Recent advances in wide band-gap (WBG) semiconductor materials, such as silicon carbide (SiC) and gallium nitride (GaN) are enabling a new generation of power semiconductor devices that far exceed the performance of silicon-based devices. Past ARPA-E programs (ADEPT, Solar ADEPT, and SWITCHES) have enabled innovations throughout the power electronics value chain, especially in the area of WBG semiconductors.
LOW-COST LEDS ON FLEXIBLE METAL TAPES UPDATED: JANUARY 27, 2017PROJECT TITLE: Epitaxial GaN on Flexible Metal Tapes for Low-Cost Transistor DevicesPROGRAM: Strategies for Wide Bandgap, Inexpensive Transistors for Controlling High-Efficiency Systems (SWITCHES)AWARD: $2,768,468PROJECT TEAM: iBeam Materials (Lead), Sandia National Laboratory, Los Alamos National Laboratory, University of New Mexico
LOWER COST GaN FOR LIGHTING AND ELECTRONICS EFFICIENCY UPDATED: MARCH 28, 2016 PROJECT TITLES: Ammonothermal Growth of GaN Substrates for LEDs and Power ElectronicsPROGRAM: SWITCHES and OPEN 2009AWARD: $6,544,259PROJECT TEAM: SoraaPROJECT TERM: January 2011 to January 2016
A NEW MODEL FOR WIDE BANDGAP SEMICONDUCTOR MANUFACTURING IN THE U.S. UPDATED: MARCH 17, 2016 PROJECT TITLES: Advanced Manufacturing and Performance Enhancements for Reduced Cost Silicon Carbide MOSFETS (AMPERES) PROGRAM: SWITCHESAWARD: $3,225,000PROJECT TEAM: Monolith Semiconductor (Lead), X-Fab Texas, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, United Technologies Research Center, University of Arkansas
ARPA-E has announced up to $6.5 million in funding for a new program that seeks to greatly improve the performance and reliability of power electronics semiconductor devices by overcoming the limitations of current fabrication methods.
Abstract: Wide bandgap power semiconductor devices offer enormous energy efficiency gains in a wide range of potential applications. However, today, they remain too costly relative to Si devices to gain ubiquitous adoption in many higher power applications. In 2014, ARPA-E launched a new research program entitled SWITCHES, that seeks to enable the development of high voltage (1200 V+), high current (100 A) single die power semiconductor devices that, upon ultimately reaching scale, have the potential to reach functional cost parity ($/A) with silicon power transistors while also offering breakthrough relative circuit performance (low losses, high switching frequencies, and high temperature operation).
ARPA-E Deputy Director Cheryl Martin today announced $27 million in funding from the Energy Department’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) for 14 projects aimed at developing next-generation power conversion devices that could dramatically transform how power is controlled and converted throughout the grid. The projects selected today under ARPA-E’s SWITCHES program, short for “Strategies for Wide-Bandgap, Inexpensive Transistors for Controlling High-Efficiency Systems,” aim to find innovative ways to lower the cost and improve the efficiency of power electronics.
Dr. Timothy Heidel discusses the SWITCHES program and its mission to develop next-generation power switching devices that could dramatically improve energy efficiency across a wide range of applications.