The Michigan Engineer News Center

Prof. Elaheh Ahmadi receives AFOSR Young Investigator Program award

Prof. Ahmadi will investigate promising new materials needed for an increasingly electrified world.| Short Read
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IMAGE:  Elaheh Ahmadi

Prof. Elaheh Ahmadi received a Young Investigator Program award from the Air Force Office of Scientific Research for research applicable to future transportation and communication systems.

She is one of 40 recipients of this year’s award, and one of the three recipients from the University of Michigan. The title of the project is “Investigation of Electron Transport in β-(AI, Ga)203 Thin Films and Heterostructures Under Applied High Pressures.”

Ahmadi’s research is addressing the increasing need for electricity to power electric vehicles, electric transportation systems, wireless communication systems, and RADAR. Current technology is relying on wide bandgap-based RF and power electronics based on SiC and GaN materials.

Gallium oxide has shown promise to provide improved performance in a cost-effective manner for future systems, yet needs a more thorough investigation of the material and specifically, its electron transport.

Using a hybrid molecular-beam exitaxy (MBE) system, Ahmadi aims to deepen our understanding of electron transport in a variety of gallium oxide materials.

Ahmadi joined the University of Michigan as an assistant professor in 2018. She was formerly a postdoctoral researcher at University of California, Santa Barbara, where she did her doctoral research. Her research interests include epitaxial growth and characterization of III-N and Oxide semiconductor materials for applications in high power devices and optoelectronics, electron transport modeling, and quantum optics in polar materials.

The AFOSR Young Investigator Program aims to foster creative basic research in science and engineering, enhance early career development of outstanding young investigators, and increase opportunities for the young investigators to recognize the Air Force mission and the related challenges in science and engineering.

AFOSR Press Release (October 11, 2019)

Elaheh Ahmadi
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  • Elaheh Ahmadi

    Prof. Elaheh Ahmadi

    Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

The electrons absorb laser light and set up “momentum combs” (the hills) spanning the energy valleys within the material (the red line). When the electrons have an energy allowed by the quantum mechanical structure of the material—and also touch the edge of the valley—they emit light. This is why some teeth of the combs are bright and some are dark. By measuring the emitted light and precisely locating its source, the research mapped out the energy valleys in a 2D crystal of tungsten diselenide. Credit: Markus Borsch, Quantum Science Theory Lab, University of Michigan.

Mapping quantum structures with light to unlock their capabilities

Rather than installing new “2D” semiconductors in devices to see what they can do, this new method puts them through their paces with lasers and light detectors. | Medium Read