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Title: Modelling, characterisation and application of GaN switching devices
Author: Murillo Carrasco, Luis
ISNI:       0000 0004 6495 6300
Awarding Body: University of Manchester
Current Institution: University of Manchester
Date of Award: 2016
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The recent application of semiconductor materials, such as GaN, to power electronics has led to the development of a new generation of devices, which promise lower losses, higher operating frequencies and reductions in equipment size. The aim of this research is to study the capabilities of emerging GaN power devices, to understand their advantages, drawbacks, the challenges of their implementation and their potential impact on the performance of power converters. The thesis starts by presenting the development of a simple model for the switching transients of a GaN cascode device under inductive load conditions. The model enables accurate predictions to be made of the switching losses and provides an understanding of the switching process and associated energy flows within the device. The model predictions are validated through experimental measurements. The model reveals the suitability of the cascode device to soft-switching converter topologies. Two GaN cascode transistors are characterised through experimental measurement of their switching parameters (switching speed and switching loss). The study confirms the limited effect of the driver voltage and gate resistance on the turn-off switching process of a cascode device. The performance of the GaN cascode devices is compared against state-of-the-art super junction Si transistors. The results confirm the feasibility of applying the GaN cascode devices in half and full-bridge circuits. Finally, GaN cascode transistors are used to implement a 270V - 28V, 1.5kW, 1 MHz phase-shifted full-bridge isolated converter demonstrating the use of the devices in soft-switching converters. Compared with a 100 kHz silicon counterpart, the magnetic component weight is reduced by 69% whilst achieving a similar efficiency of 91%.
Supervisor: Forsyth, Andrew Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Double pulse tester ; Zero voltage switching ; Inverter leg ; Energy losses ; Super junction MOSFET ; Planar transformer ; HEMT ; Transistor modelling ; Characterisation ; Cascode ; Wide band-gap ; GaN devices ; Power converter