The U.S. Army Research Laboratory (ARL) has funded the development of high-voltage silicon carbide (SiC) thyristors and diodes for pulsed power switching, culminating in the first-ever 1.0 cm², 15 kV SiC thyristor with n-type doping in the drift layer. N-type thyristors have been predicted to achieve faster switching speeds and lower switching losses, but were only recently realized following the development of novel fabrication techniques. These devices are targeted to reduce volume and increase reliability of switching components in pulsed high-energy systems. ARL and Texas Tech University characterized the first fabrication lot of these devices for high-voltage DC-blocking capability (<1 µA leakage at 15 kV), optimal turn-on controls (4 A gate pulse), and on-state resistance at high current densities (up to 3 kA/cm²). This presentation will report on recent analysis of the turn-on speed and dI/dt capability of the n-type SiC thyristors as compared to previously reported 15 kV SiC IGBTs and 15 kV p-doped SiC thyristors. Performance metrics will be described as power density vs. switching frequency and power transmitted vs. power dissipated within the device.
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