PowerAmerica Executive Director and CTO Victor Veliadis will present a webinar on “Bidirectional SiC and GaN Switch Technology” from noon to 1 p.m. EST, Tuesday, Feb. 21, as part of the SEMI Silicon Carbide Webinar Series.
Bidirectional SiC and GaN Switch Technology
“There are numerous mass volume power applications where it is necessary to control the flow of bidirectional power, including electric vehicles (vehicle to grid, vehicle to home, and vehicle to vehicle), distributed and grid-tie power systems using regenerated energy and/or energy storage components, and solid-state circuit breaker protection. Silicon carbide (SiC) and gallium nitride (GaN) based bidirectional power switches can enable these applications with their compelling advantages of high efficiency, high blocking voltage capability, and low system weight and volume. In particular, monolithic switches that allow for bidirectional symmetric conduction and voltage blocking with a chip area close to that of a similarly rated unidirectional switch are ideally suited to fuel a revolution in power electronics technology. Today, monolithic bidirectional (MBD) power semiconductor switches are not commercially available. Instead, back-to-back (anti-series) connection schemes of unidirectional power MOSFETs or IGBTs are typically used, resulting in a 4X penalty in chip area and high cost. However, various types of SiC and GaN bidirectional concepts are being investigated including bonded-wafer bidirectional IGBTs, monolithic dual-gate bidirectional GaN switches, and monolithic back-to-back connected SiC MOSFETs and JFETs. In this presentation, the semiconductor technology of SiC and GaN bidirectional switches will be reviewed including their operating principles, and their lateral and vertical geometry configurations. The performance advantages of MBD switches will be highlighted. Promising MBD devices reported to date will be analyzed, and the key bidirectional switch applications of solid-state circuit breakers and current-source-inverters will be discussed. As SiC and GaN devices approach mass commercialization propelled by insertion in electric vehicles and consumer electronics, respectively, fabrication of SiC/GaN MBD switches is becoming economically viable enabling their wide adoption in key volume applications.”