5 June 2002 – Alstom is leading a prestigious three-year EU-funded research project into developing power electronics silicon carbide technology to produce lighter, more compact and energy-efficient products for applications ranging from train transport to windpower.
The Establish Silicon Carbide Applications for Power Electronics in Europe (Escapee) project, co-ordinated by Alstom’s UK research and technology centre, brings together eight universities and companies from all over Europe.
Escapee will focus on 3.5kV metal oxide silicon field effect transistors (Mosfets) and Schottky Barrier Diode (SBD) technology. Using silicon carbide rather than silicon in such devices increases the maximum voltage capacity by ten times, paving the way for a revolution in design of equipment that uses such components.
The devices are expected to replace current and future state-of-the-art silicon Insulated Gate Bipolar Transistor (IGBT) modules and diodes and will be suitable for use in high-temperature electronics and applications involving harsh operating environments.
The partners in the project are Alstom’s UK Research and Technology Centre (ART) and its Transport Sector in France, Linkoping University in Sweden, University of Wales in the UK, INSA in France, Ion Beam Services in France, CNM in Spain, Dynex Semiconductor in the UK and Semelab in the UK.
Dr Roger Bassett, of Alstom’s research and technology centre in the UK and co-ordinator of the project, said: “I am excited to be involved in such a technically strong team, which I believe has the capacity to take a world lead over the next three years by developing reliable Mosfet and Schottky diode manufacturing technology for silicon carbide.”