NASA SBIR 2004 Solicitation

FORM B - PROPOSAL SUMMARY


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 04 S4.02-7812
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Extreme Environment and Aerial Mobility
PROPOSAL TITLE: 500?C SiC JFET Driver Circuits and Packaging

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
SemiSouth Laboratories, Inc
201 Research Blvd.
Starkville, MS 39759-7704
(662)324-7607

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Jeffrey B. Casady
jeff.casady@semisouth.com
201 Research Blvd.
Starkville, MS 39759-7704
(662)324-7607

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (LIMIT 200 WORDS)
In the proposed development, SiC JFET control circuitry and normally-off SiC JFET power switch will be integrated in a single SiC chip that will provide digital output for driving piezoelectric, electrostatic, or electromagnetic actuators. Innovative device design, metallurgical ohmic contact and die attach development, and coordinated packaging approaches will result in SiC power I.C. technology capable of sustained operation at 465?C, an industry first. This development will result in a unique lightweight, low-cost, packaged all-SiC Smart Power Module able to reliably operate in extremely high temperature, pressure, and radiation environments. Silicon carbide active components (vertical SemiSouth SiC power transistors) will be evaluated for 465C ambient operation. Improvements in the metallurgical ohmic contacts, die attach, wire bond, and package will be investigated to extend the reliable operating temperature range. Additionally, passive components such as thick film resistors, NPO and diamond capacitors, will be investigated as well. Finally, all of this information will be used to develop compact device and circuit models to propose a complete packaged commercial solution for 500C capable SiC based driver circuits.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (LIMIT 100 WORDS)
Additional NASA applications besides the Venus probe, which is an important mission, include reactor-based propulsion systems which require both temperature and radiation tolerance. The proposed technology development here will benefit the development of SiC active components, passive resistor, capacitor components, and packaging for high-temperature electronic systems needed in lunar based power management systems as well.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (LIMIT 100 WORDS)
High-temperature components are needed for geothermal, down-hole, and other drilling applications. Increasing the operational temperature range to 465C, as proposed here, will ensure additional reliability for the electronic solutions needed for these downhole systems, in particular for short temperature excursions above the desired operating point in power integrated circuits. Additional high-temperature applications which would benefit from this technology include in-situ combustion monitoring and active electronic braking systems.