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High Band Gap Sensors for High-Temperature, Radiation-Rich Environments

Abstract: Wide bandgap semiconductor materials are inherently temperature-tolerant, radiation-hardened and biocompatible which can extend the operation regime of micro- and nano-scale devices to extreme harsh environments (e.g. deep space, hypersonic structures, subsurface environments, combustion environments, and the human body). In addition, wide bandgap semiconductor materials are often simultaneously piezoelectric, piezoresistive and pyroelectric, which can be leveraged in the design of a multitude of micro- and nano-scale devices such as inertial sensors, bolometers, dosimeters, micromechanical resonators and energy harvesters in a single material layer. In this talk, a review of the advancements in manufacturing technology for polycrystalline thin film, epitaxial thin film and nanowire growth of wide bandgap semiconductor materials are presented. In addition, the compelling results of silicon carbide (SiC), gallium nitride (GaN), and aluminum nitride (AlN) device operation at temperatures as high as 600oC and under gamma irradiation will be reviewed. These robust material sets can serve as a platform for the realization of sensor, actuator and electronic systems that can operate and collect data under the most hostile conditions.
Speaker: Debbie Senesky - Stanford
Speaker Bio: Professor Senesky received the B.S. degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Southern California in 2001. She received the M.S. degree and Ph.D. degree in mechanical engineering from the University of California, Berkeley in 2004 and 2007, respectively. She was a Design Engineer in 2007 for GE Sensing (formerly known as NovaSensor). She was a researcher specialist in 2008 at the Berkeley Sensor and Actuator Center (BSAC) developing silicon carbide (SiC) sensing technology for extreme harsh environments. In 2012, she was appointed to the faculty at Stanford University in the Aeronautics and Astronautics Department. In recognition of her research, she has received the Space Technology Research Opportunities Early Faculty Career Award from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.
Poster Link: Poster