Large Area SiC GTO Thyristor Development Widebandgap High Voltage High Frequency Switches

Period of Performance: 01/01/2007 - 12/31/2007


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Genesic Semiconductor, Inc.
43670 Trade Center Place Suite 155
Dulles, VA 20166
Principal Investigator


Energy storage for utility applications requires the development of a high voltage, high current, high-frequency silicon-carbide-based switch. These applications demand pulse width modulation (PWM) control with order-of-magnitude higher power levels at an order-of-magnitude higher frequency, compared to what is achievable with contemporary power devices. Hence, this project will develop an innovative silicon carbide (SiC) gate turn-off (GTO) thyristor with performance specifications far exceeding existing technology. In Phase I, extensive two-dimensional device simulations will be conducted to accurately model the SiC GTO devices. Many high current SiC GTO chips will be produced in parallel, using an innovative wire-bondless packaging technology uniquely suitable for high voltage, high temperature applications. A high volume silicon carbide foundry will be engaged to achieve the economical production of the GTO devices. A comprehensive test plan will be developed for implementation in Phase II. Commercial Applications and other Benefits as described by the awardee: For the utility industry, these advanced high power electronic components should enable precise reactive compensation, control, and tuning of all circuits, promising unprecedented increases in the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of the electricity infrastructure. Other applications include medical imaging and agriculture, where high voltage devices are required for cancer treatment, hospital waste sterilization, and systems for food irradiation. Finally, military applications include using the technology to improve power system efficiency for future naval surface combatants and for directed energy weapon systems.