Power and High Frequencies Devices

Today, the steadily increasing need of electric power is a global concern that must be faced through an improvement of the energy efficiency (reduction of power consumption) in high-power and high-frequency electronics devices. The development of new technologies for energy efficient high-power and high-frequency devices is driven by strategic interests in different fields, e.g., energy conversion systems (photovoltaic, automotive, energy distribution,…), telecommunication, transportation, consumer electronics, etc.. Until now, most of power electronics devices have been based on silicon (Si). However, Si electronics has almost reached its physical limits and the introduction of new materials and technologies “beyond Si” has become mandatory. In addition, another important driving force for high-frequency components is the market of the microwave and millimeter wave signal processing, for civilian or military applications (satellites, radars, etc.).

In this context, wide band gap (WBG) semiconductors like Silicon Carbide (SiC) and Gallium Nitride (GaN), and other materials like GaAs, graphene and related 2D-materials, etc., are considered the materials of choice for the next generation of high efficient devices operating at high power, high frequency and under harsh environment (temperature, radiation, …).

CNR-IMM has a long term and internationally recognized experience in the field of materials and technologies for high-power and high-frequency devices.

The research activities are carried out in different units of IMM (Catania Headquarters, Bologna, Roma and Naples) and are currently focused in the following areas:

  1. Development of epitaxial growth process for 4H-SiC and 3C-SiC materials for power devices and new applications (like MEMS, detectors, etc.)
  2. Development and characterization of innovative processes and power devices in SiC and GaN (interfaces with metals and dielectrics for SiC and GaN devices, implantation and “non conventional” annealings for SiC selective doping, advanced processing for normally-off HEMTs transistors, new functional dielectrics and nano-laminates, etc.)
  3. High frequency components (like filters, oscillators, antennas, interferometric systems, electromagnetic sensors, etc.) based on Si or other materials (dielectrics, metamaterials, polymers etc.) for civil, military and aerospace applications.
  4. Novel devices integrating 2D-materials on WBG semiconductors for RF applications.

A great part of the activity is carried out in collaboration with the national semiconductor industry and has strong implications in the development of innovative processes and devices.