University of Utah electrical and computer engineering Ph.D. graduate Arkka Bhattacharyya recently won the Young Researcher Paper Award at the International Workshop on Gallium Oxide and Related Materials 2022 (IWGO-4) held last fall in Nagano, Japan. This conference is one of the most competitive in its field, with participants’ live presentations being judged on the significance of the scientific progress of their project, the design of their experiments, the presentation itself, and the Q&A session.

During his Ph.D., Bhattacharyya’s research focused on the design and fabrication of gallium oxide devices. His awarded thesis presents some of the critical state-of-the-art results in Ga2O3 epitaxy/devices using MOVPE technology (metalorganic vapor phase epitaxy) which has tremendous potential for next-generation energy efficient power electronics.

“Power electronic systems form the backbone of the modern world’s electrical infrastructure,” says Bhattacharyya. “With the world’s global energy consumption on the rise, ‘energy security’ has become one of the biggest concerns of this century. Energy-efficient, low-cost power systems can reduce energy waste and accelerate the adoption of low-carbon energy sources toward a sustainable, cleaner, and ‘greener’ future.”

“Solid-state power semiconductor devices are at the heart of these power electronic systems that process electricity for communications, health, defense, and energy sectors,” explains Bhattacharyya. “Developing power devices using ultra-wide-bandgap (UWBG) semiconductors can make high-power switch conversion technology efficient, which can save billions of dollars and terawatt-hours (TWh) of energy every year, thus reducing carbon emissions by orders of magnitude.”

For the conference in Japan, Bhattacharyya and his research group reported record high room temperature electron mobility values in Ga2O3 material among other power device figures. With their precise device design, novel device processing, and material quality, the group’s devices were able to set a new world record for Ga2O3 transistor device technology.

“I want to give a shout-out to my advisor, Professor Sriram Krishamoorthy, who has inspired and guided me all along,” says Bhattacharyya. “I consider myself very lucky that I had the opportunity to work in the University of Utah labs and have been able to learn from such great faculty in the ECE department. The University of Utah is and will always remain a life-changing experience and a turning point in my career. I feel very proud to be a U. of U. alumni.”

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