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Title: Wide Bandgap Semiconductor Opportunities in Power Electronics

Abstract

The report objective is to explore the Wide Bandgap (WBG) Power Electronics (PE) market, applications, and potential energy savings in order to identify key areas where further resources and investments of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (DOE EERE) would have the most impact on U.S. competiveness. After considering the current market, several potential near-term application areas were identified as having significant market and energy savings potential with respect to clean energy applications: (1) data centers (uninterruptible power supplies and server power supplies); (2) renewable energy generation (photovoltaic-solar and wind); (3) motor drives (industrial, commercial and residential); (4) rail traction; and, (5) hybrid and electric vehicles (traction and charging). After the initial explorative analyses, it became clear that, SiC, not GaN, would be the principal WBG power device material for the chosen markets in the near future. Therefore, while GaN is discussed when appropriate, this report focuses on SiC devices, other WBG applications (e.g., solid-state transformers, combined heat and power, medical, and wireless power), the GaN market, and GaN specific applications (e.g., LiDAR, 5G) will be explored at a later date. In addition to the market, supply and value chain analyses addressed in Sectionmore » 1 of this report, a SWOT (Strength, Weakness, Opportunity, Threat) analysis and potential energy savings analysis was conducted for each application area to identify the major potential WBG application area(s) with a U.S. competitiveness opportunity in the future.« less

Authors:
ORCiD logo [1]; ORCiD logo [1];  [1]
  1. Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), Advanced Manufacturing Office (EE-5A)
OSTI Identifier:
1415915
Report Number(s):
ORNL/TM-2017/702
DOE Contract Number:
AC05-00OR22725
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
29 ENERGY PLANNING, POLICY, AND ECONOMY

Citation Formats

Das, Sujit, Marlino, Laura D., and Armstrong, Kristina O. Wide Bandgap Semiconductor Opportunities in Power Electronics. United States: N. p., 2018. Web. doi:10.2172/1415915.
Das, Sujit, Marlino, Laura D., & Armstrong, Kristina O. Wide Bandgap Semiconductor Opportunities in Power Electronics. United States. doi:10.2172/1415915.
Das, Sujit, Marlino, Laura D., and Armstrong, Kristina O. 2018. "Wide Bandgap Semiconductor Opportunities in Power Electronics". United States. doi:10.2172/1415915. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1415915.
@article{osti_1415915,
title = {Wide Bandgap Semiconductor Opportunities in Power Electronics},
author = {Das, Sujit and Marlino, Laura D. and Armstrong, Kristina O.},
abstractNote = {The report objective is to explore the Wide Bandgap (WBG) Power Electronics (PE) market, applications, and potential energy savings in order to identify key areas where further resources and investments of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (DOE EERE) would have the most impact on U.S. competiveness. After considering the current market, several potential near-term application areas were identified as having significant market and energy savings potential with respect to clean energy applications: (1) data centers (uninterruptible power supplies and server power supplies); (2) renewable energy generation (photovoltaic-solar and wind); (3) motor drives (industrial, commercial and residential); (4) rail traction; and, (5) hybrid and electric vehicles (traction and charging). After the initial explorative analyses, it became clear that, SiC, not GaN, would be the principal WBG power device material for the chosen markets in the near future. Therefore, while GaN is discussed when appropriate, this report focuses on SiC devices, other WBG applications (e.g., solid-state transformers, combined heat and power, medical, and wireless power), the GaN market, and GaN specific applications (e.g., LiDAR, 5G) will be explored at a later date. In addition to the market, supply and value chain analyses addressed in Section 1 of this report, a SWOT (Strength, Weakness, Opportunity, Threat) analysis and potential energy savings analysis was conducted for each application area to identify the major potential WBG application area(s) with a U.S. competitiveness opportunity in the future.},
doi = {10.2172/1415915},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = 2018,
month = 1
}

Technical Report:

