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High-voltage pulse generators make use of SiC MOSFETs

Posted: 04 Mar 2015 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:SiC MOSFET? SiC-Pulser? pulse generator?

Silicon carbide (SiC) MOSFETs find their way into pulse generators, as Fukushima SiC Applied Engineering Inc. adopted ROHM's SCT2080KE for its new, ultra high-voltage pulse generators (SiC-Pulser series). This marks SiC's first practical application in a pulse generator.

ROHM's SiC devices have been used as converters and inverters or as power conditioners in solar power systems. For pulse generators, however, silicon is the conventional choice. But due to silicon's increased construction efforts and installation costs, Fukushima adopted SiC MOSFETs.


SCT2080KE SiC switching elements combine high breakdown voltage with very low on-resistance and high-speed switching performance. In addition, these devices reduce switching losses by more than 70 per cent as compared to Si IGBTs used in general inverters. They also contribute to end-product miniaturisation by supporting higher switching frequencies and allowing the use of smaller peripheral components.

Thus, by using ROHM's SiC devices in the switch module, pulse generators can be made considerably smaller and thus can provide performance levels not achievable with silicon.

"In developing a revolutionary breakthrough pulse generator, we evaluated a number of different switching elements. As a result, we determined that ROHM's SiC MOSFET was able to meet our criteria for reliability and performance," said Fukushima President Kokubo.

Fukushima's ultra high-voltage pulse generator

Fukushima's ultra high-voltage pulse generator which uses ROHM's SiC MOSFETs

He also explained how different this system was from conventional ones. "For example, when trying to achieve a normal conducting linac [linear accelerator] with a beam output on the order of tens of kilowatts, conventional vacuum tube acceleration technology will result in a linac that is 1,600m long. However, by adopting SiC-based acceleration technology, we can reduce the length of the linac to less than 6m, thereby decreasing construction and installation costs significantly."

Since the March 2011 Tohoku earthquake, Kokubo stated that his company is "supporting reconstruction by implementing build-to-order manufacturing of advanced power electronics products using these SiC devices at the Fukushima facility."

He concluded by saying, "Going forward, we would like to work together to expand the possibilities of SiC to a variety of fields."

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