STTR Phase II: Low Temperature Cofired Multilayer Ceramic Power Transformers Incorporating Base Metallization Materials

Period of Performance: 10/01/2016 - 09/30/2018

$637K

Phase 2 STTR

Recipient Firm

Solid State Ceramics, Inc.
200 Innovation Boulevard, Suite 234-4
State College, PA 16803
Firm POC, Principal Investigator

Research Institution

Pennsylvania State University
110 Technology Center Building
University Park, PA 16802
Institution POC

Abstract

The broader impact/commercial potential of this project is to a wide range of electronics in the areas of communications, Internet, portable electronics, and power electronics. Although magnetic based transformers have been the industry standard for over a century they have many negatives including miniaturization difficulties, electromagnetic interference issues, and issues with larger voltage step-up applications. The main goal of the research is to develop a ceramic replacement for magnetic transformers that is both conducive to miniaturization, provides higher power densities, provides a large increase in safe operating temperatures, and that is cost competitive with standard magnetic devices. This technology will provide important advantages for many applications; the ability to produce at low cost also opens up large new markets that are not easily reached using conventional magnetics. This Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Phase 2 project aims to develop new low temperature sintering processes and transformer structures that enable the use of base metal electrodes to replace very expensive platinum. This drastically reduces costs of ceramic transformers and substantially improves performance due to the fact that a poor electrical/thermal conductor, Platinum, is now replaced with base metal (Copper) that is a high performance electrical/thermal conductor. This translates into both higher power throughput in devices that are lighter weight and lower profile and also a new ability to now match the high temperature range of wide bandgap power devices. The success of this program immediately leads to a revolutionary next step of being able to insert power management/conversion electronics directly within integrated circuits such as in application specific integrated circuits (ASIC) and field programmable gate arrays (FPGA).