Dr. Fritz Kub Receives University of Maryland Innovation Hall of Fame Award

Dr. Fritz Kub, a scientist at the U. S. Naval Research Laboratory, has been inducted into the University of Maryland's Innovation Hall of Fame. He is recognized for his technology innovations related to gallium nitride (GaN) Light Emitting Diodes (LED) and microwave transistors. The award was presented at a ceremony held at the University of Maryland on November 25, 2014.

NRL'sDr. Fritz Kub is honored with induction into the University of Maryland's Innovation Hall of Fame.
(Photo: U.S. Naval Research Laboratory)

Kub, Head of the Power Electronics Branch in NRL's Electronic Science and Technology Division, received his doctorate in Electrical Engineering from the University of Maryland A. James Clark School of Engineering in 1985. Prior to that he earned his bachelor's degree in Engineering Physics at South Dakota State University in 1972 and his master's degree in Electrical Engineering at the University of Minnesota in 1976.

Kub's innovations in novel wafer bonded substrate technology for GaN LED and microwave transistors include a method to implement large diameter GaN engineered substrates, a process to implement an ultrathin silicon body layer for fully-depleted, strained silicon-on-insulator (SOI) circuits, and a technique to integrate an insulating substrate with silicon microwave integrated circuits.

The approach for the GaN engineered substrate for LEDs uses wafer bonding of a thin silicon single-crystal layer to the surface of a large diameter, thermal expansion matched aluminum nitride polycrystalline substrate. The thermal expansion matching is a key property that enables thick, epitaxial GaN layers to be grown on the engineered substrate without cracking, enabling improvements in the yield and performance of LEDs. The approach allows large diameter GaN engineer substrates (to 300 mm) that are advantageous to reduce the cost of LEDs for lighting applications.

This engineered substrate has advantages compared to alternate substrate approaches in the thickness of the GaN material, and the ability to implement large diameter and low cost substrates. The polycrystalline substrates also have high thermal conductivity and can be insulating for microwave applications. The large diameter engineered substrates have application for GaN LEDs, GaN microwave transistors, and GaN power switches.

Kub has played key technical and leadership roles in research and development of microelectronic devices such as: wafer bonded materials and devices, GaN power transistors, integration of diamond with GaN power transistor, silicon carbide power transistors, neutron detectors, and analog CMOS circuits. He has more than 150 journal publications and 52 U.S. patents.

In 2011, Kub was designated a Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and received the Distinguished Engineer Award from South Dakota State University in 2010. He has received two NRL Best Publication Awards and five NRL Technology Transfer Awards. He was also co-author on a paper that received the Japan Society of Applied Physics 2014 Outstanding Paper Award and was co-author on a paper that received the Best Poster Paper award for 14th International Conference on Atomic Layer Deposition.

The Innovation Hall of Fame recognizes Clark School alumni, faculty and associates who have pioneered many of the most significant engineering advances in the past century. Inductees include Robert Briskman, the co-founder of Sirius Satellite Radio; George Laurer, inventor of the Universal Product Code; and Brian Hinman, the innovator behind the Polycom SoundStation conference call device.