Imec GaN-on-Si power devices pass space test

15th March 2017

Radiation hardness of e-mode devices confirm maturity of 200mm GaN-on-Si platform

Imec has announced that its 200mm GaN-on-Si e-mode power devices with a pGaN gate architecture showed no degradation of transistor characteristics after heavy ion (Xenon) and neutron irradiation. 

The pre and post irradiation tests, performed in collaboration with Thales Alenia Space, revealed no shifts in threshold voltage nor gate rupture. 

The results were achieved in the framework of the ESA project 'ESA AO/1-7688/13/NL/RA', GaN devices for space based DC-DC power conversion applications.

“These results are important to start using this promising technology for space applications. Also, it demonstrates that our 200mm GaN-on-Si platform has reached a high level of technology readiness and can be adopted by industry,” stated Rudi Cartuyvels, executive VP at Imec. 

First-generation GaN-based power devices are already playing a key role in the power conversion of future electronic devices such as battery chargers, smartphones, computers, servers, automotive, lighting systems and photovoltaics.

Imec has been developing the next-generation of GaN-based power devices with improved performance and reliability. Imec’s latest 200mm GaN-on-Si platform shows good wafer-to-wafer reproducibility and low dynamic Rdson. The platform is currently available for dedicated development or technology transfer to Imec’s current and future partners.

“At Imec, we use 200mm silicon substrates for GaN epitaxy and this technology can be used on 200mm CMOS-compatible infrastructure, " added Cartuyvels. "Thanks to innovations in transistor architecture and substrate technology, we’ve succeeded in making GaN devices on larger wafer diameters than used today, which brings lower cost perspectives for the second generation of GaN-on-Si power devices. Imec is also looking beyond today’s technology, exploring novel substrates, higher level of integrations and novel devices.”

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