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Optically Gated, Silicon Carbide (SiC) Semiconductors for Aircraft Electrical…

Award Information

Department of Defense
Air Force
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2009 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
SemiSouth Laboratories
201 Research Blvd. Starkville, MS -
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Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 1
Fiscal Year: 2009
Title: Optically Gated, Silicon Carbide (SiC) Semiconductors for Aircraft Electrical Actuator Motor Drives
Agency / Branch: DOD / USAF
Contract: FA8650-09-M-2959
Award Amount: $99,711.00


SemiSouth Laboratories, Inc., a leading developer and manufacturer of silicon carbide (SiC) power semiconductor devices, and OptiSwitch Technology Corporation, a leading developer and manufacturer of light activated semiconductor products, propose the development of a hybrid switch using intermediate optoelectronic conversion. An optical T/R module will be used to trigger a SiC vertical junction field effect transistor (VJFET). Reliable operation of both the optical receiver and SiC VJFET has already been demonstrated at temperatures exceeding 200 oC. Risk is further minimized by the exclusive use of inventory and COTS components. Complete prototype testing will be performed to assess the feasibility of this approach and accurately predict the performance of a possible Phase II device. BENEFIT: A revolution in renewable energy, and a demand for greater energy efficiency in general, have created a technological need for smaller, more efficient, and lower cost power converters. It is apparent that silicon power semiconductor devices are fundamentally unable to simultaneously achieve high-voltage, high-current, and low-loss performance. This proposal, while focused on meeting specific Air Force requirements, involves expanding the use of high-voltage, very low-loss silicon carbide components in commercial, industrial, and military motor drives and power supplies.

Principal Investigator:

Andrew Ritenour
Senior Research Scientist

Business Contact:

Brenda Temple
Small Business Information at Submission:

201 Research Blvd. Starkville, MS 39759

EIN/Tax ID: 010568116
Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No