A Case for High Temperature, High Voltage SiC Bipolar Devices


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The last three years have seen a rapid growth of 600 V and 1200 V SiC Schottky diodes primarily in the Power Factor Correction (PFC) circuits. The next logical step is introduction of a SiC MOSFET to not only further improve the power density and efficiency of the PFC circuits but also to enable the entry of all SiC power modules in Pulse Width Modulated (PWM) based power converters such as motor control in 600-1200 V range. The combination of SiC MOSFET and Schottky diodes will offer 60-80% lower losses in most low voltage applications at normal operating temperatures (< 200°C) where no significant improvements in packaging are required. This will cover most commercial applications with the exception of those having to function under extreme environment (>200°C) such as applications in automotive, aerospace and oil/gas exploration. For these high temperature applications, a case can be made for 600 - 2000 V Bipolar Junction Transistors (BJTs) and PiN diodes provided we do our homework on high temperature packaging. A number of interesting device related problems persist in bipolar devices such as forward voltage increase in PiN diodes and current gain degradation in BJTs. For very high voltage (>10 kV) applications such as those found in utilities (Transmission and Distribution), Large Drives and Traction, a case can be made for >10 kV PiN diodes, IGBTs, Thyristors and GTOs. While IGBTs will be restricted to <200°C junction temperature, the PiN diodes, Thyristors and GTOs may be operated at >250°C junction temperature provided that the high temperature, high voltage packaging issues are also addressed. Significant progress has been made in the development of the p-channel IGBTs and GTOs. The main issues seem to be the VF degradation due to stacking fault formation and improvement of minority carrier life-time.



Materials Science Forum (Volumes 556-557)

Edited by:

N. Wright, C.M. Johnson, K. Vassilevski, I. Nikitina and A. Horsfall




A. K. Agarwal, "A Case for High Temperature, High Voltage SiC Bipolar Devices", Materials Science Forum, Vols. 556-557, pp. 687-692, 2007

Online since:

September 2007