Optically Gated, Silicon Carbide (SiC) Semiconductors for Aircraft Electrical Actuator Motor Drives

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Air Force
Contract: FA8650-09-M-2959
Agency Tracking Number: F083-110-1496
Amount: $99,711.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: AF083-110
Solicitation Number: 2008.3
Solicitation Year: 2008
Award Year: 2009
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2009-03-23
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2009-12-23
Small Business Information
201 Research Blvd., Starkville, MS, 39759
DUNS: 622392111
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Andrew Ritenour
 Senior Research Scientist
 (662) 324-7607
Business Contact
 Brenda Temple
Title: President
Phone: (662) 324-7607
Email: astanton@swsciences.com
Research Institution
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 °C.  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.

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

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