Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
High voltage (HV) power devices based on silicon carbide (SiC) semiconductor material may offer revolutionary transformations for future NASA space missions, due to the roughly three-fold increase in bandgap of SiC-based devices over traditional silicon (Si)-based devices. The wide bandgap feature enables the SiC device to operate at higher voltages, temperatures, and switching frequencies with greater efficiencies compared to existing Si devices. However, the unique space environment presents a great challenge to the device performance and reliability. To safely deploy SiC power devices for space missions, one has to first answer the question of how SiC-devices survive from the harsh radiation environment in space. Fundamental research into the radiation susceptibility and failure mechanisms of SiC is necessary. The overall goal of the proposed project is to advance the understanding of radiation failure mechanism in silicon carbide (SiC) materials for power devices, and provide the guidelines to design and fabricate SiC-based devices with higher resistance to radiation single-event effects (SEEs).