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Efficient Gate Drive Mechanism for Novel Silicon Carbide Power FETs
Keywords: gate drive transformer, smps, silicon carbide
A novel method for driving high side switch of a synchronous rectifier is described. A gate drive mechanism with signal and power transfer through coreless planar transformer is presented. Detailed mathematical analysis to determine the dynamic response such as rise time and overshoot of the transformer is discussed. A PCB transformer prototype model for use in a medium power buck converter is implemented in commercial polyimide printed circuit board technology in an area of 13 mm x 13mm. The numerical analysis of the transformer using commercial electromagnetic software is compared with the measurement results for validation and facilitation of design process. The enhancement mode operation of silicon carbide SiC junction field effect transistors (JFET) highly reduces the operating load of the transformer. A custom designed silicon-on-insulator based controller chip and SiC JFET are used in conjunction with the designed gate drive transformers to establish their functionality and performance. The PCB transformers are very efficient compared to conventional transformers, based on cost, system performance, components used and the power output to input. The proposed drive mechanism is applicable for radiation prone environments and is operable up to temperature of 250 degree centigrade.
Vijayaraghavan Madhuravasal, Research Associate
Oklahoma State University
Stillwater, OK

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