Assistant professor Richard Wilson is part of a new U.S. Department of Energy Frontier Research Center (EFRC) that aims to create a more resilient and sustainable electricity grid by using next-generation materials. The center will be led by Arizona State University, and includes research teams at UC Riverside, Cornell University, Michigan State University, Sandia National Laboratories, Stanford University, and University of Bristol.
The center’s research focus is the electrical and thermal performance of wide band gap semiconductors such as aluminum nitride, boron nitride and diamond. These materials have extraordinary electrical and thermal properties. In principle, these extraordinary properties should allow electronic devices to operate at higher temperatures, voltages and frequencies. Wilson’s group will focus on understanding thermal transport in these wide-band gap material systems. The temperature rise in high power electronic devices is a significant design constraint. Wilson’s group will study how interfaces between materials increase thermal resistance and limit device performance.