electronic components, the high dissipated power densities in these devices leads to elevated channel temperatures and degraded lifetime and performance. Using micro-Raman spectroscopy, Bagnall measures the temperature, stress, and electric field distributions to help understand the physics of failure.
“We are very pleased to host Kevin’s visit to the University of Oklahoma. He has been carrying out cutting-edge research at MIT, advancing the science and technology of advanced materials used in semiconductor industry,” said AME Director Cengiz Altan. “It is truly rewarding to see our alumni be so successful and perform world-class research in a highly collaborative environment.”
Kevin Bagnall is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) working under the supervision of Professor Evelyn N. Wang. Kevin is an alumnus of the Department of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering at OU, having earned a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering in May 2009. He is the recipient of the Rohsenow Graduate Fellowship at MIT and the National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate (NDSEG) Fellowship sponsored by the Department of Defense and Air Force Office of Scientific Research. For the past five years, he has been working on GaN transistor research in a highly collaborative research center at MIT, which includes the involvement of multiple departments and several industrial partners.
“I really appreciate the undergraduate education I received from AME at OU. It has enabled me to pursue graduate research and a career in academia,” said Bagnall. “I will always be proud to be part of the scholarly, warm and caring AME family.”