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4 March 2013

DOE awards Structured Materials $150,000 SBIR grant

Structured Materials Industries Inc (SMI) of Piscataway, NJ, USA, which provides chemical vapor deposition (CVD) systems, components, materials, and process development services, has been awarded a $150,000 Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) 2013 Phase 1 grant by the US Department of Energy (DOE) for the project ‘High-Current Low-Cost Efficient Power Transistors for Household Appliances’.

The aim is to develop processing methods to produce high-quality metal-organic chemical vapor deposition (MOCVD)-grown zinc oxide (ZnO) material for low-cost power applications, particularly for appliances.

SMI says that wide-bandgap ZnO material offers an inexpensive and environmentally friendly material for use in smaller-scale power converters, increasing efficiency by increasing speeds and reducing power losses in switching power supplies. The target is to demonstrate a high-performance (high-current) power MOSFET with operation up to 240V, with increased performance over equivalent silicon-based devices at comparable production costs.

“ZnO provides an excellent material for significant performance increases in everyday power electronics while also maintaining low-cost production and minimal environmental impact,” says the project’s principal investigator Dr Eric Gallo.

“ZnO power electronics for appliances is a very exciting emerging field where we have a history of fundamental expertise,” comments SMI’s president Dr Gary S. Tompa. “SMI has a strong history in the design and production of ZnO growth systems, ZnO processes and applications of ZnO,” he adds. “We expect to achieve a highly economical device design that will be marketed as a high-performance alternative to presently used and inefficient Si-based devices.”



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