Fall 2013 IAB & Research Review
September 18 - 19
SiC Semiconductor Devices and ICs as Gate/Base Drivers in Power Electronics [BPN638] [BPN644] [BPN614]
The shortcomings of Silicon material in the development of high-power, high-power density, high temperature tolerant, high-efficiency and high frequency power electronics (power conversion) systems have made necessary the use of superior semiconductor materials such as Silicon Carbide (SiC). The use of wide bandgap (SiC) material is the only way to achieve the mentioned set of performance goals all at the same time. SiC material’s superior properties such as high electric field strength, high current density, high thermal conductivity and high saturated electron drift velocity have made SiC a very promising candidate for power electronics and high temperature applications. In order to take full advantage of these unique properties, the next generation power conversion systems will require both power modules (power switches) and the control modules (gate/base drivers) to be integrated in the shortest distance with all in the same package using the same semiconductor material and possibly the same fabrication processes. SiC based power transistors/switches have been under development for almost two decades thus far. However, the second half SiC based low power transistors and SiC circuits (to be used as gate/base drivers) is in the early stage of its development path. In order to make the next generation high performance all-SiC power converters practical, SiC low power transistors and SiC circuits must be adequately developed to support the second half. Hybrid Electric Vehicles (HEVs), Electric Vehicles (EV) and aircrafts are some of the major applications of the all-SiC power converters. The research group of Professor Albert P. Pisano has been developing SiC based low power transistors (JFETs and BJTs) and SiC based circuits for various applications. One of the goals of this group is to build the missing piece (SiC gate/base driver portion) of the next generation high performance power converters.