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Dulles, VA, United States

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: 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: STTR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 100.00K | Year: 2009

Major automobile manufacturers have expressed a strong interest in the development of high-frequency power circuits for use in emerging plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs). However, the prediction of the life-cycle of high power SiC devices poses a unique challenge because of the higher temperature operation of these devices. This project will develop testing and evaluation methods for emerging SiC-based power devices. The first challenging task is to design, develop, and demonstrate an all-SiC converter module. Then, new SiC-based circuit models will be implemented using industry-standard circuit simulation tools. A finite element thermal model will then be implemented to provide an understanding of the stress levels induced in the power circuits under operation. Finally, comprehensive physics-based models will be developed to predict the life-cycle of power devices operating under realistic PHEV conditions. These models will be compared to the measurements conducted on the all-SiC PHEV power module. Commercial Applications and other Benefits as described by the awardee: In addition to the application to PHEVs, predictions of the life cycle performance of high power SiC devices would be applicable to a large number of military and commercial uses of these devices. Military applications include propulsion systems, emergency power systems, and aircraft avionics. Commercial applications include computer power supplies, cellular phone base station power supplies, consumer electronics, lighting applications, and robotic and motor controls.


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: 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.

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