Because of the global trends of energy demand increase and decarbonization, developing green energy sources and increasing energy conversion efficiency are recently two of the most urgent topics in energy fields. The requirements for power level and performance of converter systems are continuously growing for the fast development of modern technologies such as the Internet of things (IoT) and Industry 4.0. In this regard, power switching devices based on wide-bandgap (WBG) materials such as silicon carbide (SiC) and gallium nitride (GaN) are fast maturing and expected to greatly benefit power converters with complex switching schemes. In low- and medium-voltage applications, GaN-based high-electron-mobility transistors (HEMTs) are superior to conventional silicon (Si)-based devices in terms of switching frequency, power rating, thermal capability, and efficiency, which are crucial factors to enhance the performance of advanced power converters. Previously published review papers on GaN HEMT technology mainly focused on fabrication, device characteristics, and general applications. To realize the future development trend and potential of applying GaN technology in various converter designs, this paper reviews a total of 162 research papers focusing on GaN HEMT applications in mid- to high-power (over 500 W) converters. Different types of converters including direct current (DC)–DC, alternating current (AC)–DC, and DC–AC conversions with various configurations, switching frequencies, power densities, and system efficiencies are reviewed.
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