Experimental Validation of Normally-On GaN HEMT and Its Gate Drive Circuit

Wide-bandgap semiconductors such as silicon carbide (SiC) and gallium nitride (GaN) are promising materials for next-generation power devices. We have fabricated a normally on GaN-based high-electron-mobility transistor (GaN HEMT) for power electronic converters. In this paper, the current collapse phenomena, which are distinctive characteristics of GaN devices, are evaluated in detail for several voltages with two switching frequencies.

We also evaluate a gate drive circuit that we previously proposed for the normally on GaN HEMT with a single positive voltage source. We construct and test prototype circuits for a boost-type dc-dc converter and a single-phase full-bridge inverter with a gate drive circuit. The problems to be solved for the normally on GaN HEMT, which has a (static) voltage rating of over 600 V, are clarified on the basis of the experimental results.

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