Structured Materials Awarded DOE $150,000 SBIR Grant

Structured Materials Industries Inc (SMI) of Piscataway, NJ, USA, a maker of
chemical vapor deposition (CVD) systems, has been awarded a $150,000 Small
Business Innovation Research (SBIR) 2013 Phase 1 grant by the US Department of
Energy (DOE) for the project ‘High-Current Low-Cost Efficient Power
Transistors for Household Appliances’. The project’s goal is to develop
processing methods for the fabrication of high-quality metal-organic chemical
vapor deposition (MOCVD)-grown zinc oxide (ZnO) material for low-cost power
applications, particularly for use in home appliances. SMI says that ZnO
material offers a less costly material for power transistors in smaller-scale
power converters.

SMI claims that ZnO can increase efficiency through greater speeds and
reduced power losses in switching power supplies. Through the project, the
company hopes to demonstrate a high-performance (high-current) power MOSFET
operating at up to 240V, with increased performance compared to equivalent
silicon-based devices at roughly equivalent production costs.

“ZnO provides an excellent material for significant performance
increases in everyday power electronics while also maintaining low-cost
production and minimal environmental impact,”
said the
project’s leader, Dr Eric Gallo.

“ZnO power electronics for appliances is a very exciting emerging
field where we have a history of fundamental expertise,”
SMI’s president Dr Gary S. Tompa. “SMI has a strong history in
the design and production of ZnO growth systems, ZnO processes and applications
of ZnO,” he adds. “We expect to achieve a highly economical device
design that will be marketed as a high-performance alternative to presently
used and inefficient Si-based devices.”