I found this July 2019 article written by Maurizio Emilio, an author on the EE Times, to be pretty interesting.
It starts off by introducing how silicon carbide (SiC) is a “next-generation” material that can be effectively used to reduce power losses and enable higher power density, voltages, temperatures, and frequencies while reducing head dissipation. This is big as the loss of energy through thermal energy (heat) makes it so power systems’ designs are more complex due to the implementation of a cooling system, or otherwise, having to spend/cut down on resources for an additional feature.
Specifically, this article talked about what SiC could do for the aviation industry in terms of lowering the weight of components – leading to reduced fuel consumption/emission. However, I believe the application can be extended towards general power systems like high-power density power converters. Emilio mentioned how SiC has a wide bandgap, high thermal conductivity, and high resistance to electric field breakage, which helps reduce power losses. I feel like this would be very applicable as we use silicon already in many of the electrical applications. One problem outlined is the management of the gate drive conditioning circuit, in other words, managing the gate timing.
One of the main points to take away was Emilio’s explanation of why SiC MOSFETs are a better option than its silicon counterpart. The former can function in hostile environments (600 degrees C) and achieve the same rated voltage in a smaller package.
I encourage everyone to read the article during their free time. It’s cool to think how as technology progress, we find more and more ways to expand even further with our products, in this case, it’s the making of power systems.