New Material and Device Design Considerations for High-Power Electronics

  • K. Shenai
  • R. S. Scott
  • B. J. Baliga
Part of the Springer Proceedings in Physics book series (SPPHY, volume 43)


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.


Power Device Wide Bandgap Semiconductor Drift Region Avalanche Breakdown Wide Bandgap Material 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. [1]
    B. J. Baliga, in IEDM Technical Digest, 102 (1986).Google Scholar
  2. [2]
    K. Shenai, P. A. Piacente, R. Saia, W. Hennessy, C. S. Baliga, in IEDM Technical Digest, 804 (1988).Google Scholar
  3. [3]
    B. J. Baliga, M. S. Adler, P. V. Gray, R. Love, and N. Technical Digest, 264 (1982).Google Scholar
  4. [4]
    W. C. Nieberding, and J. A. Powell, IEEE Trans. Industrial Electronics, vol. IE-29, 103 (1982).Google Scholar
  5. [5]
    J. R. O’Connor, and J. Smiltens, Silicon Carbide - A High Temperature Semiconductor, New York: Pergamon Press, 1960. Korman, and B. J. Zommer, in IEDM Google Scholar
  6. [6]
    W. v. Muench, P. Hoeck, and E. Pettenpaul, in IEDM Technical Digest, 337 (1977).Google Scholar
  7. [7]
    V. K. Bazhenov, I. M. Vikulin, and A. G. Gontar, Sov. Phys. Semicond. 19(8), 829 (1985).Google Scholar
  8. [8]
    M. N. Yoder, in Naval Research Review, 27 (1987).Google Scholar
  9. [9]
    A. Sawabe, and T. Inuzuka, Appl. Phys. Lett. 46 (2), 146 (1985).ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. [10]
    R. W. Keyes, Proc. IEEE, 225 (1972).Google Scholar
  11. [11]
    E. 0. Johnson, RCA Review, 163 (1965).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin, Heidelberg 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • K. Shenai
    • 1
  • R. S. Scott
    • 1
  • B. J. Baliga
    • 2
  1. 1.General Electric Corporate Research and Development CenterSchenectadyUSA
  2. 2.Department of Electrical and Computer EngineeringNorth Carolina State UniversityRaleighUSA

Personalised recommendations