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International Journal of Power Management Electronics
Volume 2008 (2008), Article ID 891027, 5 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2008/891027
Research Article

Silicon Carbide Emitter Turn-Off Thyristor

1Semiconductor Power Electronics Center (SPEC), Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27695, USA
2Solitronics LLC, Cary, NC 27518, USA
3Sandia National Laboratories, Albuquerque, NM 87185, USA

Received 5 February 2008; Accepted 27 April 2008

Academic Editor: Ty McNutt

Copyright © 2008 Jun Wang et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

A novel MOS-controlled SiC thyristor device, the SiC emitter turn-off thyristor (ETO) is a promising technology for future high-voltage switching applications because it integrates the excellent current conduction capability of a SiC thyristor with a simple MOS-control interface. Through unity-gain turn-off, the SiC ETO also achieves excellent Safe Operation Area (SOA) and faster switching speeds than silicon ETOs. The world's first 4.5-kV SiC ETO prototype shows a forward voltage drop of 4.26 V at 26.5 A/cm2 current density at room and elevated temperatures. Tested in an inductive circuit with a 2.5 kV DC link voltage and a 9.56-A load current, the SiC ETO shows a fast turn-off time of 1.63 microseconds and a low 9.88 mJ turn-off energy. The low switching loss indicates that the SiC ETO could operate at about 4 kHz if 100 W/cm2 conduction and the 100 W/cm2 turn-off losses can be removed by the thermal management system. This frequency capability is about 4 times higher than 4.5-kV-class silicon power devices. The preliminary demonstration shows that the SiC ETO is a promising candidate for high-frequency, high-voltage power conversion applications, and additional developments to optimize the device for higher voltage (>5 kV) and higher frequency (10 kHz) are needed.