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14 December 2007


Panasonic unveils GaN power transistor with 10kV breakdown voltage

At this week’s IEEE International Electron Devices Meeting (IEDM 2007) in Washington DC, USA, Panasonic of Osaka, Japan presented a gallium nitride power transistor with an ultra-high breakdown voltage of over 10,000V, more than five times higher than the previous record.

Matsushita Electric Industrial Co Ltd (the firm behind the Panasonic brand) says that a novel device structure and a high-quality GaN film on a highly resistive sapphire substrate were used to realize a breakdown voltage of 10,400V with a low on-state resistance of 186Ωcm². Overlap of the electrodes via insulating film on the surface side is eliminated by using a back-side electrode with through-holes in the sapphire, resulting in the ultra-high breakdown voltage.

The through-hole in chemically stable sapphire is formed via a novel laser drilling technique using a high-power pico-second laser. In addition, Panasonic says that its proprietary epitaxial growth technology helps to extract the superior inherent material properties of GaN, resulting in the high breakdown voltage together with the low on-state resistance.

The new GaN power transistor is applicable to high-voltage and low-loss power switching devices for industrial and electrical power systems.

The firm says that it has filed applications for 110 domestic and 69 international patents on the technology.

See related items:

Normally-off GaN power transistor with low on-state resistance

Search: GaN Sapphire substrates