Silicon Carbide Superjunction

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OPEN 2015
Niskayuna, New York
Project Term:
05/10/2016 - 11/09/2019

Technology Description:

The team led by General Electric (GE) Global Research will develop a new high-voltage, solid-state Silicon Carbide (SiC) Field–Effect Transistor (FET) charge-balanced device, also known as a “Superjunction.” These devices have become the industry norm in high-voltage Silicon switching devices, because they allow for more efficient switching at higher voltages and frequencies. The team proposes to demonstrate charge balanced SiC devices for the first time. Their approach will offer scaling up to 15kV while reducing losses for power conversion applications by 10x when compared with existing silicon bipolar devices and competing SiC approaches. This will enable highly efficient, medium-voltage, multi-megawatt power conversion for conventional and renewable energy applications. The technology could dramatically reduce energy consumption and emissions for applications such as solar, wind, mining, oil and gas development, and medical devices. If these efficient devices were widely adopted the technology could save enough energy to power 5.9 million homes annually. It can also have a significant impact on medium voltage drives for high-speed motors and transportation applications, including hybrid and electric vehicles. In rail applications, the higher voltage and higher frequencies afforded by SiC devices could reduce the total energy consumption by as much as 30%.

Potential Impact:

If successful, innovations from GE’s project will enable highly efficient, medium voltage, multi-megawatt power conversion.


This program will enhance U.S. technological leadership and manufacturing of SiC power devices.


If widely implemented, this technology would dramatically reduce energy consumption-related emissions.


Innovations from these devices can save enough energy to power 5.9 million homes annually and save businesses and homeowners money on electricity.


ARPA-E Program Director:
Dr. Isik Kizilyalli
Project Contact:
Dr. Reza Ghandi
Press and General Inquiries Email:
Project Contact Email:


Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

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