Silicon Carbide (SiC) high voltage power devices are attractive for NASA space missions as overall weight of the power unit can be decreased. However, previous studies have shown that SiC power devices are susceptible catastrophic failure, burnout and degradation at voltage stress lower than half the rating under radiation. In this Phase II effort, we propose to improve the radiation hardness of Silicon Carbide vertical devices such that they can reliably operate at full rated voltage under heavy ion radiation in space.
There is a high demand for high voltage, fast switching power semiconductors with excellent high temperature performance and improved rad-hard performance for Spacecraft power systems. High voltage SiC power devices can improve the efficiency and power density of the Power Condition Unit, PPU, motor drive and TWT power supplies.
The proposed technology has large potential in the commercial small satellite market in Travelling Wave Tube Amplifiers and satellite electric propulsion systems.