Design and simulation of fast power switching and high-temperature operating devices on Si and widegap semiconductors
The design of semiconductor devices for high-speed power switching has become increasingly demanding due to the steady increase in the switching speed, but also to the introduction of innovative widegap semiconductor materials (SiC but also GaN). The research activity was started around 2000 as a natural continuation of physics-based modeling activities on high-frequency power devices and within the framework of a joint cooperation with the Department of Material Science of Politecnico (prof. Fabrizio Pirri) and of IRCI (International Rectifiers Italy, now Vishay Semiconductors).
The activity concerns two areas, the physics-based simulation and optimization of conventional and advanced Si-based diodes (pin, MPS and IGBT) for high-speed switching, and the simulation and optimization of power Schottky diodes on SiC substrates. The last activity posed some challenges concerning the development of proper physical models for tunneling in Schottky barriers on SiC and of proper criteria for breakdown voltage simulation.
Apart from transport physical models, the research also involved the development of circuit-oriented SPICE models for power pin diodes, and the 3D thermal design of power devices.
The research is supported by IRCI (now Vishay Semiconductors) and by a project from Regione Piemonte (CNT4SIC).
More recently, the group was proactively involved in the development of high-temperature interface electronics for sensor and communication systems operating in hostile environments (support from ENI in cooperation with the Departments of Material Science).