Faculty Profile for Dr. Edwin L Piner

profile photo for Dr. Edwin L Piner
Dr. Edwin L Piner
Professor — Physics
RFM 3208
phone: (512) 245-7049

Biography Section

Biography and Education

Prof. Piner’s research and technology development interests are in the growth and characterization, semiconductor fabrication, and performance optimization of gallium nitride and its alloys for device applications. Less than one-tenth of the lab performance capability of GaN electronic devices has been realized commercially. Thermal impedance is a key hindrance to closing this gap. The nitrogen-face of the polar GaN crystal is a noteworthy research field. Coupled with chemical vapor deposition diamond, N-face GaN FETs will offer the next device performance revolution of wide bandgap semiconductors in a variety of harsh environments, including high temperature applications. The AlGaN/GaN structure has particularly sensitive surface states coupled to the 2DEG channel of the FET. The sensitivity is exploitable for biological, radiological, chemical, and environmental sensors. The combinable features of GaN; N-face surface, wireless functionality, and harsh environment immunity in a single, environmentally safe, semiconductor material system, could pioneer a new era in solid-state device utilization for extreme applications.

Research Interests

Dr. Piner's group is principally focused on research and technology development in the growth and characterization, semiconductor fabrication, and performance optimization of wide bandgap materials for solid-state device applications.

Selected Scholarly/Creative Work

  • Yates, L., Anderson, J., Gu, X., Lee, C., Bai, T., Mecklenburg, M., … Graham, S. (2018). Low Thermal Boundary Resistance Interfaces for GaN-on-Diamond Devices. ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces, 10(28), 24302–24309. https://doi.org/10.1021/acsami.8b07014
  • Ahmed, R., Nazari, M., Hancock, B. L., Simpson, J., Engdahl, C., Piner, E. L., & Holtz, M. W. (2018). Ultraviolet micro-Raman stress map of polycrystalline diamond grown selectively on silicon substrates using chemical vapor deposition. Applied Physics Letters, 112(18), 181907. https://doi.org/10.1063/1.5027507
  • Squires, B., Hancock, B. L., Nazari, M., Anderson, J., Hobart, K. D., Feygelson, T. I., … Holtz, M. W. (2017). Hexagonal boron nitride particles for determining the thermal conductivity of diamond films based on near-ultraviolet micro-Raman mapping. Journal of Physics D, 50, 24LT01. https://doi.org/10.1088/1361-6463/aa6f44
  • Nazari, M., Hancock, B. L., Anderson, J., Savage, A., Piner, E. L., Graham, S., … Holtz, M. W. (2016). Near-ultraviolet micro-Raman study of diamond grown on GaN. Applied Physics Letters, 108(3), 031901. https://doi.org/10.1063/1.4940200
  • Hancock, B. L., Nazari, M., Anderson, J., Piner, E. L., Faili, F., Oh, S., … Holtz, M. W. (2016). Ultraviolet micro-Raman spectroscopy stress mapping of a 75-mm GaN-on-diamond wafer. Applied Physics Letters, 108(21). https://doi.org/10.1063/1.4952596

Selected Awards

  • Award / Honor Recipient: Presidential Distinction Award for Excellence in Scholarly / Creative Activities, College of Science and Engineering, Physics. 2014
  • Award / Honor Recipient: The Graduate College’s Outstanding Master’s Thesis Award in Math, Physical Sciences and Engineering, Texas State University. 2014
  • Award / Honor Recipient: Best Paper Award, "New Technologies for Improving the High Frequency Performance of AlGaN/GaN High Electron Mobility Transistors", International Conf. on Advances in Electronics and Microelectronics, 2008, ENICS, Valencia, Spain, EU. September 1, 2008 - October 1, 2008
  • Award / Honor Recipient: Engineers Council, NCSU Student Government. January 1, 1993
  • Award / Honor Recipient: Alpha Sigma Mu, Honorary Engineering Fraternity. January 1, 1900

Selected Grants

  • Holtz, Mark W (Principal), Chen, Yihong (Supporting), Geerts, Wilhelmus J (Supporting), Droopad, Ravindranath (Supporting), Li, Jian (Co-Principal), Myers, Thomas H (Supporting), Piner, Edwin L (Supporting), Theodoropoulou, Nikoleta (Supporting), Zakhidov, Alexander (Supporting). System of Integrated Characterization of Electronic Devices and Materials, U.S. AFOSR, Federal, $332086. (Funded: August 15, 2017 - August 14, 2018). Grant.
  • Piner, Edwin L (Principal), Holtz, Mark W (Co-Principal). Integrated GaN HEMT on Diamond: Heterointerface and Thermal Transport Fundamentals, U. S. Army, Federal, $596000. (Funded: 2014 - 2017). Grant.
  • Piner, Edwin L (Principal), Holtz, Mark W (Co-Principal). Integrated Selective Growth of Diamond and GaN for Thermal Management, NSF-EPMD, Federal, $410000. (Funded: July 1, 2018 - June 30, 2021). Grant.
  • Zakhidov, Alexander (Principal), Holtz, Mark W (Supporting), Piner, Edwin L (Supporting), Myers, Thomas H (Supporting), Theodoropoulou, Nikoleta (Supporting), Beall, Gary W (Supporting), Yu, Qingkai (Supporting), Rhodes, Christopher Peter (Supporting), Geerts, Wilhelmus J (Supporting), Betancourt, Tania (Supporting), Li, Jian (Supporting). Scanning Probe Microscope for Materials Research and Education, U. S. Army, Federal, $358558. (Funded: July 1, 2016 - June 30, 2017). Grant.
  • Piner, Edwin (Principal). Texas A&M University TEES Grant for equipment acquisition of a Wafer Bonding System, Texas A&M University, Institutional (Higher Ed), $55000. (Submitted: January 1, 2012). Grant.

Selected Service Activities

Member
Physics Faculty Search Committee
October 2018-Present
Co-Chair
Title IX Tribunal
March 2018-Present
Member
Curriculum Committee
June 2017-Present
Chair
Special Assistant to the President
May 2017-Present
Other
Physics Graduate Advisor
January 2017-Present