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Silicon Carbide Device Model Development for Circuit Simulations


TECHNOLOGY AREAS: Ground/Sea Vehicles, Electronics


OBJECTIVE: The development of fast SiC device models for high level circuit-design packages such as, for example, Pspice and Sabre.

DESCRIPTION: The military has been developing advanced high-power wide bandgap semiconductor electronic devices, especially in silicon carbide (SiC), for improved efficiency and high-temperature (100 to 200 ºC) operation.  SiC Schottky diodes are beginning to be broadly incorporated into power electronic systems, with the expectation that SiC-based power switches (such as MOSFETs and JFETs) will soon follow.  Design of efficient SiC-based power systems requires a detailed understanding of the circuit operation of SiC power devices. Compact circuit models with a high degree of accuracy, yet portable, are critical to the design process and require fast device models.

Much work has gone into developing device models to accurately predict performance of individual devices and such devices are now commercially available. There is a need to develop the next level of models to provide circuit designers the ability to evaluate circuits that utilize these devices such as been done for silicon-based electronic packages. These models will need to take into account the multi-disciplinary modeling requirements to accurately predict how the devices will function in circuits. The models should address electrical, thermal, mechanical, and material calculations while providing the designer accurate results in steady state, time, and frequency domains. Particular challenges include the development of high-speed models appropriate for circuit level design while maintaining the accuracy of models based on first principles from device physics, thermodynamics, heat transfer, mechanics, and material science.

PHASE I: Provide initial innovative device modeling that can enable the reliable design of SiC power circuits. Demonstrate the feasibility of expanding the initial modeling concept to all design criteria desired in the above description.  All models should be scalable and of flexible use for multiple applications.

PHASE II: Develop and mature the model from Phase I to include electrical, thermal, mechanical, and material calculations. The model’s reliability should be demonstrated on at least two independent SiC circuits of differing utility while providing accurate results in steady state, time, and frequency domains. 

PHASE III: Further expand the utility of the model under varying circuit design and conditions while enhancing portability. Undergo more rigorous test and evaluation on a greater variety of circuits.

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