Investigating efficient conversion of electrical energy beyond the limits of silicon-based technology
Increasing demand for efficient conversion of electrical energy has motivated research and development beyond the limits of the well-established silicon-based technology.
The dominant control switch in electronics is the metal–oxide–semiconductor field-effect transistor (MOSFET), which complements diodes in power-electronics systems. Silicon carbide (SiC) MOSFETs enable improved power efficiency and increased switching frequency, which in combination with SiC Schottky diodes reduces the size of power systems.
Both SiC Schottky diodes and MOSFETs can operate at much higher temperatures than silicon devices, which enables applications not possible with silicon power systems. This is especially important in applications for solar inverters and car electronics.
SiC MOSFET’s have only recently been commercialised, following lengthy issues with the oxide/SiC interface. A nitridation process developed at Griffith University finally enabled the commercialisation of MOSFETs. Still, the performance of these devices has not reached their limit and significant further improvements are possible.
This project builds on the expertise at Griffith University to explore various avenues for further improvement in the performance and reliability as well as for possible cost reduction of both MOSFETs and Schottky diodes on SiC.
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