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High Voltage GaN Devices for Photovoltaics and High Frequency Switched Power Supplies

Abstract: As we trudge forward in our global task to implement photovoltaics that can truly add power to the grid on a large scale, we are faced with limitations in high voltage inverter efficiency issues that bleed away precious energy. Si power transistors simply cannot handle the high off-state blocking voltage (VBD) while maintaining low on-state resistance, RON. SiC shows promise in solving the engineering trade-off between VBD and RON, but only GaN has the potential to fill the needed operation space in a cost effective manner. This is because high quality GaN can be grown on a Si platform, leveraging 40 years of silicon process technology up to 300mm wafer. Still, challenges must be overcome in pushing the VBR up to as high as 5kV in GaN device arhitectures. In this talk we will look at the complex materials and device issues surrounding GaN HEMT-style devices that can block 5kV while still dissipating little energy in the on-state condition. Finally, we will briefly examine future multi-use device topologies that concurrently tackle power, photonic and RF applications.
Speaker: Professor Rusty Harris - Texas A & M University
Speaker Bio: H. Rusty Harris is currently an Assistant Professor in the Electrical and Computer Engineering and Physics Departments at Texas A&M University. His research interests include 3D devices and device processing, new device materials to replace Silicon, semiconductor laser diodes, high voltage and RF GaN device architectures, and low-temperature Ge detector materials and bolometer architectures for the Cryogenic Dark Matter Search (CDMS) project.. His prior experience includes Manager of 3D Device Research with Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) while assigned to SEMATECH in Austin, TX. Dr. Harris earned a BS in Engineering Physics (97) and a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering (03) from Texas Tech University in the area of surface and interface analysis for solid state devices. He initiated the design and construction of a $1.9M semiconductor lab at the University of Missouri-Columbia as a Visiting Assistant Professor. He is author and co-author of over 70 journals and conference publications.
Poster Link: Poster
Presentation: Presentation on 7/27/2011 (PDF)