GaN at Infineon: A ten year’s journey to develop high performance and reliable power devices
The development and industrialization of new semiconductor materials is a question of decades rather than years. At the moment we are privileged to witness the implementation of Gallium Nitride as game changing semiconductor for power devices. This presentation will depict the development journey from academic research to mature, high performing, and reliable GaN power technologies. After describing the promise and value proposition of the material system, leading edge device concepts will be presented. Unrivaled values for efficiency and power density have been demonstrated in a variety of power electronic applications. The presentation will also touch the cost efficient and stable manufacturing for both GaN base epitaxy as well as the complex and new GaN power device production processes. Moreover, market success strongly depends on device reliability, one of the major challenges researchers and industrial engineers have been trying to tackle over many years. The main reliability responses of normally-off GaN power HEMTs such as gate module reliability, time-dependent dielectric breakdown, and dynamic Rdson will be discussed. Finally, it will be shown that an outstanding R&D ecosystem involving several large-scale European funding projects as well as international partnerships have been key success factors in this exciting development journey.
Thomas Detzel received the M.S. degree in physics from the University of Constance, Germany, in 1991 and the Ph.D. degree in surface and thin-film physics in 1994 from the Max-Planck-Institute Garching, Germany. Afterwards he was a Postdoc with the Institut de Physique et Chimie des Matériaux de Strasbourg, France. In 1995, he was with Rodel Europe GmbH, where he was an Application Manager for chemical–mechanical polishing of semiconductor wafers. In 1999, he joined Infineon Technologies Austria AG in Villach, where he was responsible for the metallization development of automotive power semiconductors, has been the Project Manager of different power integrated circuit developments from 2004-2011, and has been leading the research project Robust Metallization and Interconnect at the Competence Center for Automotive and Industrial Electronics from 2006-2011. Since 2011 he has been managing the development group for GaN power technologies at Infineon Villach and is currently a Senior Director in Infineon’s GaN program.