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Grant
Agency: Department of Energy | Branch: | Program: STTR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 150.00K | Year: 2013

DoEs recent emphasis on increasing fuel economy requires electrification of the vehicle powertrain, thus leading to extended range electric vehicles (EREVs), hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs), battery electric vehicles (BEV) and fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEV). All electric propulsion systems require high current, high-voltage (600 V-1200 V), low-loss power semiconductor switches. Present electric vehicle systems rely exclusively on silicon-based power management, which is stymied by the limitations of the Si semiconductor platform, including high switching losses, modest operation capability ( & lt;125 C), and large module footprint, especially at 1200 V ratings. The GaN-on-Si platform offers the greatest potential for overcoming these limitations, yet a power device technology that fully exploits the superior performance advantages of the GaN-Si platform has not been developed. Through a combination of novel epitaxial growth, ingenious, yet robust device designs and process technology, the GeneSiC-Cornell team proposes 1200 V/50 A-class AlGaN/GaN-Si MOS-HFETs, designed to fully exploit the theoretical 100x and 10x performance advantages of the GaN-Si platform over Si and SiC, respectively. Phase I of this proposed work will focus on the optimization of the device designs and process technology of 1200 V/50 A AlGaN/GaN-Si MOS-HFETs with threshold voltage & gt; 2 V, low Gate and Drain leakage of & lt; 1 A/mm at 1000 V, low output capacitance & lt; 5 pF/mm and low AC/DC dynamic on-resistance ratio & lt;1.5. The novel GaN-Si power devices to be developed during this program will push the envelope in terms of operating temperature, frequency and circuit efficiencies of power electronics used in a host of applications. Commercial Applications and Other Benefits: This research will usher a new generation of high-voltage GaN-on-Si power integrated circuits, which will find widespread application in utility-scale power conversion. Successful implementation of the proposed technology will dramatically improve the performance and reliability of power electronics in electric vehicles, power supplies, and renewable energy applications. This in turn will increase market acceptance of these high-end products and thereby drive jobs creation in the US.


Grant
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 199.77K | Year: 2013

Capitalizing on a potent confluence of expertise in III-Nitride epitaxy, GaN-Si power device designs, and wide-bandgap power electronics, researchers at GeneSiC Semiconductor and Cornell University jointly propose a SBIR program focused on the development of 15 kW/300?C-rated power converters using AlGaN/GaN-Si MOS-HFETs and Schottky rectifiers. The proposed AlGaN/GaN-Si power converters to be developed in this program will usher in a new generation of high-efficiency, low-cost, and radiation-hard power conversion units on-board future NASA spacecraft. Phase I of this proposed work will focus on the optimization of the design and fabrication of the AlGaN/GaN-Si MOS-HFET and NSJ SBR devices. Phase II will be focused on the design and integration of Si/GaN gate-drive circuitry with the power SBRs and transistors to create high-power integrated circuits. Another major objective during Phase II will be the construction of Rad-Hard packaging for the power ICs. At the end of Phase II of this program, a fully-functional 15 kW/300?C rated power converter IC equipped with AlGaN/GaN-on-Si MOS-HFETs, Natural SuperJunction (NSJ) SBRs as free-wheeling diodes and on-chip SiC or III-Nitride gate drive circuitry will be demonstrated at a switching frequency of?1 MHz and at a temperature of?300?C. As compared to the existing state-of-the-art power electronics technology, the proposed AlGaN/GaN-on-Si power converters will offer (A) Lower on-state losses, 300?C operation and 1 MHz switching capability (B) A Lateral device architecture, which is highly desirable for construction for monolithic power integrated circuits (C) Possibility of hybrid interconnection of III-Nitride Power Devices with on-chip Rad-Hard AlGaN/GaN Gate Drive Circuitry (D) Desirable Normally-OFF Power Switches.


