Ashley Jian receives Barbour Scholarship to further her research on high-power electronics

Jian works to improve the efficiency of high-power electronics for better energy security and sustainability.

ECE PhD student, Ashley Jian, has been awarded the Barbour Scholarship from the Rackham Graduate School in support of her work to improve the efficiency of high-power electronics.

New device technologies are needed to efficiently manage and distribute electrical power in many advanced systems, including distributed grid systems, energy-intensive industrial systems, and large electric vehicles such as high-speed trains. This is essential for “energy security,” meaning the availability of energy sources at an affordable price to sustain modern economies and life.

“Energy security is one of the biggest concerns in our century,” Jian said. “I want to help develop high-efficiency power devices to solve this kind of problem.”

Jian focuses on the design, modeling, fabrication, and characterization of gallium oxide-based high-power devices. Her recent research uses high-quality dielectrics to enable high performance beta phase gallium oxide (β-Ga2O3) field-effect transistors. This method achieves high-quality semiconductor-dielectric interface and low leakage current, which is important for device efficiency and reliability.

“Power electronics are used everywhere,” Jian said. “If we can improve their energy efficiency, that will benefit our Earth very much.”

In addition to her research, Jian is an active member of the university and engineering community. She works as a Senior User in the U-M Lurie Nanofabrication Facility (LNF) and is a member of the LNF User Committee. She participated in ECE’s NSF Center for Photonic and Multiscale Nanomaterials (C-PHOM) high school research program, she’s mentored several undergraduate students, and she serves as an Engineering Teaching Consultant at the Center for Research on Learning and Teaching (CRLT).

Jian’s proposed dissertation title is, “β-Ga2O3 based devices for high power switching applications.” She is advised by Prof. Elaheh Ahmadi.

Jian received a Best Presentation award at the 63rd Electronic Materials Conference. She also received the Marian Sarah Parker Prize from the College of Engineering. Jian earned her B.S. in Electrical Engineering at the Beihang University, China, and M.S. in Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Michigan.