WBG banner (1000 × 400 px) (1000 × 400 px)

Wide-bandgap Group (WBG)

Wide-bandgap technologies are based on next-generation semiconductors like silicon carbide (SiC) and gallium nitride (GaN). These semiconductors are commonly applied in applications like power electronics and radio-frequency millimeter wave power amplifiers. 

Power electronics involves the control and conversion of electricity using solid-state electronic devices. It is estimated that at least 50% of electricity around the world is controlled by power devices, which are ubiquitously applied throughout all aspects of our lives. While power electronics is currently dominated by silicon-based devices, next-generation power electronics will be based on wide-bandgap materials like silicon carbide (SiC) owing to its high breakdown electric field. With higher energy efficiencies and smaller form factors, SiC power devices can yield annual energy savings estimated to be in the range of tens of billions of kilowatt hours worldwide. SiC power electronics is instrumental in applications like electric vehicles (traction inverters and on-board chargers), data centers (power supplies) and renewable energy (inverters for solar energy or wind energy).

SiC Power Device & Fabrication

IME’s SiC power electronics program spans several key areas in the SiC power device manufacturing value chain, including epitaxy, power MOSFET simulation, design, fabrication and characterization. As the SiC power MOSFET industry transitions to higher current ratings (larger chip areas and lower on-state resistance values), SiC crystal defect densities and device yields become increasingly critical. IME is pioneering several unique approaches to reduce yield-killer defects in SiC epilayers during epitaxy. Our program also focuses on several next-generation power MOSFET technologies including innovative device architectures, novel gate dielectric materials and unique processing methods for lower on-state resistance. Device characterization (both static and dynamic testing) and long-term reliability testing are also core areas of focus in our program.

SiC Power Module Packaging

Advanced packaging for power electronics is one of the key strengths of IME. Our research focuses on improving high-temperature operating capabilities (aiming for 200°C maximum junction temperature) for power modules and lower parasitic inductance. IME is pioneering unique power module interconnection technologies and proprietary cooling approaches using double-sided liquid cooling. We are also exploring research collaborations with industry partners to develop next-generation power module packaging materials. Our SiC power modules are currently targeted at automotive applications, the key sector driving the SiC power electronics industry today.