Power diodes for cryogenic operation

TitlePower diodes for cryogenic operation
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2003
AuthorsWard, R. R., W. J. Dawson, L. Zhu, R. K. Kirschman, O. Mueller, M. J. Hennessy, E. Mueller, R. L. Patterson, J. E. Dickman, and A. Hammoud
Conference NamePower Electronics Specialist Conference, 2003. PESC '03. 2003 IEEE 34th Annual
Pagination1891 - 1896 vol.4
Date Publishedjun.
Keywords10 A, 20 K, 4 K, 400 V, cryogenic operation, cryogenic temperature, diode forward current, diode forward voltage, diode reverse characteristics, Ge, Ge power diodes, germanium, low-temperature techniques, power semiconductor diodes, reverse breakdown voltage, Si, Si power diodes, silicon

We have investigated and developed Ge power diodes for operation at cryogenic temperatures. We first examined commercial Ge power diodes and found that they were capable of satisfactory operation down to deep cryogenic temperatures, sim;20 K (-253 deg;C), and that their forward voltage was considerably lower than that of Si power diodes. However, their reverse breakdown voltage was lower than we desired. We then designed and fabricated Ge power diodes (nominal 10-A forward current) for cryogenic temperature operation. A primary objective was to improve their reverse characteristics. We have achieved reverse breakdown voltages as high as 400 V over the temperature range from room temperature down to sim;4 K (-269 deg;C).


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