Scalable Thick-Film Magnetics

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Niskayuna, New York
Project Term:
01/01/2011 - 07/17/2012

Technology Description:

Magnetic components are typically the largest components in a power converter. To date, however, researchers haven’t found an effective way to reduce their size without negatively impacting their performance. And, reducing the size of the converter’s other components isn’t usually an option because shrinking them can also diminish the effectiveness of the magnetic components. General Electric (GE) Global Research is developing smaller magnetic components for power converters that maintain high performance levels. The company is building smaller components with magnetic films. These films are created using the condensation of a vaporized form of the magnetic material. It’s a purely physical process that involves no chemical reactions, so the film composition is uniform. This process makes it possible to create a millimeter-thick film deposition over a wide surface area fairly quickly, which would save on manufacturing costs. In fact, GE can produce 1–10 millimeter-thick films in hours. The magnetic components that GE is developing for this project could be used in a variety of applications, including solar inverters, electric vehicles, and lighting.

Potential Impact:

If successful, GE would create smaller, lighter, more efficient power converters that could be used in a variety of applications.


This project could contribute to a smarter, more advanced, and more reliable power grid.


More efficient power converters could help reduce U.S. electricity consumption, and in turn reduce the harmful emissions created by power plants.


This project could help position the U.S. as a technical leader in high-performance magnetics.


ARPA-E Program Director:
Dr. Timothy Heidel
Project Contact:
Dr. Satish Prabhakaran
Press and General Inquiries Email:
Project Contact Email:


Dartmouth College

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