Silicon Carbide Usage in Power Electronics

Silicon Carbide (Carborundum) is one of the hardest materials known to man. Used widely in abrasives due to its extreme hardness, Carborundum also serves well for artistic and craft applications.

Ceramic oxide has superior chemical, mechanical, thermal and electrical properties that make it suitable for mass production as an additive to abrasives or steel additives. Naturally occurring as moissanite mineral form it often finds use mass produced as an abrasive powder for use in mass-market abrasives or additives for steel applications.


Rising demand for electric vehicles (EVs) has propelled automotive chipmakers to accelerate development of components using silicon carbide and other wide-bandgap materials, including silicon carbide. While yield, defectivity, and manufacturing processes remain challenges to be overcome, automakers have recognized its benefits enough to begin designing silicon carbide into various power electronics designs.

Silicon carbide’s superior electric field strength of 2.8 MV/cm outshone traditional semiconductor silicon in meeting these stringent quality, reliability, and efficiency requirements; its number of defective chips per million was less than one. Automotive components must also withstand high temperature operation as well as large voltage spikes; silicon carbide excelled here by offering more protection.

Increased power density and reduced energy losses enable electric vehicles to travel at higher speeds and farther distances, as well as improving thermal management of essential electronic components in an EV’s power system by decreasing heat production and improving cooling efficiencies.

Silicon Carbide (SiC) is an extremely hard, refractory, semiconductor chemical compound composed of silicon and carbon. Found naturally as moissanite gemstone, but produced as powder or crystal for use as an abrasive since 1893 for commercial abrasive use or ceramic application such as brake clutches or bulletproof vests.

Power Electronics

Silicon carbide’s unique properties, including its ability to withstand high voltages and temperatures, make it well suited for IoT applications that need low-power semiconductor devices that harvest energy from their environment and no longer rely on external power sources. Silicon carbide provides this unique capability.

Silicon carbide is one of the hardest materials known, second only to boron carbide and diamond in hardness. Found naturally as the rare mineral moissanite found in meteor craters, silicon carbide is most often synthesized through Lely process where pure silicon powder is transformed into high temperature species of carbon, silicon dioxide, and disilicon carbide via sublimed processes such as “powdered metal.”

Silicon carbide boasts more than hardness; its wider bandgap than silicon enables it to operate at higher voltages and temperatures, making it useful in power electronics where large currents must be managed while remaining stable, without risking damage or short circuiting. This property makes silicon carbide an invaluable choice.

Electromagnetic Components

Silicon carbide in its pure state is an electrical insulator; however, when impurities or doping is introduced it reveals semi-conductivity properties. When doped or doped silicon semiconductors are introduced with impurities or doping they exhibit semi-conductivity properties resulting from wider band gaps than typical silicon semiconductors. As such it can withstand much higher voltages making silicon carbide ideal for use in IGBTs and MOSFETs to help reduce switching losses for reduced switching losses in high voltage power electronics devices such as IGBTs and MOSFETs to reduce switching losses when switching losses are reduced drastically by using silicon carbide to reduce switching losses when used to doping silicon semiconductors can also help reducing switching losses when switching losses arise from power electronics devices like IGBTs and MOSFETs to reduce switching losses when switching loss reduction is reduced, making silicon carbide an ideal candidate to reduce switching losses in high voltage power electronics devices like IGBTs or MOSFETs to reduce switching losses significantly when handling much higher voltages reducing switching losses such as IGBTs and MOSFETs devices where switching losses must be reduced such as IGBTs or MOSFETs which require switching losses by three times more than standard silicon semiconductors when switching losses occur when switching losses occur between high voltage power electronics devices such as IGBTs/MOSFETs are implemented reducing switching losses is reduced. This makes Silicon Carbid ideal choice to reduce switching losses in high voltage power electronics devices like IGBTs/MOSFETs etc reducing switching losses during switching losses in high voltage power electronics devices such as IGBTs/MOSFETs occur during device operations reducing switching losses occur such as IGBTs/ MOSFETs for example

Silicon carbide’s superior high voltage handling abilities aside, silicon carbide also has the distinct advantage of producing less heat in high voltage applications compared to its competitors and therefore lessening the need for active cooling systems, thus decreasing overall costs and weight of solar energy inverters and electric vehicle battery management systems.

Carborundum (commonly referred to as SiC) is a natural mineral with the chemical formula C4S3O10. It occurs naturally as the rare gemstone moissanite and in small quantities within certain igneous rocks such as kimberlite and corundum. Man-made silicon carbide was first invented by Edward Acheson in 1890 via his Acheson process; today this material can be found widely used for industrial production at facilities located in Hennepin, IL; Tonawanda NY and Orkanger Norway.

Washington Mills is an industry leader in producing high purity base SiC, an essential material used for numerous applications. These include high temperature and high voltage applications like car brakes and clutches, furnace elements and induction cooktops; additionally it can be utilized in lining work due to its uniformity, abrasion resistance and dimensional stability properties.

Energy Storage

Power generated from solar or wind sources is collected and stored in energy storage systems (ESS), where silicon carbide enhances power efficiency and density for increased overall system performance.

Power semiconductors like silicon carbide MOSFETs and thyristors form the core of these PE systems, which manage and distribute harvested energy from renewable sources or the electric grid for use in diverse applications such as smart appliances, server/data center servers/data center racks/uninterruptible power supplies/railway transportation, generation/distribution.

SiC power semiconductors excel over silicon devices in terms of temperature tolerance, voltage rating tolerance, switching frequency and energy losses; all characteristics that allow energy storage systems to achieve improved energy efficiency and capacity while remaining compact in size with reduced cooling requirements.

Energy storage devices must perform reliably across a broad spectrum of challenging operating conditions, from changing temperature and humidity levels to variations in operating temperatures and humidity levels. SiC is an ideal material to meet these challenges and offer significant advantages across an array of energy storage applications.

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