Department of Energy FUNDS DR. J.H. ZHAO and RUTGERS UNIVERSITY’S SiCLAB for Groundbreaking Energy Research Project


Dr. Zhao and SiCLAB received funding at $945,476 from the Department of Energy for a three year project entitled, “First in Class Demonstration of a Completely New Type of SiC Bipolar Switch (15kV-20kV) for Utility Scale Inverters”.

The research will improve power switches resulting in substantially better performance in power converters. Simultaneous weight, size and energy loss reduction up to 75% is possible along with improved system reliability and lower costs when the proposed power switch is developed for use in high voltage and high power systems. This high-risk, high reward program could find transformational applications to utility scale inverters, wind turbine, oil-free solid state transformers, railway traction, smart grid and other applications.

Rutgers University SiCLAB is a world leading university-based SiC device research lab. SiCLAB reported the world's first near 1,000V SiC Schottky diode in 1993. SiCLAB's mission is to develop the knowledge base and power electronic technologies for energy efficient systems with special focus on (i) enabling the revolution of the nation's inefficient electrical energy infrastructure and allowing   market-driven integration of green energy into biomimetically controlled electricity network, and (ii) providing super-efficient and compact power electronics (power ICs, high-temperature power modules and converters/inverters) for the ultimate ecovehicles. Other research efforts include SiC UV and EUV detectors, linear and 2D arrays and SiC single photon detectors. SiCLAB's research has been supported by funding of over $1M/yr. in the past ten years from DARPA, Army TARDEC, ONR, NRL, Air Force, NASA, NSF, DOT, United Silicon Carbide, Inc., and Sensors Unlimited, Inc.

Dr. Zhao is a professor in Rutgers University Electrical and Computer Engineering Dept. and SiCLAB’s director.