Directed Energy Switch: High Power Density, High Efficiency, High Temperature 2000-01-3616
Directed Energy Weapons (DEW) require switches that are capable of switching hundreds to thousands of amperes of current at thousands of volts potential. Present and near term available devices must be packaged in parallel and in series to achieve the power ratings required for DEW applications. High voltage silicon (Si) devices such as recent advances in MOS turn-off thyristors (MTOs) can be used along with the high speed, soft-recovery Trench Oxide P-i-N Schottky (TOPS) diodes to reach high power density and high efficiency. However, wide bandgap, high thermal conductivity silicon carbide (SiC) power switches and diodes in development offer orders of magnitude improvement in terms of power density and power efficiency, and are much more ideal for DEW applications. In addition, SiC power switches can be operated at much higher temperatures than silicon (present developments to at least 300°C) with an increased Radiation Hardness.
This paper addresses, primarily, the planned capability of SiC devices in development and also touches on present Si power semiconductor capabilities and how they fit DEW applications.