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Power Semiconductor Devices. Xi Liu Biomedical Engineering ECE423. Introduction. What are Power Semiconductor Devices (PSD)? They are devices used as switches or rectifiers in power electronic circuits What is the difference of PSD and low-power semiconductor device?

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power semiconductor devices

Power Semiconductor Devices

Xi Liu

Biomedical Engineering


  • What are Power Semiconductor Devices (PSD)?

They are devices used as switches or rectifiers in power electronic circuits

  • What is the difference of PSD and low-power semiconductor device?
  • Large voltage in the off state
  • High current capability in the on state

Fig. 1. The power semiconductor devices family

important parameters
Important Parameters
  • Breakdown voltage.
  • On-resistance.

Trade-off between breakdown voltage and on-resistance.

  • Rise and fall times for switching between on and off states.
  • Safe-operating area.
power mosfet structure
Power MOSFET: Structure

Power MOSFET has much higher current handling capability in ampere range and drain to source blocking voltage(50-100V) than other MOSFETs.

Fig.2.Repetitive pattern of the cells structure in power MOSFET

power mosfet r v characteristics
Power MOSFET: R-V Characteristics

An important parameter of a power MOSFET is on resistance:

, where

Fig. 3. Typical RDS versus ID characteristics of a MOSFET.

thyristor structure
Thyristor: Structure
  • Thyristor is a general class of a four-layer pnpn semiconducting device.

Fig.4 (a) The basic four-layer pnpn structure.

(b) Two two-transistor equivalent circuit.

thyristor i v characteristics
Thyristor: I-V Characteristics

Three States:

  • Reverse Blocking
  • Forward Blocking
  • Forward Conducting

Fig.5 The current-voltage characteristics of the pnpn device.


Power semiconductor devices have widespread applications:

  • Automotive

Alternator, Regulator, Ignition, stereo tape

  • Entertainment

Power supplies, stereo, radio and television

  • Appliance

Drill motors, Blenders, Mixers, Air conditioners and Heaters

application automotive
Application: Automotive

Table. 1. Power Devices in automotive systems.

future developments
Future Developments

For future power conversion applications, new semiconductor devices are needed to be developed.

1.Structure Improvement

Insulated Gate Bipolar Transistor (IGBT), static induction transistor (SIT) and MOS-controlled thyristor (MCT) .

future developments12
Future Developments

2. Material Improvement

Silicon carbide (SiC), with a higher field characteristic, is a promising candidate for high power, high temperature and high frequency applications.

  • High electric breakdown property
  • High carrier drift velocity
  • High thermal conductivity
  • The native oxide of SiC is SiO2

The development of power semiconductor devices is very essential for modern electronics. The power devices based on new structures and materials are promising and commercially realistic for future electronic developments.