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CNR: Alamanacco della Scienza

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N. 12 - 13 ott 2010
ISSN 2037-4801

International info   a cura di Cecilia Migali

Tecnologia

Last power

The partners in a new publicly-funded European research project has recently announced details of the multinational/multidisciplinary program called Last power ('Large Area silicon carbide Substrates and heteroepitaxial Gan for Power device applications). The aim of this important 42-month Eniac (European nanoelectronics initiative advisory council) research project is to give the Eu strategic independence in the field of wide band gap (Wbg) semiconductors. This field is of major strategic importance since it involves the development of highly energy-efficient systems for all applications that need power, from telecommunications to automotive, from consumer electronics to electrical household appliances, and from industrial applications to home automation.

The consortium will develop European technology for the complete production chain for semiconductor devices built with Sic (Silicon carbide) and heteroepitaxial Gan (Gallium nitride on silicon wafers), two semiconductor materials that offer higher speed, current capability, breakdown voltage and thermal capability that conventional silicon technologies.  

"Power devices represent about 30% of the semiconductor market but the power semiconductor market is set to change significantly in response to the ever-increasing demand for more energy-efficient devices", said project coordinator Salvatore Coffa, group Vice president and R&D general manager, industrial and multisegment sector, StMicroelectronics. "The aim of this project is not only to secure strategic industrial independence for Europe in the emerging field of Sic and Gan technologies but, in addition, to put Europe at the forefront of energy efficient devices considering research capabilities",  also added Vito Raineri, leader of the workpackage dedicated to Sic and Gan technologies, senior scientist at Imm-Cnr.

The overall objective of the project is to develop a cost effective and reliable integration of advanced Sic and Gan semiconductors in the European power microelectronics.  This will be achieved via five specific objectives: Growth of large area (150mm) Sic and high quality heteroepitaxial Gan on 150 mm Si wafers, beyond the current wordwide state-of-the-art for substrates, epitaxy and surface preparation; development of new dedicated equipments for material growth, characterization and processing; processing of reliable and efficient Sic and Gan devices on 150mm wafers; to demonstrate high performance devices with properties that cannot be obtained on Si, including a 1200V/100A Sic Mosfet, Sic Jfet capable of operating up to 250°C, and Gan hemt devices for power switching; to develop advanced packages for high temperatures devices and improve device reliability.

The partners in the consortium are: StMicroelectronics S.r.l. (Italy), project coordinator,  Lpe S.p.A. (Italy), National research council-Institute for microelectronics and microsytems (Italy), Epitaxial technology Center S.r.l.  (Italy), Foundation for research & technology-Hellas  (Greece), Novasic S.A.  (France), Consorzio Catania ricerche  (Italy), Institute of high pressure physics unipress (Poland), Università della Calabria (Italy), Sicrystal Ag  (Germany), Seps technologies Ab  (Sweden), Sensic Ab  (Sweden),  Acreo Ab (Sweden), Aristotle University of Thessaloniki  (Greece).

Fonte: Vito Raineri, Istituto per la microelettronica e microsistemi, Catania, tel. 095 5968219, email vito.raineri@cnr.it