Grant
Agency: Department of Energy | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 1.01M | Year: 2016

Reducing the size, weight, and increasing the efficiency of automotive traction power inverters requires the development of novel high voltage, high current silicon carbide high speed rectifiers, since the existing silicon technology is severely limited in terms of operating temperature, frequency and energy efficiency. However, the non-optimized device and manufacturing technology currently used for silicon carbide power diode fabrication results in higher energy losses and a noncompetitive price point with respect to silicon. How is the problem being addressed? Novel device and process technology in combination with the use of a high volume manufacturing strategy on large diameter silicon carbide wafers is proposed in this proposed program for achieving near theoretical device performance on high current power Schottky rectifiers. The proposed device and manufacturing strategies will drastically reduce the manufacturing costs for silicon carbide Schottky diodes, making them costcompetitive with the existing silicon technology. What was done in Phase I: Phase I was focused on developing and optimizing the device and layout designs necessary to scale up the rated current of the silicon carbide Schottky rectifiers to 100 Amperes. A major task involved transferring the process technology to a largescale, high volume foundry identified in the proposal. A pilot wafer lot was implemented at the large volume foundry and the device performance was benchmarked against the current state of the art. What is planned for Phase II: Phase II will be focused on increasing the current rating of the diodes to 200 Amperes, while focusing on the 900 Volt market segment as required for automotive applications. Detailed reliability investigations pursuant to the industry standards is planned for Phase II. A detailed commercialization strategy will also be implemented during Phase II Commercial Applications and Other Benefits: Electric vehicle power electronics manufacturers such as General Motors, Delphi Automotive and Cummins Power Systems are expected to be direct customers of the proposed silicon carbide devices to be developed in this program. Reducing the weight of the power module, which represents 23% of the total Inverter weight will extend its electric range and/or reduce the size and cost of the battery. Significantly reduced silicon carbide chipsizes for the same current rating along with lowcost, high volume manufacturing strategies proposed in this program will help meet the aggressive power electronics targets set for the electric vehicle industry by the DOE for the year 2022. This in turn will enhance the country’s energy security by reducing dependence on foreign oil, save money by cutting fuel costs for American families and businesses, and result in a cleaner environment by reducing harmful CO2 emissions from gas powered vehicles. Key Words: Silicon Carbide, Wide Bandgap Semiconductors, Automotive, Inverter, High Current


Grant
Agency: Department of Energy | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 1.01M | Year: 2016

This project will create a new category of advanced all Silicon Carbide power inverters for use in energy storage in the medium voltage range and > 100 kW ratings. A design showing a significant increase in circuit efficiency, cost reduction, an increase in power density, and a reduction in thermal management requirements over the existing Silicon power inverters will eliminate significant waste of electric energy in large power converters, resulting in huge energy savings for the United States, while accelerating the adoption of renewable energy generation like solar and wind power systems. How is the problem being addressed? At the end of Phase II of this proposed SBIR program, 400 kilo Watt rated power converters will be constructed using recently commercialized monolithic SiC transistor/diode devices. These power inverters will deliver unprecedented improvements in efficiency, and thermal management requirements to the electrical storage and electricity delivery infrastructure of the United States. What was done in Phase I: In Phase I, a feasibility study was conducted for designing the power electronics converter for grid tied applications. Experimental demonstration of a 3phase 2level voltage source inverter was conducted. The 1700 V Silicon Carbide Junction Transistor performance was Bench marked against state of the art Si Insulated gate bipolar transistors in terms of energy losses. What is planned for Phase II: Phase II will be focused on optimizing the device technology for manufacturing 1700 Volt/50 Ampere rated SiC integrated transistor/diode devices. The silicon carbide power devices developed in this program will be stacked serially in order to demonstrate a medium voltage 4160 Volt grid connection topology. A conceptual extension of this topology for 13800 Volt utility grid connection will also be developed. Commercial Applications and Other Benefits: The 400 kW allSiC power inverters to be developed in this program will significantly improve the performance and decrease the size/weight/footprint of 12.47 kV energy storage grid tied inverters, FACTS based devices, and power system switchgear. Industrial applications such as electrostatic precipitators, and oil drilling equipment. This in turn will increase market acceptance of these high end products and thereby drive skilled labor jobs creation in the US. Key Words: Medium Voltage, Silicon Carbide, MIDSJT, Thyristors, Diodes, Power Converter, Phase Leg Modules, High Temperature.


