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SUNY Poly wins $1.5M from US DoE Vehicle Technology Office


Grant is for the development of 1200V SiC MOSFETs, and for reliability studies of AlGaN-based HEMTs

SUNY Polytechnic Institute (SUNY Poly) has announced that Interim VP of research advancement and graduate atudies Shadi Shahedipour-Sandvik and associate professor of nanoengineering Woongje Sung have been selected to receive $1,500,000 in total federal funding from the US Department of Energy’s Vehicle Technology Office (VTO).

The grant is for the development of 1200V SiC MOSFETs, and for reliability studies of AlGaN-based HEMTs, the switch components of power electronic chips, which are superior to their silicon–based counterpart in areas such as cost, performance, and reliability. This could lead to highly efficient and reliable power electronics for electric drive trains for a range of applications, including improved electric vehicles.

The SUNY Poly VTO award will support research efforts through the new 'Electric Drive Technologies Consortium' of which SUNY Poly is one of the 10 founding University members; the consortium is supported by the Vehicle Technology Office and Department of Energy. The grant will also provide an immersive research experience for a number of SUNY Poly graduate students who will be able to participate in the project, in addition to several undergraduate students who will also be encouraged to take part in various aspects of the effort, including design, fabrication, characterisation, and analysis of the SiC power devices.

More specifically, the SUNY Poly researchers will demonstrate a highly reliable wide bandgap (WBG) AlGaN/GaN HEMT-based power device. Making use of the AlGaN/GaN semiconductor material’s properties to enable higher performance for HEMT on GaN as compared to the state-of-the-art HEMT on other substrates, such as sapphire, the device will have extremely high levels of performance at certain frequencies with low noise, making it ideal for high-speed, high frequency applications.

“I am excited to partner on this grant as we leverage SUNY Poly’s advanced research capabilities to drive next-generation power device technologies based on cutting-edge materials and processes, and I am grateful to the Department of Energy’s Vehicle Technology Office for this award, which will utilise our unique epitaxial growth system and baseline process to fabricate HEMT on GaN,” said Shahedipour-Sandvik.

“I am also extremely grateful to the National Science Foundation for the additional grant which will underpin research with our partnering institution into novel materials for more energy efficient lighting and computing capabilities, which are critical for the future because of the vast energy consumption resulting from current, less efficient computer chips. We look forward to these exciting research opportunities not only because of what they can lead to, but also because they will provide an excellent hands-on lab experience which can act as a launching pad for a number of our SUNY Poly graduate and undergraduate students.”

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