Akihira Munakata, a first-year master's student in Professor Masaki Kobayashi's laboratory in the Department of Electrical Engineering, has received the 56th (Spring 2024) Applied Physics Society Presentation Encouragement Award.
Publication & Awards

Akihira Munekata, a first-year master's student in the Kobayashi Laboratory of the Department of Electrical Engineering (fourth-year undergraduate student in the Nakano-Tanemura-Maeda Laboratory of the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering at the time of presentation), received the 56th (2024 Spring) Applied Physics Society Presentation Encouragement Award for his presentation titled "Precise Evaluation of Temperature Dependence of Barrier Height of Ni/β-Ga2O3 SBD and Evaluation of Valence Band of β-Ga2O3 by XPS" at the 2024 Spring Meeting of the Japan Society of Applied Physics.

Name of award and short explanation about the award

The Presentation Encouragement Award is given to young members who present outstanding general papers that contribute to the advancement of applied physics at the Spring and Autumn Meetings.

About awarded research (activity)

Akihira Munekata successfully determined the barrier height and its temperature dependence of Schottky junctions of gallium oxide (β-Ga2O3), a wide bandgap semiconductor attracting attention as a next-generation power device material, using current-voltage characteristics, capacitance-voltage characteristics, and photocurrent measurements. Notably, in the analysis of the current-voltage characteristics, he recognized the importance of considering transport through the diffusion process in series and adopted an advanced analytical model, the thermionic emission-diffusion model, to obtain consistent and convincing data comparable to other measurement methods. Furthermore, to elucidate the origin of the temperature dependence of the obtained barrier height, he conducted X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) measurements using irradiated light to investigate the temperature dependence of the valence band maximum. He found that the temperature change in the valence band was about 2-3 times larger than that of the barrier height. This indicates that the decrease in barrier height with increasing temperature is due to the lowering of the conduction band minimum, a fundamentally significant and impactful finding.

Your impression & future plan

I am deeply honored to receive such a prestigious award, recognizing my research achievements. This accomplishment is due to the guidance and support from my mentors, including Professor Maeda and Professor Kobayashi, as well as the members of my laboratory and collaborators at Novel Crystal Technology. I am truly grateful to everyone involved. I will continue to strive and be encouraged by this award in my future endeavors.

Applied Physics Society Website: https://www.jsap.or.jp/young-scientist-presentation-award/recipients56

Maeda Laboratory Website: https://sites.google.com/g.ecc.u-tokyo.ac.jp/maeda-lab/home?authuser=0

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