IGBT et MOSFET de puissance en carbure de silicium

Silicon carbide is a compound often utilized in power electronics devices. It possesses various attributes that can improve performance over silicon-based devices, including increased blocking voltage capacities and reduced specific on-resistance.

Littelfuse’s research on these attributes has resulted in new technology designed to increase efficiency within AGPU-based systems. Littelfuse has successfully conducted extensive trials using experimental systems developed through this research project, which have demonstrated its efficacy.

Cost

Silicon carbide, an alloy composed of silicon and carbon, has long been utilized as an abrasive material in grinding wheels since its first appearance in 1920s grinding wheels, later moving on to bulletproof vest ceramics production and more recently finding use as power semiconductor manufacturing substrate. Recently however it was discovered to have several unique properties which make it particularly suitable for electronic component fabrication such as power semiconductor production.

SiC, or Silicon Carbide, could revolutionize power electronics as an alternative to silicon-based devices due to its unique electrical properties that allow it to provide significant advantages over silicon IGBTs and MOSFETs.

As it has a high breakdown electric field strength, nitride semiconductors allow much smaller gate and drift layers than are possible with silicon to be created – translating to higher operating voltages and shorter switching times; plus operating temperatures can be much higher than conventional silicon-based semiconductors.

All these factors combine to produce a semiconductor with superior performance across many applications, which has resulted in its widespread use in power electronics designs such as EV chargers, solar inverters and traction inverters.

Silicon Carbide can handle high levels of transients without being compromised, making it an excellent material choice for hard and soft switching topologies such as LLC and ZVS topologies.

Wolfspeed’s WolfPACK power modules are an ideal choice for these types of applications and provide many features to make them suitable for high-performance EV chargers, solar inverters, traction inverters, and data center power distribution. To gain more insight into this technology and how it can help achieve efficiency and performance for your next design download our white paper:

Performance

Silicon Carbide, commonly referred to as SiC, has become an increasingly popular material used in power electronics due to its unique properties. SiC boasts an exceptional electric field strength which allows significant performance upgrades within MOSFETs – and allows designers to develop devices capable of handling power transients that would normally cause traditional IGBTs or standard power MOSFETs to fail.

Silicon Carbide can operate at higher temperatures than silicon, thus reducing heat generation within power circuits and increasing efficiency and lower thermal losses, thus conserving more energy and saving costs on wasted energy. Furthermore, SiC provides better protection from arcing and surges which is beneficial in automotive as well as industrial settings.

SiC is another advantage for its low switching losses, particularly compared to silicon transistors; SiC MOSFETs boast lower conduction power losses and can switch on and off more quickly, improving overall system performance – especially useful in applications where power switches must frequently come on and off.

Silicon carbide power modules have the capacity to manage large current flows, making them perfect for demanding applications. They are capable of handling up to 40 amps continuously or short bursts of 100 amps – significantly higher than traditional silicon IGBTs which only support 10 amps continuous operation.

To evaluate the performance of SiC-IGBTs, several experimental systems were constructed. These included AGPU system, single pulse test (SPT), and three phase inverter systems. All three showed that SiC-IGBTs outshone their Si-IGBT counterparts both in terms of hard and soft switching characteristics as well as efficiency performance.

However, when using a SiC-IGBT it is necessary to consider its drive requirements for its gate driver. In particular, its inductance must be as low as possible to prevent ringing and electromagnetic interference (EMI), and it should also withstand the required gate voltage during turn on/turn off operations.

Sécurité

Silicon carbide is an emerging material with numerous advantages over its silicon counterparts. Among other features, silicon carbide excels at dissipating heat better while boasting higher critical breakdown strength (up to 10x greater) and reliability in high temperature environments. Furthermore, switching and conduction losses are lower, leading to greater efficiency – these qualities make silicon carbide ideal for power conversion applications.

Silicon Carbide (SiC) is a compound composed of silicon and carbon with exceptional electrical characteristics that make it suitable for power semiconductor applications. SiC’s safety, environmental friendliness, and excellent performance make it particularly suitable in inverters, on-board chargers, DC/DC converters and DC/AC converters; furthermore this new technology could potentially increase electric vehicle range by as much as 6 percent.

SiC power MOSFETs feature lower switching resistance and faster switch-on/turn-off times than their silicon IGBT counterparts, enabling it to deliver high current capability in a compact package size with reduced external component count resulting in cost savings and improved reliability.

SiC is an excellent material choice due to its ability to withstand sudden voltage transients, providing extra safety during fault conditions. This feature also makes short circuit current handling possible, ensuring better safety measures against short-circuit current.

SiC-IGBTs are an ideal choice for hybrid power modules, as their operating temperature range exceeds that of standard IGBTs – this feature is especially important in industrial environments where components may be subject to harsh environments. Furthermore, their larger gate-to-emitter voltage swing enables it to work at higher current levels without overshoot or undershoot issues.

Applications

Silicon carbide power semiconductors have become an increasingly popular choice for various applications. Their energy efficiency far outstrips traditional silicon counterparts and they can withstand higher temperatures without suffering damage. Furthermore, their lower switching loss enables higher frequencies than regular silicon transistors – perfect for hard and resonant switching topologies. Furthermore, their much higher critical breakdown strength compared to standard MOSFETs makes them even more robust against high voltage loads.

Researchers recently utilized SPT to measure the switching characteristics of Si-IGBTs and SiC-IGBTs under resistive and RL loads. Their measurements revealed that SiC-IGBT devices had lower switching loss due to lower collector-emitter resistance and faster switching times, thus leading to greater conversion efficiency.

While IGBTs are generally considered ideal for industrial voltage source converters, they may not always be the optimal solution in every application. Their higher switching losses and other types of power semiconductors may cause significant temperature rise in systems and increase heat dissipation and decrease efficiency; fortunately new advances in semiconductors allow designers to reduce these switching losses.

Silicon carbide power MOSFETs possess much higher critical breakdown strength compared to IGBTs, as well as operating reliably at much higher temperatures, making it possible for them to withstand transients experienced in power systems and hence improve reliability overall.

Infineon provides IGBT and silicon carbide technologies for applications spanning traction inverters and solar inverters, gate drivers for IGBTs and silicon carbide power MOSFETs that deliver maximum performance and efficiency in hard-switching topologies as well as increased switching frequencies, leading to smaller system sizes with reduced weight and greater power density.

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