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High-Current Low-Cost Efficient Power Transistors for Household Appliances
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An effective approach to addressing the needs of the American energy market includes both the exploration and implementation of alternative energy sources along with improvements in the efficiency. Thus far, a relatively untouched sector of energy consumption has been the efficiency of household and consumer devices. Small, incremental improvements in energy consumption by air conditioners, computers and even hand held devices would translate to a significant energy savings within the overall market. Increasing efficiency in these appliances requires improvements to passive components such as capacitors and inductors as well as the active components in power supplies. Wide band gap semiconductors offer a strong competitor to Si-based power electronics currently used in most household appliances. Structured Materials Industries, Inc. will develop thin film power transistors based on metallorganic chemical vapor deposition (MOCVD) grown ZnO material. The basis for ZnO power transistors has been established in other growth methods, which are not scalable to manufacturable devices. SMI has a strong history in the deposition of high quality MOCVD films of ZnO and will harness this experience, along with the knowledge of its collaborators to produce high-current low-cost ZnO devices for household appliance applications at a competitive cost to presently used Si-based electronics but with significantly increased efficiency and performance. Commercial Applications and Other Benefits: The resulting technology will allow the manufacture of power transistors for use in computer and laptop power supplies, air conditioners and other appliances. The result will is anticipated as a significant increase in power supply efficiency and power density. Structured Materials will license the developed technology and provide the necessary deposition equipment to power electronics manufacturers. Additional benefits are also expected, as more applications for ZnO are found in the commercial marketplace, the advances in film quality and deposition technology may also be marketed to manufacturers of sensors and other electronic components.
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