MSc thesis project proposal

[2024-25] Strained Hall Effect for Harsh Environment Sensing

GaN is an exciting material due to its wide bandgap, which enables high power devices, high temperature operation, and interesting transduction mechanisms. In particular, it outperforms silicon in space environments as a sensor element. A unique property of GaN is its ability to hold a 2D electron gas as a conduction channel, the foundation for high-electron mobility transistors used in 5G. This 2DEG is also sensitive to strain, which means it can be used in pressure sensors. However, a physical change in 2DEG conduction could come about from either changes in sheet density or mobility. The Hall effect can help us diagnose this.


This is a collaboration between Dr. Karen Dowling (EI) and Dr. Sten Vollebregt (ECTM)


In this thesis project, you will:

  1. Perform a literature review of strained Hall devices in various materials, and strain sensing in GaN 2DEGs.
  2. Simulate in COMSOL a MEMS- based strain transducer to provide as a test platform.
  3. Fabricate your design in EKL/ Kavli Labs.
  4. Test the Hall effect and strain platform and interpret data results, leveraging MEMS testing set ups in ECTM (S. Vollebregt)
  5. Author a conference paper abstract


Suggested Reading:

GaN Pressure Sensor 

GaN Hall effect device


dr. Karen Dowling

Electronic Instrumentation Group

Department of Microelectronics

Last modified: 2024-02-04