Date of Award

12-2007

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Major

Electrical Engineering

Major Professor

Leon M. Tolbert

Committee Members

Jack S. Lawler, Syed Islam, Philip D. Rack

Abstract

As the development of Silicon (Si) semiconductor technology slows down due to its material limitations, more and more attention is being paid to wide bandgap material based semiconductor technology. Silicon Carbide (SiC) has been widely recognized as the material for next generation power electronic devices. However, a great deal of work needs to be done before SiC power devices can be widely applied. This dissertation addresses this need and has conducted research on the modeling of SiC power electronic system. More specifically, a method for system modeling of a SiC power system based on basic physics and device tests is presented here. It includes temperature-dependent single device models specified for system-level modeling, power loss models for power converters and thermal models for cooling system. The method is verified by experimental results. Furthermore, it is used to study the system impact of SiC power devices in several different applications, which were funded by Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). A conclusion is drawn from these studies that SiC power devices are more suitable for high-power, high-temperature, and high-frequency systems compared to Si ones. Thus, these kinds of systems will be the potential applications of SiC power devices in the near future.

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