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  • Recent developmental advances have allowed silicon (Si) semiconductor technology to approach the theoretical limits of the Si material; however, power device requirements for many applications are at a point that the present Si-based power devices cannot handle. The requirements include higher blocking voltages, switching frequencies, efficiency, and reliability. To overcome these limitations, new semiconductor materials for power device applications are needed. For high power requirements, wide-bandgap semiconductors like silicon carbide (SiC), gallium nitride (GaN), and diamond, with their superior electrical properties, are likely candidates to replace Si in the near future. This report compares wide-bandgap semiconductors with respect to theirmore » promise and applicability for power applications and predicts the future of power device semiconductor materials.« less
  • Ab initio molecular dynamics calculations have shown that the lxl:2H and the 2xl:H surfaces of diamond(C)(100) have a (-) electron affinity(EA); the clean (100) surface has a (+) EA. This is in agreement with experiment. Biased nucleation of C on Beta-SiC(100) and Si(100) has been achieved but not on Cu(100). C nucleation densities on Hf, Ti, Ta, Ni and W were directly related to the carbide heat of formation. The precursors of chlorinated methylsilanes coupled with bias were used to deposit C films on Si(100). Textured C(II) films were also achieved using an oxyacetylene torch. Cu forms an epitaxial rectifyingmore » contact to diamond with a Schottky barrier height (SBH) of approx. 1 leV. Hydrogen plasma was used to remove hydrocarbons from SiC surface at 400 deg C. Controlled growth of single crystal Beta(3C)-and alpha(6H)-SiC films has been achieved on alpha(6H)-SiC wafers at 1050 deg C by gas source(GS) MBE. The growth mode of each polytype has been investigated. Rectifying Ti contacts with low ideality factors (n<1.09) and leakage currents (5xlO(exp-7) A/cM2 at IOV) and SBHs of 0.79-0.88 have been achieved. The three-dimensional nucleation and coalescence of islands of AlN on alpha(6H)-SiC has been discerned via TEM. Multilayers and solid solutions of AlN and SiC have been achieved and characterized. Molecular dynamics, Thin films, Diamond, Negative electron affinity, Bias-enhanced nucleation, Refractory metals, Chlorinated methysilanes, Oxyacetylene torch, Rectifying contacts, Schottky barrier height, Hydrogen plasma, P(3C)-SiC, a(6H)-SiC, Gas source NOE, AlN, GaN, Multilayers, Solid solutions, Reactive ion etching, Optical char.« less
  • This report represents the completion of a three-year Laboratory-Directed Research and Development (LDRD) program that focused on research and development of GaN-based wide bandgap semiconductor materials (referred to as III-N materials). Our theoretical investigations include the determination of fundamental materials parameters from first-principles calculations, the study of gain properties of III-N heterostructures using a microscopic laser theory and density-functional-theory, charge-state calculations to determine the core structure and energy levels of dislocations in III-N materials. Our experimental investigations include time-resolved photoluminescence and magneto-luminescence studies of GaN epilayers and multiquantum well samples as well as x-ray diffraction studies of AlGaN ternary alloys.more » In addition, we performed a number of experiments to determine how various materials processing steps affect both the optical and electrical properties of GaN-based materials. These studies include photoluminescence studies of GaN epilayers after post-growth rapid thermal annealing, ion implantation to produce n- and p-type material and electrical and optical studies of plasma-etched structures.« less
  • Charge trapping, resulting in a decreased and spatially dependent electric field, has long been a concern for wide bandgap semiconductor detectors. While significant work has been performed to characterize this degradation at varying temperatures and radiation environments, this work concentrates upon examining the event-to-event response in a flash X-ray environment. The following work investigates if charge trapping is a problem for CZT detectors, with particular emphasis on flash X-ray radiation fields at cold temperatures. Results are compared to a non-flash radiation field, using an Am-241 alpha source and similar temperature transitions. Our ability to determine if a response change occurredmore » was hampered by the repeatability of our flash X-ray systems; a small response change was observed with the Am-241 source. Due to contrast of these results, we are in the process of revisiting the Am-241 measurements in the presence of a high radiation environment. If the response change is more pronounced in the high radiation environment, a similar test will be performed in the flash X-ray environment.« less