- Posted by Juan Moreno Echarri
- On December 12, 2019
Silicon Carbide (SiC) presents many advantages over Silicon and even other wide band gap semiconductors, while maturity of the technology increases quickly (6 inches wafers can be processed)
Higher critical electrical field: The critical electrical field of SiC is around 8 times higher than that of Si, which makes it an excellent choice for power semiconductor devices. A SiC semiconductor die is much thinner due to its high dielectric strength and is doped to a much higher level, leading to lower losses.
Higher thermal conductivity: SiC has thermal conductivity about 3 times higher than that of silicon. Therefore, heat dissipation by the losses can be conducted from within the semiconductor with a much lower temperature drop across the semiconductor material.
Higher operating temperature: The SiC device can operate well over 400°C. This property results in significant cost reduction of the cooling system since less expensive cooling materials and methods can be used.
Higher current density: The current density of SiC is 2 to 3 times the maximum current density of silicon devices. This property will reduce cost and will, over time, help to offset some of the cost disadvantages of the SiC device.
These properties make it the perfect choice to manufacture diodes for several space applications like:
- Solar array blocking diodes: These diodes are directly exposed to space environment. In the case of BepiColombo mission: +270 to -165ºC temperature oscillations while operating with around 4W each. This SIC-HT-SBD01 diode is included in the EPPL and can be tested under customer request against any other mission environmental conditions.
⦁ Fast switching operation. The ATN-CNM-300D2 reaches Trr values below 10ns while being operated at high power densities and its being qualified to fly soon in ESA-JUICE mission. Demonstrated resistance to heavy ions under the mission radiation profile and bias.
Alter Technology has now the capability of manufacture and qualify on demand SiC diodes like the previously explained as well as HV versions in customized packages to fit the customer application.
For more information contact us
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- Silicon Carbide Diodes (SiC) for space applications - December 12, 2019