Future NASA science and exploration missions require significant performance improvements over the state-of-the-art in Power Management and Distribution (PMAD) systems. Space qualified, high voltage power electronics can lead to higher efficiency and significant SWaP-C advantage at the system architecture level and serve as an enabling technology for diverse applications.
Gallium Oxide (Ga2O3) is an ultra-wide bandgap semiconductor technology with superior electronic properties for high-voltage power applications. Ga2O3 devices offer higher temperature operation, lower on-resistance, higher breakdown voltages, and higher power conversion efficiency than Silicon power devices. However, their performance in the space environment, including high-energy radiation and wide temperature fluctuations, is largely unknown. A thorough characterization and design effort is essential for advancing this technology to meeting NASA requirements.
CFDRC, in collaboration with the University at Buffalo (UB), Vanderbilt University, and KYMA Technologies, will utilize a proven experimental and physics-based modeling approach to address this challenge. In Phase I, we will perform irradiation testing for single event effects (SEEs) of recently demonstrated 8kV β-Ga2O3 power MOSFETs from UB and generate measurement data for radiation tolerance. Detailed TCAD modeling of SEEs will be performed for insight into physical mechanisms behind the observed radiation response. In Phase II, we will perform additional heavy-ion and total dose testing as a function of temperature and bias. Extensive TCAD-based modeling will be performed to identify radiation and temperature dependent mechanisms, and device structure/process modifications for improved radiation tolerance will be investigated. Promising solutions will be prototyped and tested. Participation by KYMA in Phase II and beyond will ensure manufacturability of the space-qualified, β-Ga2O3 power MOSFET technology.
Radiation tolerant, high voltage/high temperature Ga2O3 power electronics is an enabling technology for power management and distribution in spacecrafts and scientific instruments. It directly supports NASA goals for Lunar and Planetary Surface PMAD and the Kilopower program. It also benefits Remote Sensing Instruments and Sensors related to NASA Science and Exploration missions. The modeling and analysis tools for electronic qualification will be a Cross-Cutting Technology for all NASA missions requiring high voltage power electronics.
Radiation tolerant Ga2O3 power electronics are applicable in DoD space systems (communication, surveillance, missile defense), commercial satellites, and nuclear power systems. High-voltage/high-temperature tolerant Ga2O3 power devices have applications in power conditioning systems (avionics and electric ships), solid-state drivers for heavy electric motors, PMAD and control electronics.