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1 September 2015

ACME's microgravity-processed SiC devices outperform devices made on traditional premium-grade SiC

ACME Advanced Materials Inc (A2M) of Albuquerque, NM, USA has partnered with two leading silicon caride (SiC) research groups to independently evaluate and assess the performance enhancement from devices fabricated on its 'S Grade' microgravity-processed SiC substrates. Compared with devices made on traditional prime-grade substrates, initial tests showed that the S Grade devices had improved electronic transport, lower on-resistance, reduced forward voltage, higher current density threshold, and increased reliability, says ACME.

To provide independent verification of these results and develop a deeper understanding of the microgravity process itself, ACME has partnered with Dr Debbie G. Senesky, who runs the EXtreme Environment Microsystems Laboratory (XLab) in the Aeronautics and Astronautics Department at Stanford University, and Dr Michael Dudley, chairman of the Department of Materials Science & Engineering (MSE) at Stony Brook University. Senesky's group has been working with ACME since January to analyze S Grade substrate material properties and build Schottky diode test devices on S Grade substrates. Dudley joined the team in July and his group will bring additional evaluation tools and expertise to the analysis.

"The typical reaction we get from industry when they see our results is, 'No way, this can't be true'," says ACME's president & CEO Rich Glover. "So, we decided to partner with experts that are well known in the power electronics field and let them perform their own independent analysis."

The initial, first-generation device improvements using ACME's S grade SiC material include: superior MOSFET, transistor and diode avalanche energy clamping capability; vastly improved device in-rush current carrying capacity; faster allowable switching dV/dt for converters; and improved short-circuit survivability.

"We've conducted detailed pre-flight and post-flight analysis on these substrates and observe compelling modifications to the material structure," notes Senesky. "The devices we've built on S Grade substrates also show improved electrical performance when compared to devices built on traditional, unprocessed substrates. My team is digging into these results and we plan to start publishing and sharing the results soon," she adds. "These results are quite intriguing and we're looking forward to working with Dr Dudley and applying his unique expertise in SiC microstructure to perform additional analysis."

Tags: SiC substrates SiC Schottky diode

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