Device Technologies for Photonic Electrical Power Systems

Period of Performance: 04/17/2006 - 08/17/2008


Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Optiswitch Technology Corp.
6355 Nancy Ridge Drive
San Diego, CA 92121
Principal Investigator


OptiSwitch Technology Corporation is proposing to develop a high temperature (200-250 degC) all-optical gate drive for SiC power semiconductor devices. The optical control makes it less susceptible to EMI and allows isolation between the control and power circuits. The system will be composed two fiber coupled laser diodes driven by two compact (1.5 x 0.35 ) laser diode drivers. Each optical fiber is then coupled to a pair of silicon-on-insulator (SOI) based photodetectors which act as current sources for on and off gate control. Since silicon is the material being activated, the system uses standard low cost laser diodes. The system is compact and efficient lending itself to fly-by-light applications which require high PRFs (20 kHz). In fact this gate driver topology is very universal and can be used to drive most (if not all) power semiconductor devices, making this driver a commercially viable product.