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Multidimensional device architectures for efficient power electronics

Abstract

Power semiconductor devices are key to delivering high-efficiency energy conversion in power electronics systems, which is critical in efforts to reduce energy loss, cut carbon dioxide emissions and create more sustainable technology. Although the use of wide or ultrawide-bandgap materials will be required to develop improved power devices, multidimensional architectures can also improve performance, regardless of the underlying material technology. In particular, multidimensional device architectures—such as superjunction, multi-channel and multi-gate technologies—can enable advances in the speed, efficiency and form factor of power electronics systems. Here we review the development of multidimensional device architectures for efficient power electronics. We explore the rationale for using multidimensional architectures and the different architectures available. We also consider the performance limits, scaling and material figure of merits of the architectures, and identify key technological challenges that need to be addressed to realize the full potential of the approach.

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Fig. 1: Power capacity and frequency trade-off of 1D and multidimensional power devices.
Fig. 2: Specific on-resistance and breakdown voltage trade-off of 1D and multidimensional power devices.
Fig. 3: Superjunction power devices.
Fig. 4: Multi-channel heterostructures and multi-channel power HEMTs.
Fig. 5: Power FinFETs and trigate HEMTs covering a broad range of the fin dimension.

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Acknowledgements

Y.Z. acknowledges support from the National Science Foundation (grants ESSC-2036740 and ESSC-2045001). F.U. acknowledges support from the Engineering and Physical Science Research Council (grant EP/W007614/1). H.W. acknowledges support from the National Science Foundation (grant ESSC-2036915). We thank D. Boroyevich and K. Ngo at Virginia Tech for valuable feedback on the manuscript. We thank the support by M. Xiao for designing Figs. 1, 4 and 5, X. Yan for designing Fig. 3, and H. Wang for designing Fig. 1.

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Y.Z., F.U. and H.W. conceived the concepts and perspectives in this article together and co-wrote the manuscript.

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Correspondence to Yuhao Zhang, Florin Udrea or Han Wang.

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Zhang, Y., Udrea, F. & Wang, H. Multidimensional device architectures for efficient power electronics. Nat Electron 5, 723–734 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41928-022-00860-5

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