Pulsed Power Switching of a 4 mm X 4 mm SiC Thyristor
BERKELEY RESEARCH ASSOCIATES INC ADELPHI MD
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While silicon carbide SiC is beginning to make its way into the low voltage 300-1200 V commercial power diode market, its capabilities in pulse power applications have yet to be proven. A previous investigation by the U.S. Army Research Laboratory ARL of SiC GTOs suggested that this emerging technology could provide pulsed current densities 40 to 60 times greater than is obtainable in silicon-based switches. This study continues that earlier work by examining 4 mm x 4 mm 4H-SiC thyristors designed by CREE Inc. to reach 1 kV and 4 kA. These devices were successfully switched up to 3.89 kA with a current density reaching 56.1 kAcm2, a specific rate-of-current-rise of 49 kA scm2 for peak rise-time 7.8 kA s and a pulse-width ranging from 2.0 s to 2.6 s. The thyristors were tested at both single shot and repetitive switching rates up to 5 Hz. Device characteristics were mapped on a curve tracer at different stages of testing, and the failure of each thyristor was analyzed.
- Electrical and Electronic Equipment