skip to main content

SciTech ConnectSciTech Connect

Title: Gallium nitride based power switches for next generation of power conversion

Power conversion impacts all areas of electricity consumption, including motion control, lighting, air conditioning, and information technology. Si, the workhorse of the industry, has served well so far but reached its material limits. To keep up with the advancement of technologies enabling new conveniences, power conversion techniques need to go through significant transformation that calls for the next generation semiconductor for power switching. SiC and GaN, which have the potential to push the envelope beyond Si providing solutions for the entire range of power conversion at higher efficiencies and reduced form factors. GaN HEMTs have an added advantage over SiC MOSFETs owing to the high-mobility electron channel formed at the AlGaN/GaN interface, which has been the basis of radio frequency amplifiers. GaN has enabled systems that can run with lesser cooling at frequencies at least ten times higher than current Si-based systems, significantly reducing the form factor both electrically (passive components) and mechanically (heat sinks). The high current and voltage required for high power conversion application make the chip area in a lateral topology uneconomical and difficult to manufacture. Vertical GaN devices on bulk GaN substrates complete the portfolio of power switches required to address the power conversion market.
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Physica Status Solidi. A, Applications and Materials Science; Journal Volume: 212; Journal Issue: 5
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Advanced Research Projects Agency - Energy (ARPA-E)
Country of Publication:
United States