The Project: Development of Silicon Carbide (SiC) High Power Devices for Traction and Automotive Electrification applications.
A PhD studentship is available to address the design, modelling, test and characterisation of novel power semiconductor devices based on wide bandgap materials.
The adoption of renewable energy is promoted as a measure to help mitigate the problem of global warming. The generated power output from renewable energy, however, is often difficult to control and if adopted in large quantities may cause frequency and voltage fluctuations throughout the entire power system threatening the stability and reliability of the power supply. A smart grid is a system that reduces the effect on the entire power system from the mass adoption of renewable energy and ensures a stable supply of electrical power. Power Electronics are widely recognized as the critical enabling technology for smart grids. The current target of the power electronics industry is to have an efficiency of 80% moving towards 90% or greater. These are very tough targets and they can only be achieved through careful design and optimization of power switches and electronics. The future of power semiconductor switches is therefore driven by the need for power-efficient modern electronics and governmental regulations to improve power quality and efficient limits. In particular, SiC is a very promising material for high voltage electronics; at the R&D level, SiC-based devices have shown to offer considerable reduction in size (at least 10 times smaller) for equal performance in terms of voltage and on-resistance rating. The project will involve the design, modelling and 2D and 3D device structures simulations of the static, dynamic and mixed-mode behaviour. The performance of the developed devices will be fabricated using on-site facilities and the performance will be verified through the realisation of optimised solar and HVDC converters topologies that will contain the packaged devices.