Indian scientists make high temperature chip breakthrough
Researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology have developed a semiconductor material that can withstand very high temperatures, and therefore be used in high-pressure automotive applications.
The IIT team based its method around an ultrawide bandgap semiconducting material named gallium oxide as an alternative to the 'incumbent' materials gallium nitride (GaN) and silicon carbide (SiC). The latter two have limitations in terms of cost for high-power applications.
The main challenge was creating a gallium oxide thin film on a sapphire substrate. However, the IIT researchers say they have successfully done this and fabricated two terminal devices from it. They believe the applications of this technology can extend to electric vehicles, high voltage transmission, traction systems, and industrial automation.
Ankush Bag, assistant professor, Department of Electronics and Electrical Engineering and Centre for Nanotechnology, IIT-Guwahati, said, “Power semiconductor devices are the heart of every power electronic system and function primarily as efficient switches, toggling ON and OFF to condition incoming power from grid to be used by end-user. For emerging high-power applications, there is a demand for compound semiconductor materials with an ultra-wide bandgap”.
The findings of the study have been published in multiple research papers in ‘Journal of IEEE Transactions on Electron Devices’ and ‘Thin Solid Films’.