Engineering PhD Student Receives JIEP Research Encouragement Award

News Engineering 2023.02.06

Keisuke Wakamoto, a third-year doctoral student at the KUAS Graduate School of Engineering and a member of the Nanomechatronics Laboratory (a lab that specializes in nanomechanics, nanotechnology, and functional materials, directed by Dr. Takahiro Namazu), has received the Research Encouragement Award from the 36th Japan Institute of Electronics Packaging (JIEP) Spring Meeting for his presentation titled “Degradation Mechanism of Sintered Silver Bonding Layer by Thermal Cyclic Loading”. This award recognizes outstanding research work presented by young researchers at the JIEP annual spring meeting. Mr. Wakamoto’s research and presentation received positive evaluations, which led to him earning this award.

The Nanomechatronics Laboratory is developing a novel and reliable water bonding technology for silicon-carbide (SiC) power devices. SiC devices exhibit low-resistive and switching losses during electric power conversion and are expected to become a modular component within systems with high electric power density. To achieve this, their bonding technology must be further developed. Silver sintering (s-Ag) bonding technology using Ag nanoparticles is increasingly attracting attention. The bonds have superior heat conductivity and higher melting points compared to typical solders. On the other hand they also have disadvantages such as the development of pores. Studying their fracture mechanism involving pore and microstructure changes inside the s-Ag layer, and understanding it experimentally, is expected to lead to Ag-bonded SiC devices with better thermal reliability.

Mr. Wakamoto said, “I knocked on the door of Prof. Namazu’s Laboratory to take on the challenge of earning a Ph.D. degree in engineering as a company researcher. I learned not only experimental techniques, but also the importance of applying scientific consideration to the obtained experiment results. It was tough for me, but I am very happy to receive a positive evaluation from academic society JIEP.” Prof. Namazu added, “I guess that it was tough for him to balance his company’s work and my lab’s research. Mr. Wakamoto successfully achieved a number of excellent research outcomes. His award will encourage all KUASE graduate and undergraduate students.”
(Tadayuki Imai, Faculty of Engineering)