The WBG energy, and low intrinsic carrier concentration of SiC, allow these devices to maintain semiconductor behavior at much higher temperatures than Silicon, which in turn permits the SiC device functionality to perform at much higher temperatures than Silicon.
The ability to embed high temperature semiconductor electronics, that are not cooled, directly into hot environments enable key benefits for induction heating applications. High-temperature capability (unpackaged SiC MOSFET dies can operate at a junction temperature at 400 C and a SiC module with packaging has an approximate device junction temperature of up to 175C) eliminates performance, reliability, and weight penalties in lieu of liquid cooling, fans, thermal shielding, and longer wire runs needed to attain similar functionality in applications using conventional Silicon semiconductors.
SiC devices have a high breakdown field and high thermal conductivity; when these features are added to high operational junction temperatures, SiC devices realize very high-power densities and efficiencies. SiC technology’s high breakdown field and wide energy bandgap make a markedly faster power switching than is possible with Silicon power-switching devices. (See Figure 2, at right.)
High voltage operation in SiC power devices is possible because of much thinner blocking regions that enable fast switching. This allows SiC-based power converters to operate at higher switching frequencies at a greater efficiency (so, less switching energy loss). Higher switching frequency in induction heating is imperative since it allows use of smaller capacitors, inductors, and transformers, which in turn allows for a smaller tank circuit and can greatly reduce overall power converter size, weight, and cost. Si devices cannot match these switching speeds.