Grant
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 1.50M | Year: 2014

Capitalizing on a strong expertise in III-Nitride epitaxy, GaN-Si power device designs, and wide-bandgap power electronics, researchers at GeneSiC Semiconductor propose a SBIR program focused on the development of 15 kW/300C-rated power converters using AlGaN/GaN-Si MOS-HFETs and Schottky rectifiers. The proposed AlGaN/GaN-Si power converters to be developed in this program will usher in a new generation of high-efficiency, low-cost, and radiation-hard power conversion units on-board future NASA spacecraft. Phase I of this proposed work focussed on the optimization of the design and fabrication of the AlGaN/GaN-Si MOS-HFET and NSJ SBR devices. Phase II will be focused on the design and integration of Si/GaN gate-drive circuitry with the power SBRs and transistors to create high-power integrated circuits. Another major objective during Phase II will be the construction of Rad-Hard packaging for the power ICs. At the end of Phase II of this program, a fully-functional 15 kW/300C rated power converter IC equipped with AlGaN/GaN-on-Si MOS-HFETs, Natural SuperJunction (NSJ) SBRs as free-wheeling diodes and on-chip SiC or III-Nitride gate drive circuitry will be demonstrated at a switching frequency of ≥ 1 MHz and at a temperature of ≥ 300C. As compared to the existing state-of-the-art power electronics technology, the proposed AlGaN/GaN-on-Si power converters will offer (A) Lower on-state losses, 300C operation and 1 MHz switching capability (B) A Lateral device architecture, which is highly desirable for construction for monolithic power integrated circuits (C) Possibility of hybrid interconnection of III-Nitride Power Devices with on-chip Rad-Hard AlGaN/GaN Gate Drive Circuitry (D) Desirable Normally-OFF Power Switches


Grant
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 125.00K | Year: 2015

The proposed SBIR program targets the development of Rad-Hard by Design (RHBD), 1200 V-class SiC (planar) vertical DMOSFETs and power Schottky rectifiers for future NASA space missions. Single die ratings of > 1200 V, > 75 A, > 225?C and compliance to a NASA-certified radiation hardness assurance program are targeted for the proposed SiC power devices. The target application for these devices involves a 30 kW power processor unit (PPU) on-board a Hall Thruster Propulsion System operating at a 300-400 V (average) DC bias with a peak voltage of 600 V. Several innovative device designs and process steps for fabricating RHBD SiC power DMOSFETs and Schottky rectifiers will be developed during Phase I. Building on the device development conducted during Phase I, the design and fabrication of traveled guided 1200 V/75 A SiC DMOSFET and Schottky rectifier wafer lots will be conducted during the Phase II program. The existing packaging techniques will be modified for meeting the required radiation standards from NASA. Selected die from both phases of the proposed program will be packaged in appropriate headers for controlled dose radiation testing as per NASA requirements. A rigorous space-level (JANS) qualification will be conducted on the fabricated devices during Phase II. Phase II will culminate with the insertion of the SiC power DMOSFETs and Schottky rectifiers into a 30 kW power processing unit (PPU) relevant to a NASA electric propulsion system and demonstrating stable operation.


Grant
Agency: Department of Energy | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 150.00K | Year: 2015

This project will create a new category of advanced all-Silicon Carbide power inverters for use in energy storage in the medium-voltage range and > 100 kW ratings. A design showing a significant increase in circuit efficiency, cost reduction, an increase in power density, and a reduction in thermal management requirements over the existing Silicon power inverters will eliminate significant waste of electric energy in large power converters, resulting in huge energy savings for the United States, while accelerating the adoption of renewable energy generation like solar and wind power systems. At the end of Phase II of this proposed SBIR program, 400kW will be constructed using recently commercialized monolithic SiC MIDSJT devices, SiC Thyristors and ultra-high voltage SiC Diodes rated at 15 kV. These power inverters will deliver unprecedented improvements in efficiency, and thermal management requirements to the electrical storage and electricity delivery infrastructure of the United States. During Phase I, the focus will be on developing device and circuit simulation models using robust power modules. The goal at the end of Phase I is to optimize the circuit and device suite for fabricating power inverters with the 400 kW ratings, in Phase II of this program. The 400 kW all-SiC power inverters to be developed in this program will significantly improve the performance and decrease the size/weight/footprint of 12.47 kV energy storage grid-tied inverters, FACTS-based devices, and power system switchgear. Industrial applications such as electrostatic precipitators, and oil drilling equipment. This in turn will increase market acceptance of these high-end products and thereby drive skilled-labor jobs creation in the US.


