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Silicon-on-insulator-based high-voltage, high-temperature integrated circuit gate driver for silicon carbide-based power field effect transistors

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4 Author(s)
M. A. Huque ; Min H. Kao Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN ; L. M. Tolbert ; B. J. Blalock ; S. K. Islam

Silicon carbide (SiC)-based field effect transistors (FETs) are gaining popularity as switching elements in power electronic circuits designed for high-temperature environments like hybrid electric vehicle, aircraft, well logging, geothermal power generation etc. Like any other power switches, SiC-based power devices also need gate driver circuits to interface them with the logic units. The placement of the gate driver circuit next to the power switch is optimal for minimising system complexity. Successful operation of the gate driver circuit in a harsh environment, especially with minimal or no heat sink and without liquid cooling, can increase the power-to-volume ratio as well as the power-to-weight ratio for power conversion modules such as a DC-DC converter, inverter etc. A silicon-on-insulator (SOI)-based high-voltage, high-temperature integrated circuit (IC) gate driver for SiC power FETs has been designed and fabricated using a commercially available 0.8--m, 2-poly and 3-metal bipolar-complementary metal oxide semiconductor (CMOS)-double diffused metal oxide semiconductor (DMOS) process. The prototype circuit-s maximum gate drive supply can be 40-V with peak 2.3-A sourcing/sinking current driving capability. Owing to the wide driving range, this gate driver IC can be used to drive a wide variety of SiC FET switches (both normally OFF metal oxide semiconductor field effect transistor (MOSFET) and normally ON junction field effect transistor (JFET)). The switching frequency is 20-kHz and the duty cycle can be varied from 0 to 100-. The circuit has been successfully tested with SiC power MOSFETs and JFETs without any heat sink and cooling mechanism. During these tests, SiC switches were kept at room temperature and ambient temperature of the driver circuit was increased to 200-C. The circuit underwent numerous temperature cycles with negligible performance degradation.

Published in:

IET Power Electronics  (Volume:3 ,  Issue: 6 )