Power Electronics: The Rise Of The Wide Bandgap Semiconductors

Power Electronics: The Rise Of  The Wide Bandgap Semiconductors.
Samuel Perkins and Anastasios Arvanitopoulos

Power Electronics and Trends – Power Electronics is the discipline of controlling, converting and conditioning electrical power using power solid state electronic devices (Power Semiconductors) [1]. Advancements in many sectors, such as the automotive, aerospace, traction and consumer electronics are coupled to the advancements in power electronics. Specifically to the target of achieving increased efficiency of electric power conversion, of reducing size, weight and cost of the power converter. It also links to the reduction of power loss in the passive components. These are underpinned by the technological advancements achieved in power semiconductor device design and semiconductor materials. Silicon (Si) technology reached its technological maturity, therefore further improvements in power electronics of silicon technology are expected to be incremental rather than revolutionary. A step improvement can be achieved by the utilization of wide bandgap semiconductor materials such as the Silicon Carbide (SiC) and Gallium Nitride (GaN). Because of the advanced electrical properties of these materials, revolutionary improvements can be expected through their improvement and utilisation.