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SBIR Phase I: Switching-Free DC Voltage Conversion

Award Information
Agency: National Science Foundation
Branch: N/A
Contract: 1936401
Agency Tracking Number: 1936401
Amount: $225,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: S
Solicitation Number: N/A
Solicitation Year: 2019
Award Year: 2019
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2019-10-15
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2020-09-30
Small Business Information
United States
DUNS: 116931863
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Matthew Lumb
 (703) 225-9847
Business Contact
 Matthew Lumb
Phone: (703) 225-9847
Research Institution

The broader impact of this Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I project will be the introduction of a revolutionary new technology for electrical components affected by electrical noise, electromagnetic interference, large footprint, and high bill of materials costs associated with certain components. This will have a major impact for noise-sensitive circuits in demanding military, medical and communication applications. The dramatically reduced footprint and component count will enable smaller, lighter and lower-cost electronic circuits, positively impacting a wide range of technologies, such as portable consumer electronics and Internet-of-Things devices. The unique innovation developed in the project will enable integrated circuits with improved performance at lower heating and higher system efficiencies. This novel technology can be manufactured with existing processes, enabling high volume, reliable and low-cost commercial components. The proposed project will create the first demonstration of a voltage regulator circuit able to provide efficient voltage up-conversion and down-conversion without switching. The technology uses photons to multiply or divide voltage within a novel voltage regulator architecture. The research will address the main technical challenges to achieving high efficiency, including photon generation, photon transfer and conversion to electricity within optoelectronic devices. Minimizing optical and electrical losses is crucial to achieving a high efficiency voltage regulator circuit, critical to many DC-DC conversion applications. The research will study non-radiative losses in semiconductor light emitters, photon management strategies to reduce optical loss, and electrical device design to minimize carrier collection and series resistance losses. Finally, these aspects will be combined into a fully functional voltage regulator circuit, aiming to demonstrate purely DC voltage up-conversion with efficiencies as high as 85%. To accomplish this, the project uses advanced optoelectronic device design and modeling, commercial epitaxy, advanced compound semiconductor fabrication, semiconductor material and device characterization, and analog circuit modeling and development. This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.

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

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