Pin It

Sandia National Laboratories researchers have shown it's possible to make transistors and diodes from advanced semiconductor materials that could perform much better than silicon, the workhorse of the modern electronics world.

The breakthrough work takes a step toward more compact and efficient power electronics, which in turn could improve everything from consumer electronics to electrical grids. Power electronics are vital for electrical systems because they transfer power from its source to the load, or user, by converting voltages, currents and frequencies. Sandia's research was published this summer in Applied Physics Letters and Electronics Letters and presented at conferences.

"The goal is to be able to shrink power supplies, power conversion systems," said electrical engineer Bob Kaplar, who leads a Laboratory Directed Research and Development project studying ultrawide bandgap (UWBG) semiconductor materials. The project explores ways to grow those materials with fewer defects and create different device designs that exploit the properties of these new materials that have significant advantages over silicon.

To read more, click here.