Nitride inverter successfully applied to electric vehicles

A Japanese research team recently announced that it has successfully applied to electric vehicles for the first time using inverters developed by gaN, a semiconductor material, and is expected to save more than 20% of its energy. The research team was led by Amano, one of the 2014 Nobel Laureates in Physics and a professor at Nagoya University in Japan.


Japan Nobel Prize winner Hiroshi Amano. Image from the web

Inverters are one of the key components of electric vehicles, and their function is to convert the direct current stored from batteries into the alternating current required for an electric motor. It can also be understood as an electronic device that converts low-voltage (12, 24 or 48 volts) of direct current into 220 volts of alternating current.

This time, Amano’s team developed an electric vehicle that can save 20% more energy than a general electric vehicle, named “ALL GaN Vehicle”, using nitride. Tests have reached a speed of 50 km/h and are planned to reach 100 km/h this year.

Compared to conventional technology, the new inverters using argon nitride are more efficient and can significantly reduce the power loss in the conversion. It can also be used in other environmentally friendly vehicles, such as hybrid vehicles, and is expected to help reduce CO2 emissions.

The “ALL GaN Vehicle” car was displayed at the 46th Tokyo Motor Show, which opened on the 24th. Mr Amano said electric cars using niobium nitride as batteries were the world’s first. But they are still facing research on the reliability and price of the device, and they hope that the new technology will meet the standard of use as soon as possible and put it on the market by 2025.

Amano and two other Nobel Prize winners in physics have developed blue-ray diodes made of nitride crystals.

Editor-in-chief circle point

If we want to divide the semiconductor materials, it can be said that the first generation of semiconductors represented by silicon is the cornerstone of integrated circuits, the second generation of semiconductors such as gallium arsenide contributed to the rise of the information superhighway, and the third generation of semiconductors represented by nitride, silicon carbide, diamond, etc., is an important carrier for the development of the next generation of information technology. The third generation semiconductor material not only has excellent photoelectric properties, but also has superior properties such as high thermal conductivity, high electron saturation rate and strong radiation resistance. As a result, they are not allowed to become the current semiconductor research frontier hot spot.

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