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Extreme Environment Electronics Based on Silicon Carbide

Award Information
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Branch: N/A
Contract: NNX16CP16C
Agency Tracking Number: 154659
Amount: $749,645.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: S4.04
Solicitation Number: N/A
Solicitation Year: 2015
Award Year: 2016
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2016-05-06
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2018-05-05
Small Business Information
7 Deer Park Drive, Suite E
Monmouth Junction, NJ 08852-1921
United States
DUNS: 042068101
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Peter Alexandrov
 Lead IC Engineer
 (732) 355-0550
Business Contact
 Scott Kelly
Title: Business Official
Phone: (732) 355-0550
Research Institution

Radiation tolerant, extreme temperature capable electronics are needed for a variety of planned NASA missions. For example, in-situ exploration of Venus and long duration Europa-Jupiter missions will expose electronics to temperatures up to 500 ?C and radiation of 3 Mrad (Si) total dose. During this program, United Silicon Carbide will extend the capability of its SiC JFET integrated circuit (IC) fabrication technology to produce electronics compatible with such extreme environments.

Silicon Carbide (SiC) junction field effect (JFET) based electronics are ideal for these environments due to their radiation tolerance and their high performance and reliability over an extremely wide operating temperature range. SiC electronics can be used in applications ranging from low power, low noise mixed signal electronics for precision actuator control, sensor interfaces, and guidance and navigation electronics to power electronics for power management and distribution and power processing units. SiC based electronics will have longer storage and operating lifetimes when compared to existing silicon electronics. Use of SiC integrated circuits will also lower system mass, volume, and power by reducing or eliminating the need for cooling and radiation shielding.

In Phase I, we showed the feasibility of our approach by measuring SiC JFET IC device characteristics at 500 ?C; performing a 500 hour, 500 ?C reliability test; and using TCAD simulations to further explore the devices behavior at high temperature and when subjected to radiation. In Phase II, we will fully develop the extreme environment capable SiC IC fabrication technology and use it to fabricate an integrated circuit which will be characterized at 500 ?C and before and after radiation exposure. Following Phase II, we will provide access to the process technology and related design intellectual property through a commercial fabrication service so that NASA and others can fully leverage its capability.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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