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Advances in power semiconductor devices

Advances in power semiconductor devices

Microelectronics Journal 35 (2004) 223 Editorial Advances in power semiconductor devices Power semiconductors are the ...

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Microelectronics Journal 35 (2004) 223


Advances in power semiconductor devices

Power semiconductors are the key electronic components used in power electronic systems for controlling electrical energy and have become the workhorse of modern society in many applications. For example, power electronic systems play a dominant role in making more efficient use of electric power in many appliances, both in industry and at home, including power generation from renewable and environmentally clean sources. Presently, about 6 trillions kWh of electrical energy per year is controlled and distributed by power semiconductors. Now, there is an urgent need for major advancements in power semiconductor technologies to conserve energy from the ever diminishing, limited non-renewable resources. In the field of power semiconductors, the most important directions of present research and development are: † power switches with low losses, higher power density and ease of driving † integration of logic and power circuits in one chip with increasing applications in the areas of power management, automotive, telecommunication and power supply. † reliability-solutions in thermal management and packaging † materials with low defect density and processing and † power modules with ultra-low parasitics and higher power handling capability. Sustaining innovation in this area of research requires concerted multi-disciplinary effort linking physicists, engineers, technologists, circuit designers and end-users. There are still many challenges connected with optimising construction of power semiconductor devices and integrated systems for emerging new applications. This special issue, containing 11 papers, has been prepared from the papers (both invited and contributed) presented at the 6th International Seminar on Power Semiconductors ISPS’02 (2–4 September 2002, Prague, Czech Republic). The first ISPS took place in 1992 and ever since, this conference provides every two years an important forum for technical

discussion in the area of the power semiconductor devices with a focus on materials, physics, modelling technology, advanced applications, reliability and diagnostics. At the ISPS’02, 40 high quality papers were presented in sessions “Device Physics and Technology”, “Power Bipolar Devices”, “Voltage Controlled Devices” and “Power Integration”. Following the conference, specific papers were selected after a rigorous reviewing procedure to present in this special issue. Paper by Kinzer presents general trends in semiconductor technologies for high-efficient DC – DC converters, while Narayanan et al. discuss the recent development in MOSControlled Bipolar Devices (e.g. IGBTs) and edge termination technologies. Two papers (Hazdra et al, Siemieniec and Lutz) deal with axial lifetime control, which is an important aspect in power diode development. Two papers (Vellvehi, et al. and Bourennane, et al.) describe the development of high power voltage controlled devices, while Hong et al discuss optimising of trench MOSFETs design. The strong interest of researchers in new configurations of power LD-MOSFETs is reflected in three papers (Roig, et al., Park, et al. and Hardikar, et al.). Finally, a possibility to use thin film transistors for monolithic power integration is discussed in paper by Karim, et al. We do hope that the readers from both academic and industrial environments will find the papers contained in this special issue, dealing with up-to-date advances in the field of power semiconductors, are of high quality and value. Vitezslav Bendaa,* E.M. Sankara Narayananb a Department of Electrotechnology, Czech Technical University, Technicka 2, 166 27 Prague-Dejvice, Czech Republic E-mail address: [email protected] b

Emerging Technologies Research Centre, De Monfort University, Leicester, LEI 9BH UK

* Correspondingauthor.Tel.: þ420-224-352-163;fax:þ420-224-353-949. 0026-2692/$ - see front matter q 2003 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. doi:10.1016/S0026-2692(03)00184-8