Professor Peter Houston
Tel: +44 (0)114 22 25180
Research Group: Semiconductor Materials & Devices
I graduated with a BSc (1972) and a PhD DEGREE (1975) from The University of Strathclyde. After working on GaAs MESFETs at GEC Hirst Research, I joined the EEE department as a lecturer in 1978. I am currently a Professor in the Semiconductor Materials and Devices group.
My research is focused on transistor switch devices for the improvement of efficiency in voltage converters.
The devices are used as controllers for electric motors and actuators in automotive and aerospace applications and for converting voltages from renewable energy systems, such as from wind or solar, to match with the grid voltage. The new technologies will enable significant reductions in energy wastage thus contributing to carbon reduction and improved battery life, as well as the miniaturisation of domestic chargers.
The field effect transistors (FETs) are made from gallium nitride (GaN) and galliun aluminium nitride (GaAlN) materials. These are robust materials which can withstand high voltages and temperatures compared to silicon and, at the same time, switch from 'on' to 'off' very quickly. New device configurations are being designed and fabricated to take advantage of these qualities.
Current work is aimed at high frequency/high efficiency variable voltage power supplies in a fully integrated gate driver/ buck converter configuration.