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Advances in semiconductor devices and their growing use in electrical circuits and systems

SHAMMAS, Noel and CHAMUND, DINESH and TAYLOR, PAUL (2008) Advances in semiconductor devices and their growing use in electrical circuits and systems. In: ICC'08 Proceedings of the 12th WSEAS international conference on Circuits, 22-24 July 2008, Greece.

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Abstract or description

The main aim of this investigation is to assess the suitability of modern power semiconductor devices for pulse power applications. Pulse power system involves the storage of energy, which is released in form of high power pulse to the load by means of a switching device. Hence the basic components of pulse power system are an energy storage element, a switch, and a load circuit. The energy storage is usually either an inductive or capacitive nature. The limiting device in a pulse power system is often the switch, which limits the pulse peak power and the repetition rate. The switch element in this case is very special and falls into two basic categories: 1-Vacuum and gas filled switching tubes, 2-Solid-state (semiconductor) switches.

The conventional approach in pulsed power designs is to use spark gap and gas filled switches such as thyratron and ignitron, because they truly possess the required characteristics for high power application. However, these devices have limited lifetime, high cost, low repetition rate and high losses. On the other hand high power semiconductor devices have under gone continued improvement in switching speed, voltage and current ratings and thus are replacing the conventional gas filled devices in some applications. Solid state devices are considered environmental friendly since they do not contain nasty gases and have perceived higher reliability than gas filled devices.

In this paper, a complete overview of vacuum and gas filled switches and solid-state switches will be given. Very rarely these types of power semiconductor devices are characterised for pulse power applications and so the task of dimensioning a device simply from the datasheets is somewhat difficult and time consuming. Different methods for assessing their suitability will be described and a new technique to rapidly dimension the semiconductor device for pulse power application will be presented.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Subjects: H100 General Engineering
H600 Electronic and Electrical Engineering
H900 Others in Engineering
Faculty: Previous Faculty of Computing, Engineering and Sciences > Engineering
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Noel SHAMMAS
Date Deposited: 28 Jan 2013 15:16
Last Modified: 06 Feb 2013 13:28
URI: http://eprints.staffs.ac.uk/id/eprint/422

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