News | 19-03-2024

Ta-Shun Chou receives the DGKK Young Scientist Award 2023 and wins the INAM startup competition

Dr. Ta-Shun Chou from the Leibniz-Institut für Kristallzüchtung, awarded the DGKK Prize for Young Scientists | Photo: Elisabeth Iglhaut, Fraunhofer IISB


This year, the German Association of Crystal Growth (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Kristallzüchtung und Kristallwachstum, DGKK) honors IKZ postdoctoral researcher Dr. Ta-Shun Chou with the Young Scientist Award for his excellent research on the development of a growth process for β-Gallium oxide films by metal-organic vapor phase epitaxy (MOVPE) via experimental and machine learning approach. With the DGKK Young Scientists Award, the association honors the outstanding scientific achievements of the young scientist in crystal growth. The prize is endowed with 2.500€. The award ceremony occurred on March 7, 2024, at the Deutsche Kristallzüchtertagung (DKT) in Erlangen.

β-Ga2O3 has garnered increasing attention due to its remarkable wide bandgap (~4.8 eV), high theoretical breakdown field (8 MV/cm), and resulting potential cost advantages over SiC and GaN. These characteristics make gallium oxide a promising candidate for high-power and high-voltage applications, with the potential to increase power conversion efficiency for electric mobility, renewable energy systems, and power grids. Dr. Chou started his Ph.D. thesis in 2020 as part of the BMBF-funded joint project "ForMikro-GoNext" in the research group, epitaxial growth of semiconducting gallium oxide, led by Dr. Andreas Popp (Department Nanostructures & Thin Oxide Films led by Dr. Jutta Schwarzkopf). Dr. Chou's thesis represents a significant advancement in the field of β-Ga2O3 MOVPE growth, a key topic in IKZ, showcasing a notable improvement from the current state-of-the-art.

The growth technique developed in his thesis has depicted three pillars toward achieving high-quality β-Ga2O3 films with thickness at micrometer scale and exceptional electrical properties, unveiling a new mechanism, Ga adlayer, within the community. Dr. Chou's thesis achieved a groundbreaking global feat, growing 4 μm thick (100) oriented β-Ga2O3 films while preserving high electrical properties and crucial step-flow growth, vital for high film quality and subsequent device performance. Moreover, Dr. Chou's experimental approach was bolstered by using artificial intelligence, resulting in substantial cost reductions in the process development and enhanced interpretability of the experimental data. Last but not least, he is also dedicated to developing an algorithm-assisted approach to in-situ monitoring of the homoepitaxy process, which is pioneering in the community and has great potential in future industrial applications.

With the breakthroughs in the β-Ga2O3 technology at IKZ, materials synthesis has made a critical step toward device applications, as high-quality materials are a prerequisite for advanced device development. Starting in 2023, IKZ is open to commercial requests for Czochralski-grown β-Ga2O3 substrates and β-Ga2O3 epiwafers ( The epitaxy research team (Dr. Popp and Dr. Chou) and the electrical properties characterization group led by Dr. Andreas Fiedler have explored the commercialization potential of customized β-Ga2O3 epiwafers. With the startup project NextGO Epi, IKZ team joined the Berlin-based startup incubator, the Innovation Network for Advanced Materials (INAM), and won the competition (AdMaLab 2023) among the six selected startups at the Demo Day (on 28.02.2024).


Leibniz-Institut für Kristallzüchtung (IKZ)
Dr. Andreas Popp
Phone +49 30 6392-2844

Dr. Ta-Shun Chou
Phone +49 30 6392-2846