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SBIR Phase I: Advancing HIgh-Power Diamond Devices Towards Commercialization
Phone: (480) 287-2666
Phone: (480) 236-0690
The broader impact/commercial potential of this Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I project is the innovation of diamond technologies that will enhance the efficiency and reliability of electric vehicles, thus supporting the development of green technology and reduction of CO2 emissions. Specifically, diamond diodes will reduce powertrain losses by about a third and thus directly translate into a 10% increase in electric power vehicle (EPV) range. While the impact of diamond diodes is significant, the development of this technology is also intended to advance diamond power devices. Additional diamond components - such as insulated gate bipolar transistors (IGBTs) - will increase the efficiency and reliability of electric vehicles even further. Moreover, the successful commercialization of diamond will ultimately affect many power markets in addition to EPVs: including converters and inverters in geothermal drilling, aerospace, and power grids; high-frequency applications such as radar and communication systems; and extreme environment electronics relevant to the nuclear industry and space exploration, such as the exploration of Venus. The proposed project expects the fabrication of diamond freewheeling Schottky-PIN diodes for EPVs. These devices will utilize lab-grown diamond to produce and test PIN diodes. While growth techniques have recently been developed to enable to the fabrication of such structures, much innovation is still needed to facilitate scalability and commercialization of diamond devices. Therefore, in Phase I, the scope of research will consist of the following activities to make diamond diodes for powertrain converters and inverters in EPVs: (a) demonstrate the expected performance of diamond freewheeling diodes using simulations, (b) control the doping concentrations and thickness of single-crystal diamond layers, (c) develop scalable fabrication and patterning processes for diamond devices, (e) determine electrical characteristics of diamond PIN diodes, and (f) investigate the reliability and possible failure mechanisms of packaged diamond PIN diodes. A significant challenge for diamond devices for power applications will be the achievement of cost parity. Considering the relatively high cost of diamond substrates, an innovative commercialization strategy will be adapted to keep initial costs low, allowing diamond devices to achieve cost parity faster.
* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *