Professor of Physics (Royal Society Wolfson Research Merit Award Holder)
Our research focuses on semiconductor electronic devices. Semiconductor electronic devices have a major impact on our everyday lives all over the world. Microwave devices are found in mobile phone base stations. Power electronic devices keep our laptop batteries charged and ensure that solar panels generate environmentally green energy for our homes. For the past 50 years, microwave and power electronic devices have relied on traditional semiconductor materials such as Silicon and Gallium Arsenide. Using novel semiconductor devices like Gallium Nitride (GaN) would reduce weight, increase efficiency and reduce energy consumption. GaN and Silicon Carbide (SiC) are key materials Professor Kuball investigates for electronic device applications.
These new materials enable electronic devices, which allow power densities and speeds far exceeding traditional semiconductor materials. However, one of the challenges is that power densities in these semiconductor electronic devices nowadays can reach levels equal to the surface of the sun. Our research enables to keep these device as cool as possible, for example using their integration with the highest thermal conductivity material known to mankind, diamond, and the reliability and lifetime of these new technologies. We use a combination of thermal analysis experimental techniques, optical spectroscopy as well as electrical techniques coupled with simulation to gain unprecedented insight into the thermal management as well as the reliability and physics of failure of these devices.
These are some of key aims of the Center for Device Thermography and Reliability (CDTR) Prof. Kuball is leading, with research often performed in collaboration with industry, such as Selex, Qorvo, UMS, Thales Alenia Spaciale, Element-Six and other companies. We are a team of 20 international researchers.
Our research is supported by most major national and international funding agencies, for example, EPSRC (UK), EDA (EC), ECSEL (EC), European Space Agency (EDA), ONR (USA), DARPA (USA), and many others.