EE Colloquium: Vertical GaN Power Devices: Research Advances and Navy Applications

Abstract: Wide bandgap semiconductors such as SiC and GaN represent the next-generation materials for high performance medium voltage and high voltage power switch technology. Such devices have a wide range of immediate Naval applications, such as high-power satellite communications and radar, unmanned underwater and aerial vehicles, ship drive components, and hybrid vehicle inverters. Vertical SiC power device technology has matured rapidly over the past two decades, owing to advances in substrates, a fundamental understanding of epitaxial growth to eliminate performance-limiting defects, as well as device design breakthroughs. This has enabled breakthroughs in highly integrated module design for medium voltage power conversion with switching frequency >100 kHz. In parallel, lateral GaN-based high electron mobility transistor (HEMT) technology has been highly successful for RF power amplifiers and is well positioned to supersede GaAs-based microwave circuits. Recently, GaN-based vertical and lateral power devices have attracted significant interest due to promising device results coupled with progress in native substrate, epitaxial growth, and processing technology developments. This seminar will present an overview of the GaN power device effort at NRL. This research has three primary focus areas – 1) characterization of substrate materials and homoepitaxial layers used for drift regions of power devices identify appropriate specifications and benchmark performance, 2) process module development, particularly for selective area doping by ion implantation, and 3) assess the performance of basic device structures such as vertical GaN junction barrier Schottky (JBS) diodes, Schottky barrier diodes (SBDs), and PiN diodes with implanted junction termination extension (JTE) as well as conduct reliability assessments to identify and mitigate performance limiting defects.


Biography: Travis Anderson is a senior chemical engineer in the High Power Electronics Branch at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory in Washington, DC, where his work focuses on wide bandgap power switches. He has expertise in processing, reliability, failure mechanisms, and radiation effects in GaN, SiC, diamond, and graphene-based devices. Dr. Anderson received a PhD in Chemical Engineering from the University of Florida in 2008, and a BS in Chemical Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology in 2004. In 2007, he completed an internship at Sandia National Laboratory, and in 2009 completed an ASEE Postdoctoral Fellowship at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory. Dr. Anderson has authored 194 publications, 262 presentations (70 invited), has been awarded 30 patents and has 6 pending applications. He is a recipient of the 2014 Edison Award for best NRL patent and 2016 Dolores M. Etter Top Navy Scientist Award. 


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Media Contact: Rongming Chu



The School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science was created in the spring of 2015 to allow greater access to courses offered by both departments for undergraduate and graduate students in exciting collaborative research in fields.

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