IIT Guwahati led team achieves great breakthrough

IIT Guwahati researchers led by Dr Ankush Bag, Assistant Professor have developed a cost-effective method to grow a special semiconductor.

Dr Ankush is Assistant professor with Department of Electronics and Electrical Engineering and Centre for Nanotechnology.

IIT GuwahatiResearchers have developed the method in collaboration with IIT Mandi and Institute of Sensor and Actuator Systems, Technical University Wien.

Potential

This semiconductor has the potential to significantly enhance the efficiency of power electronics used in high-power applications such as electric vehicles, high-voltage transmission, traction, industry automation, among others, say sources from IIT Guwahati.

This innovation is expected to be used widely because it makes high-power devices function efficiently even at very high temperatures, such as 200 ºC.

Technology

The research team has developed an innovative and cost-effective technology to grow ultrawide bandgap semiconducting material named gallium oxide, say sources from IIT Guwahati.

This is achieved through a customised low-pressure chemical vapor deposition (LPCVD) system.

Need

Dr Ankush Bag, Assistant Professor, Department of Electronics and Electrical Engineering and Centre for Nanotechnology, IIT Guwahati emphasized the need of this research.

He said Power Semiconductor devices are the heart of every power electronic system and function primarily as efficient switches, toggling ON and OFF to condition incoming power from grid to be used by end-user.

For emerging high-power applications, there is a demand for compound semiconductor materials with an ultra-wide bandgap, said Dr Ankush of IIT Guwahati.

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IIT GuwahatiVital Role

Power electronic systems play a vital role to manage and control the flow of electricity, say sources from IIT Guwahati.

They are crucial for converting electrical energy from both renewable including solar and wind, and non-renewable sources including thermal power plants, into a form compatible with end-user applications in terms of voltage, current and frequency, say sources from IIT Guwahati.

However, there will always be some losses incurred when the electrical energy passes through a typical power electronic system.

Researchers globally have been working on improving the efficiency of power electronic systems using materials like Gallium Nitride(GaN) and Silicon Carbide(SiC) but these have limitations, especially in terms of cost, for high-power applications.

Main Challenge

Dr Ankush Bag further added, “The main challenge was to make thin and smooth films out of the material.

After multiple trials and rigorous study, we optimized the gallium oxide semiconductor and incorporated it with tin to improve and modulate its conductivity, he said.

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We have successfully developed a superior quality ultra-wide bandgap compound semiconductors and fabricated two terminal devices, said Dr Ankush of IIT Guwahati.

The applications of this technology extend to electric vehicles, high voltage transmission, traction systems, and industrial automation, he said.

Uniqueness

Dr Bag seaking about the uniqueness of this research said a key challenge of this research was creating a Gallium oxide thin film on a sapphire substrate, deviating from the common use of Gallium oxide substrates.

This shift enhances cost-effectiveness and thermal performance, addressing issues related to the expense and poor thermal conductivity of Gallium oxide substrates, said Dr Ankush of IIT Guwahati.

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Publishing

The findings of the study have been published in multiple research papers in Journal of IEEE Transactions on Electron Devices and Thin Solid Films.

The co-authors include Dr, Satinder K. Sharma and Mr. Arnab Mondal from the School of Computing and Electrical Engineering, IIT Mandi; Mr. Manoj K Yadav from Institute of Sensor and Actuator Systems, TU Wien, Vienna, Austria, and Dr. Ankush Bag, Department of Electronics and Electrical Engineering, IIT Guwahati.

This pioneering research has received funding from the Science and Engineering Research Board (SERB), Department of Science and Technology, marking a significant leap forward in the field of high-power electronics.

About IIT Guwahati

IIT Guwahati, established in 1994, completed 25 years of glorious existence in 2019.

At present, the Institute has eleven departments, nine interdisciplinary academic centres and five schools covering all the major engineering, science, healthcare, management, and humanities disciplines, offering BTech, BDes, BSc(Hons), MA, MDes, MTech, MSc, MS(R), MBA and PhD programmes.

The institute offers a residential campus to 439 faculty members and more than 8,600 students at present.

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