Grant
Agency: Department of Energy | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 150.00K | Year: 2015

Reducing the size, weight, and increasing the efficiency of electric vehicle traction power inverters requires the development of novel high-voltage, high current silicon carbide high-speed rectifiers, since the existing silicon technology is severely limited in terms of operating temperature, frequency and energy efficiency. However, the non-optimized device and manufacturing technology currently used for silicon carbide power diode fabrication results in higher energy losses and a non-competitive price point with respect to silicon, which is the major roadblock that must be overcome to gain entry into the cost-sensitive automotive market. Novel device and process technology in combination with the use of a high-volume manufacturing strategy on large diameter silicon carbide wafers is proposed in this proposed program for achieving near-theoretical device performance on high-current power Schottky rectifiers. The proposed device and manufacturing strategies will drastically reduce the manufacturing costs for silicon carbide Schottky diodes, making them cost-competitive with the existing silicon technology. Phase I will be focused on developing and optimizing the device and layout designs necessary to scale up the rated current of the silicon carbide Schottky rectifiers to levels necessary for automotive traction drive Inverters. A major task would involve transferring the process technology to a large-scale, high-volume foundry identified in the proposal. A systematic method to individually qualify specific process steps at the remote foundry will be devised. A pilot wafer lot will be implemented at the large-volume foundry and the device performance will be benchmarked against the current state-of-the-art in silicon carbide power device technology. Electric vehicle power electronics manufacturers such as Delphi Automotive and Cummins Power Systems are expected to be direct customers of the proposed silicon carbide devices to be developed in this program. Reducing the weight of the power module, which represents 23% of the total Inverter weight will extend its electric range and/or reduce the size and cost of the battery. Significantly reduced silicon carbide chip-sizes for the same current rating along with low-cost, high-volume manufacturing strategies proposed in this program will help meet the aggressive power electronics targets set for the electric vehicle industry by the DOE for the year 2022. This in turn will enhance the countrys energy security by reducing dependence on foreign oil, save money by cutting fuel costs for American families and businesses, and result in a cleaner environment by reducing harmful CO2 emissions from gas-powered vehicles.


Grant
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 125.00K | Year: 2016

This two-phase SBIR program targets the need for highly integrated SiC-based electronics systems by developing analog and digital circuits that can be fully integrated with 4H-SiC power switching devices, enabling eventual realization of a monolithic, highly integrated gate driver circuit. Specifically, the final goal of this program is to develop and demonstrate a fully integrated, isolated, high-side/low-side gate driver architecture, having an integrated SiC power MOSFET. In addition to integrated resistors and capacitors, development of SiC CMOS technology will entail the demonstration of lateral SiC NMOSFETs and the more challenging SiC PMOSFET devices with adequate performance and radiation hardness. During Phase I, the development of a rad-hard SiC PMOS process will be investigated. In parallel, capitalizing on GeneSiC?s already developed SiC NMOS process, an NMOS-only gate drive buffer circuit will be designed and implemented on the same host substrate as 1200 V SiC DMOSFETs. Compact device models will be generated during Phase II from the results of the SiC NMOS/PMOS process development. Pending successful development of a rad-hard SiC PMOS process during Phase I, Phase II will focus on building an entire SiC CMOS-based gate drive circuit and integrating it with a 1200 V SiC DMOSFET.


Grant
Agency: Department of Energy | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 150.00K | Year: 2013

SiC power electronics are ideally suited for reducing the size and weight of power electronics systems that are used in wind power converters. Present power electronics systems require large transformers which operate a modest frequencies that prevents their use on top of the turbine tower. The electrical parasitics introduced by the interconnections between wind turbine and power conversion electronics limits the efficiency and usability of power electronics. Direct grid connection of the wind turbine is not possible due to these limitations. Leveraging a strong expertise in & gt; 10 kV capable SiC power Quasi-Bipolar Junction Transistor (QBJT) device designs and ultra-high frequency power conversion enabled by SiC SJTs, this proposed SBIR program will demonstrate an unprecedented compactness and efficiencies in wind power conversion circuits by leveraging SiC QBJT and Super Junction Transistor (SJT) for up-tower wind energy applications. This topology makes use of the newly developed 1200 V, 50 A SiC SJT and 13 kV, 10 A SiC QBJT for this application. The 690 V, 3- phase output of the wind turbine converter system is interfaced with the 13.8 kV, 60 Hz, 3-phase medium voltage distribution grid using this topology. The use of SiC based SJT devices will result in very small loss (high efficiency) for the overall power conversion system. The proposed power conversion system is for 1 MVA system but can be easily scaled up to 3.5 MW (typical large wind turbine ratings). This research will usher a new generation of high-voltage SiC circuits, which will find widespread application in utility-scale power conversion, rail traction and medical equipment. Successful implementation of the proposed technology will dramatically improve the performance and reliability of power electronics in renewable energy applications and Smart Grid elements. This in turn will increase market acceptance of these high-end products and thereby drive jobs creation in the US.

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