NASA SBIR 2002 Solicitation

FORM B - SBIR PROPOSAL SUMMARY


PROPOSAL NUMBER:02-II E2.08-9561 (For NASA Use Only - Chron: 022438 )
PHASE-I CONTRACT NUMBER: NAS3-03016
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Power Management and Distribution
PROPOSAL TITLE: High Temperature Capacitors for Power Converters

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN: (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/ZIP, Phone)
TRS Ceramics, Inc.
2820 East College Avenue
State College , PA   16801 - 7548
(814 ) 238 - 7485

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER: (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/ZIP, Phone)
Chris Walk
contracts@trsceramics.com
2820 East College Avenue
State College , PA   16801 - 7548
(814 ) 238 - 7485

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (LIMIT 200 WORDS)
In this SBIR program, TRS Technologies and its subsidiary, Centre Capacitor, will develop a new family of high volumetric efficiency, high temperature capacitors based on high Curie temperature relaxor-ferroelectric ceramics that operate at temperatures far beyond conventional X7R and X8R dielectric formulations (125C to 150C). These new higher temperature (>300oC) materials will be suited for advanced power electronics based on emerging solid state switching technologies such as IGBT?s and SiC. Capacitors used in these circuits must operate at high frequency (10?s to 100 kHz) with voltages ranging from 200 to 600V. They must be able to handle high AC ripple currents implying low dielectric loss, low equivalent series resistance (ESR), and high insulation resistance. For applications on spacecraft, electric automobiles, supersonic aircraft, and ships the capacitors must have a high volumetric efficiency to minimize volume and weight. This implies a high dielectric constant and/or very low dielectric layer thickness.
In the Phase I program TRS? approach to this problem was to develop a unique high temperature relaxor ferroelectric with a dielectric constant >10,000 @ 300?C and dielectric loss <2%. Feasibility was demonstrated by constructing 70 to 100nF capacitors. The capacitors exhibited less than a 2% change in capacitance on application of 500V (20 kV/cm or 50 V/mil) and an insulation resistance of >109 W-cm at 300oC. Our strategy was to develop a high dielectric constant material so that the layer thickness in a multilayer capacitor could be kept relatively thick (100?s of microns) to ensure capacitor reliability. Capacitor lifetime has been shown to degrade significantly as dielectric layer thickness decreases and temperature increases.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATION(S) (LIMIT 150 WORDS)
1) electronics located in automotive and avionics engine compartments
2) Snubber, filter, and DC bus capacitors in high frequency, solid state power electronics
3) Electric motor and actuator controller electronics for distributed control systems on electric vehicles and aircraft (e.g. the Air Force?s More Electric Aircraft).
4) Decoupling capacitors for next-generation, multi-gigahertz clock speed CPU?s

POTENTIAL NON-NASA APPLICATION(S) (LIMIT 150 WORDS)
1) down-hole electronics for oil and geothermal well drilling
2) electronics located in automotive and avionics engine compartments
3) electronic ballast and igniters for lighting


Form Printed on 10-03-03 11:34