A team of Georgia Tech researchers comprised of Satish Kumar, Samuel Graham, and  Yogendra Joshi from the George W. Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering were awarded $590,000 from the Department of Defense (DoD) to acquire state-of-the-art equipment for thermal imaging and semiconductor characterization. This Defense University Research Instrumentation Program (DURIP) award, supported by Office of Naval Research, will facilitate the acquisition of a thermo-reflectance characterization system, which has the capability of high precision temperature detection and analysis with 250 nm spatial resolution, 100 ns temporal resolution, and temperature resolution of 0.1 °C.  In addition, the funding will provide equipment for a probe station and radio frequency testing equipment for evaluating the thermal response of semiconductors.

The DURIP supports the purchase of state-of-the-art equipment that augments current university capabilities, or develops new capabilities to perform cutting edge defense research and associated graduate student research training. The awards are the result of a merit competition jointly conducted by three DoD research offices: the Army Research Office, Office of Naval Research, and Air Force Office of Scientific Research. The DURIP is highly competitive. The three DoD research offices solicit proposals from university investigators conducting science and engineering research of importance to national defense.

The lead investigator of the project, Satish Kumar, said "the acquisitions made by this award in addition to the equipment and facilities currently accessible to the PIs will enable us to measure transport characteristics of a wide variety of electronic devices and energy conversion systemsrelated to  photovoltaics, RF electronics, power electronics, light emitting diodes (LEDs), and microprocessors. The measurements coupled with  extensive modeling will directly support multiple research programs pursued by the PIs such as the Energy Efficient Outposts Modeling Consortium (EEOMC) by ONR, DARPA Young Investigator Award on GaN based power electronic devices,  the Near Junction Thermal Transport and ICE Cool programs by DARPA, and  High Reliability Electronics Virtual (HiREV) Center activities supported by AFRL."


Some examples of systems, devices and materials to be characterized by proposed instrument acquisitions. Left: AlGaN/GaN based power electronic device. Center: Detailed view of the electrodes of the device shown on left. Right: Thin film photovoltaics integrated with a military tent.