Alumna Mona Ebrish has been awarded the prestigious National Research Council fellowship to start her post-doctoral position at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) in Washington DC. During the term of her fellowship, Mona will be be working on semiconductor materials with larger energy gap as compared to graphene, to be used in high voltage power applications.
NRL, the U.S. Navy’s corporate research lab, is one of the oldest government research and development (R&D) labs, and is a world leader in wide bandgap semiconductors. The fellowship experience will further Mona’s knowledge in the field and carries the potential to open up future academic research opportunities to engage in.
Mona earned her doctoral degree in 2015, under the guidance of Prof. Steven Koester. Her graduate research focused on graphene, the two-dimensional form of carbon. Her dissertation titled “Graphene Quantum Capacitance Varactors,” is a study of the fundamental properties of the material and its use for biological sensing applications.
Post-2015, Mona joined IBM at their research and development facility in Albany, NY, and worked on projects related to current or near-future technologies for IBM servers.Over the course of her work as a graduate student and with IBM, she has learned that her passion lies in conducting fundamental research that will help mature new technology. During her stint with the NRL, she will focus on the limitations of wide-band gap based devices, specifically vertical gallium nitride (GaN) diodes and explore ways to enable this technology to cover a higher range of voltage applications. GaN is a challenging material; it is difficult to grow thick defect free layers, and tune their polarity to optimum levels. The goal is to overcome these challenges, and unleash the potential of this material on the power electronics market.