ADVANTAGES

Today, the IGBT is the most important device for medium-to-high power applications. Several other devices, including the static induction transistor, the static induction thyristor, the MOS-controlled thyristor (MCT), the injection-enhanced gate transistor, and the MOS turn-off thyristor, were developed in the laboratory in the 1970s and 1980s but did not ultimately see the daylight. Particularly for MCT development, the U.S. government spent a fortune, but it ultimately went to waste. The high-power, integrated gate-commutated thyristor (IGCT) was introduced by ABB in 1997. Currently, it is a competitor to the high-power IGBT, but it is gradually losing the race. Although silicon has been the basic raw material for current power devices, large-bandgap materials, such as SiC, GaN, and ultimately diamond (in synthetic thin-film form), are showing great promise. SiC devices, such as the Schottky barrier diode (1200 V/50 A), the power MOSFET (1200-V/100-A half-bridge module), and the JBS diode (600 V/20 A), are already on the market, and the p-i-n diode (10 kV) and IGBT (15 kV) will be introduced in the future. There are many challenges in researching large-bandgap power devices.

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