SOD-5 PhD -“Gate Drivers for Multi-Level Topologies employing Si, GaN or SiC Switches”
Contract: Full Time/Fixed Term
MCCI is Ireland’s national Microelectronics Circuits Research Centre. MCCI has a team of over 90 researchers and engineers hosted across Tyndall National Institute, UL and UCD, collaborating on more than 50 research projects. Funded by Enterprise Ireland and the IDA, its focus is to generate innovative IC technologies. As part of its core-funded research, MCCI offers this prestigious PhD studentship opportunity at its Tyndall (Cork) based office.
Summary of the Project
Huge growth in power electronics’ market areas such as automotive EV and renewable energy integration is driving the imperative for higher power densities, higher voltages and higher switching frequencies. Battery cell stacks and DC-Link voltages in automotive are trending towards 800 V and to greater than 1500 V for PV string inverters. Concurrently, there are significant developments in power switch technologies across silicon DMOS, gallium nitride (GaN HEMT) and silicon carbide (SiC). This project is focused on the power switch gate drivers for the distributed power electronic switching cells – laterally by power level (consider traction drive per wheel or grid-tie inverter per PV unit array) and vertically by switching cell voltage level, considering stacked switches or multi-level converters. These gate drivers will be highly integrated with their switches and have new features to maximise switch performance and protection.
The ideal candidate will have the opportunity to perform cutting-edge research on the development of gate driver solutions for multi-level topologies, which naturally reduce the size, cost and weight of the passive components in power systems by more than 4X. The research will focus on the design and integration of a number of innovative intelligent gate driver features to enhance, switching speed, efficiency, EMI and overall performance. The candidate will explore new techniques for achieving magnetic galvanic isolation between the switch driver signal and secondary side switch or bridge driver with the smallest possible magnetic transformer size. An efficient and integrated powering system for the gate driver output stage will be an important aspect. The developments will consider the addition of new switch control and protection telemetry features for switch stacks in multi-level architectures, employing Silicon, GaN or SiC switches.
Whereas the project is primarily about the gate driver IC design, the research will necessarily involve deep investigations into a number of related disciplines such as advanced packaging technologies for the heterogeneous integration between the CMOS gate driver circuit and its switch. Minitiaturisation of the gate driver transformer by substrate-embedding or the use of metallic thin film materials will be investigated. A resonant bias converter may be used for the power transfer and resonant gate driver energy recovery techniques may be researched.
The candidate will have access to world-class research facilities and opportunity to collaborate with other Tyndall research teams, such as its magnetics-on-silicon group. MCCI also has many on-going internal formal and informal training opportunities in various aspects of CMOS design, across power, high-speed/ precision analog and RF.
Informal enquiries may be made, in-confidence, to firstname.lastname@example.org
An annual student stipend of €18,500 applies for the successful candidate for this position. Yearly University Academic Fees will be paid by MCCI.
Step 1 - Click here to download and complete the Application form and indicate the Job Reference SOD-5
Step 2 – Return the completed Application form, together with your CV and motivation letter to email@example.com.
Postgraduate applicants whose first language is not English must provide evidence of English language proficiency (https://www.ucc.ie/en/study/comparison/english/postgraduate/) as per UCC regulations. Certificates should be valid (usually less than 2 years old) and should be uploaded with their application. In special circumstances, the panel may consider a prior degree in English (e.g. Master thesis written in English) as evidence of English language proficiency.
Please note that Garda vetting and/or an international police clearance check may form part of the selection process.
The University, at its discretion, may undertake to make an additional appointment(s) from this competition following the conclusion of the process.
Please note that an appointment to posts advertised will be dependent on University approval, together with the terms of the employment control framework for the higher education sector.
At this time, Tyndall National Institute does not require the assistance of recruitment agencies.
Tyndall National Institute at University College, Cork is an Equal Opportunities Employer.