Special Issue "Electrical Characterization of Wide Bandgap Devices for Modern Power Electronics"

A special issue of Electronics (ISSN 2079-9292). This special issue belongs to the section "Power Electronics".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 June 2021.

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Fortunato Pezzimenti
Website
Guest Editor
Department of Information Engineering, Infrastructure and Sustainable Energy, Mediterranea University of Reggio Calabria, Via Salita Melissari, 89124 Reggio Calabria RC, Italy
Interests: power electronics; wide-bandgap semiconductors; energy systems; semiconductor device modelling; device physics; TCAD simulations

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The design and characterization of wide-bandgap (WBG) devices for modern power electronics, to be used especially in high-voltage/high-frequency/high-temperature applications, require intensive experimental and modelling efforts for the analysis of the critical aspects of their operation under specific bias conditions. In recent years, for instance, silicon carbide (SiC) and gallium nitride (GaN) have been extensively investigated. These semiconductors, if compared to the conventional Si and GaAs technologies, promise the realization of smaller, faster, and more efficient and rugged devices well-suited for different fields that involve both power generation and power conversion processes, such as renewable energy systems and electrical traction drivers. However, several technological issues must be resolved in order to make the realization of WBG devices more cost-effective.

The aim of this Special Issue is to collect research papers concerned with the superior electrical characteristics of WBG devices able to improve the current and future power electronics. Topics of interest include, but are not limited to:

- Application areas of WBG materials;

- Power switch converters;

- Power optimizers;

- Photovoltaic module-level systems;

- SiC- and GaN-based devices;

- Heterojunction structures;

- Relevant experimental results;

- Advanced technological processes;

- Analysis of a semiconductor’s physical properties; and

- Novel design and modelling approaches.

Dr. Fortunato Pezzimenti
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • Power converter
  • switching device
  • wide bandgap
  • field-effect transistor
  • diode
  • breakdown voltage
  • series resistance
  • doping profile, temperature
  • numerical simulation.

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Investigation of Electrical Contacts to p-Grid in SiC Power Devices Based on Charge Storage Effect and Dynamic Degradation
Electronics 2020, 9(10), 1723; https://doi.org/10.3390/electronics9101723 - 19 Oct 2020
Abstract
P-grid is a typical feature in power devices to block high off-state voltage. In power devices, the p-grid is routinely coupled to an external electrode with an Ohmic contact, but Schottky contact to the p-grid is also proposed/adopted for certain purposes. This work [...] Read more.
P-grid is a typical feature in power devices to block high off-state voltage. In power devices, the p-grid is routinely coupled to an external electrode with an Ohmic contact, but Schottky contact to the p-grid is also proposed/adopted for certain purposes. This work investigates the role of contact to p-grid in power devices based on the commonly adopted technology computer-aided design (TCAD) device simulations, with the silicon carbide (SiC) junction barrier Schottky (JBS) diode as a case study. The static characteristics of the JBS diode is independent of the nature of the contact to p-grid, including the forward voltage drop (VF) and the breakdown voltage (BV). However, during the switching process, a Schottky contact would cause storage of negative charges in the p-grid, which leads to an increased VF during switching operation. On the contrary, an Ohmic contact provides an effective discharging path for the stored negative charges in the p-grid, which eliminates the dynamic degradation issues. Therefore, the necessity of an Ohmic contact to p-grid in power devices is clarified. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Gate Current and Snapback of 4H-SiC Thyristors on N+ Substrate for Power-Switching Applications
Electronics 2020, 9(2), 332; https://doi.org/10.3390/electronics9020332 - 15 Feb 2020
Abstract
High-power switching applications, such as thyristor valves in a high-voltage direct current converter, can use 4H-SiC. The numerical simulation of the 4H-SiC devices requires specialized models and parameters. Here, we present a numerical simulation of the 4H-SiC thyristor on an N+ substrate gate [...] Read more.
High-power switching applications, such as thyristor valves in a high-voltage direct current converter, can use 4H-SiC. The numerical simulation of the 4H-SiC devices requires specialized models and parameters. Here, we present a numerical simulation of the 4H-SiC thyristor on an N+ substrate gate current during the turn-on process. The base-emitter current of the PNP bipolar junction transistor (BJT) flow by adjusting the gate potential. This current eventually activated a regenerative action of the thyristor. The increase of the gate current from P+ anode to N+ gate also decreased the snapback voltage and forward voltage drop (Vf). When the doping concentration of the P-drift region increased, Vf decreased due to the reduced resistance of a low P-drift doping. An increase in the P buffer doping concentration increased Vf owing to enhanced recombination at the base of the NPN BJT. There is a tradeoff between the breakdown voltage and forward characteristics. The breakdown voltage is increased with a decrease in concentration, and an increase in drift layer thickness occurs due to the extended depletion region and reduced peak electric field. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
A Digital-Controlled SiC-Based Solid State Circuit Breaker with Soft Switch-Off Method for DC Power System
Electronics 2019, 8(8), 837; https://doi.org/10.3390/electronics8080837 - 26 Jul 2019
Cited by 2
Abstract
Due to the lower on-state resistance, direct current (DC) solid state circuit breakers (SSCBs) based on silicon-carbide (SiC) metal-oxide-semiconductor field-effect transistors (MOSFETs) can reduce on-state losses and the investment of the cooling system when compared to breakers based on silicon (Si) MOSFETs. However, [...] Read more.
Due to the lower on-state resistance, direct current (DC) solid state circuit breakers (SSCBs) based on silicon-carbide (SiC) metal-oxide-semiconductor field-effect transistors (MOSFETs) can reduce on-state losses and the investment of the cooling system when compared to breakers based on silicon (Si) MOSFETs. However, SiC MOSFETs, with smaller die area and higher current density, lead to weaker short-circuit ability, shorter short-circuit withstand time and higher protection requirements. To improve the reliability and short-circuit capability of SiC-based DC solid state circuit breakers, the short-circuit fault mechanisms of Si MOSFETs and SiC MOSFETs are revealed. Combined with the desaturation detection (DESAT), a “soft turn-off” short-circuit protection method based on source parasitic inductor is proposed. When the DESAT protection is activated, the “soft turn-off” method can protect the MOSFET against short-circuit and overcurrent. The proposed SSCB, combined with the flexibility of the DSP, has the μs-scale ultrafast response time to overcurrent detection. Finally, the effectiveness of the proposed method is validated by the experimental platform. The method can reduce the voltage stress of the power device, and it can also suppress the short-circuit current. Full article
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