SiC MOSFETs: Gate Drive Optimization
For high−voltage switching power applications, silicon carbide or SiC MOSFETs bring notable advantages compared to traditional silicon MOSFETs and IGBTs. Switching high−voltage power rails in excess of 1,000 V, operating at hundreds of kHz is non−trivial and beyond the capabilities of even the best superjunction silicon MOSFETs. IGBTs are commonly used but are restricted to lower operating frequencies due to their “tailing current” and slow turn−off. As a result, silicon MOSFETs are preferred for lower voltage, high−frequency operation while IGBTs are better suited for higher voltage, high−current, low−frequency applications. SiC MOSFETs offer the best combination of high−voltage, high frequency, switching performance benefits. They are voltage−controlled, field−effect devices capable of switching the same high voltages of an IGBT at or above the switching frequencies of much lower voltage silicon MOSFETs.
This paper from ON Semiconductor highlights the unique device characteristics associated with SiC MOSFETs, as well as some of the critical design requirements related to optimal gate-drive design for maximizing SiC switching performance.