New Material and Device Design Considerations for High-Power Electronics
Based on a new analysis which uses the peak electric field strength at avalanche breakdown as the critical material parameter it is shown that wide bandgap semiconductors are by far the most desirable materials for high-power electronic applications. The specific materials investigated include the elemental semiconductors such as silicon and germanium, compound semiconductors such as GaAs and GaP, and the emerging wide bandgap semiconductors such as SiC and diamond. The fundamental material parameters are related to important device parameters for high-temperature, high-frequency, and high-power electronic applications. New figures of merit for power-handling capabilities that emphasize electrical and thermal conductivities of the materials are derived and applied to various semiconductors. It is shown that improvement in power-handling capabilities of semiconductor devices by three orders of magnitude is feasible by replacing silicon with silicon carbide; improvement in power-handling capability by six orders of magnitude is projected for diamond-based devices.
KeywordsPower Device Wide Bandgap Semiconductor Drift Region Avalanche Breakdown Wide Bandgap Material
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