Paper accepted for presentation at the 2017 IEEE 5th Workshop on Wide Bandgap Power Devices and Applications, 2017.

The following paper has been accepted for presentation at the 2017 IEEE 5th Workshop on Wide Bandgap Power Devices and Applications, 2017. The conference will take place in Hyatt Regency Tamaya Resort, Albuquerque, NM USA

S. Perkins, A. Arvanitopoulos, K. N. Gyftakis, and N. Lophitis, “A Comprehensive Comparison of the Static Performance of Commercial GaN-on-Si Devices,” in 2017 IEEE 5th Workshop on Wide Bandgap Power Devices and Applications, 2017.

This work presents a comprehensive and experimentally derived comparison of the static performance of commercial Gallium Nitride on Silicon (GaN-on-Si) devices and references their performance against a state-of-the- art Si Super-Junction (S-J) device. The Panasonic PGA26C09DV Enhancement mode (E-mode) p-GaN layer Gate Injected Transistor (GIT) and the Transphorm TPH320 series composite cascode GaN High Electron Mobility Transistor (HEMT) have been analysed and the experimental results illustrate typical performance characteristics of the different device technologies. Their experimental performance characteristics have been validated, explained through literature and application considerations have been stated.

Paper accepted in IOP Semiconductor Science and Technology

The following paper was accepted for publication in a special edition of IOP Semiconductor Science and Technology, special issue on Silicon Epitaxy and Silicon Heterostructures.

A. Arvanitopoulos, N. Lophitis, K. N. Gyftakis, S. Perkins, and M. Antoniou, “Validated physical models and parameters of bulk 3C-SiC aiming for credible Technology Computer Aided Design (TCAD) simulation,” Semiconductor Science and Technology, Aug. 2017. doi: 10.1088/1361-6641/aa856b

The cubic form of SiC (β- or 3C-) compared to the hexagonal α-SiC polytypes, primarily 4H- and 6H-SiC, is of special interest because it has lower growth cost and can be grown heteroepitaxially in large area Silicon (Si) wafers. This in conjunction with the recently reported growth of improved quality 3C‐SiC, make the development of devices an imminent objective. However, the readiness of models that accurately predict the material characteristics, properties and performance is an imperative requirement for attaining the design and optimization of functional devices. The purpose of this study is to provide and validate a comprehensive set of models alongside with their parameters for bulk 3C-SiC. The validation process revealed that the proposed models are in a very good agreement to experimental data and confidence ranges were identified. This is the first piece of work achieving that for 3C-SiC. Considerably, it constitutes the necessary step for Finite Element Method (FEM) simulations and Technology Computer Aided Design (TCAD).

Power electronics in automotive industry

There are 65 million cars made every year, in 2050 all of them will be electric or hybrid electric.

Legislation is driving the emissions allowed from every car down. That will require the electrification of the vast majority of vehicles produced. The power electronics industry will need to evolve dramatically in order to cope with the future supply needs: 65 million converter units for cars per year. That present us with a massive challenge but also an opportunity!

So who’s leading the market? The Japanese with toyota being the dominant player for hybrid electric cars, currently having 85% of market share. They already solved a lot of the challenges that were presented to them. This includes electrical safety, reliability, supply chain issues, technology and cost.

Is silicon carbide going to be adopted any time soon? Probably not. Electrification of any equipment used in a car, pumps, etc, costs much more than conventional mechanical parts. It seems that silicon technology will stick around until a massive reduction in cost and improvement in reliability happens.

Trains are expected to be the first type of vehicles to get the silicon carbide technology. Electrification is already established in the trail industry, and trains can stand the cost. That is because they are big systems, low numbers, high volume, long live, 25 years at least.

Are there any other applications pushing for more power electronics?

Ships will also be required to have a huge electric drive system. Legislation will require them to get in the port with the engines off.




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.

MRes on high performance power electronics


The focus of the project will be to design devices that mitigate from issues that cause reliability problems and fully exploit the advanced characteristics of wide band gap semiconductors.

Systems and applications that incorporate power electronics and therefore power semiconductor devices have high efficiency and advanced functionality. Wide bandgap semiconductor materials such as the Silicon Carbide (SiC) and the Gallium Nitride (GaN) have superior electrical characteristics compared to silicon. As a result, high voltage power devices can get a real step-improvement in performance, efficiency and the ability to operate at elevated temperatures.

In hybrid and electric vehicles, the electric powertrain requires less cooling and it becomes more efficient if wide band gap semiconductor devices are used in the power electronics system. Further, the fuel economy of the vehicle increases and more cabin area becomes available.

Similar benefits arise when wide bandgap power devices are used in other applications, for example in power transmission systems, in conditioning power from wind and solar farms, consumer electronics and so on.

This project aims to provide with the development of a wide band gap high voltage device that fully exploits the material characteristics of wide band gap semiconductors such as the SiC through power semiconductor engineering.

Depending on the student’s academic background, we foresee a suite of studies that may include:

  • Technology Computer Aided Design (TCAD) modelling of semiconductor materials and devices. This includes modelling material parameters such as the bang gap, effective mass. density of states, activation energy for implants, electron mobility.
  • Physical modelling of traps due to defects including the development of traps model.
  • Process simulations.
  • Layout design.
  • Circuit design, experimentation, measurements and characterisation to demonstrate of the overall performance of the proposed solution.


More details here