Key Research Areas

System design for power electronics

The (energy) efficiency of power-consuming products, from switched-mode power supplies, to electric and hybrid cars and railway traction drives, through to large industrial drives, is crucial. All of the latter technologies areas and more rely on power electronics, and each makes individual demands on the system, which have to be taken into account during the circuit design and layout.

Good solutions for improving energy efficiency and miniaturization of inverters include wide-bandgap (WBG) semiconductors like silicon carbide (SiC) and gallium nitride (GaN). However, taking advantage of their capability requires particularly tightly integrated electrical, thermal and mechanical design of the complete system, in order to facilitate the possibly high switching speeds and to take into account all relevant EMC aspects, while ensuring optimal thermal management of semiconductors and the package as a whole. This is seeing a trend towards complete system solutions, in which the switching cell itself is fitted with passive components like DC-link capacitors and output filters. Control and regulation, as well as safety, functions, are integrated into the package directly, rather than connected at a later stage.

IZM-services relating to system design

  • Design and optimization of power modules for SiC / GaN / Si
  • Topology investigation, design and miniaturization of power converters
  • Driver miniaturization for control of power assemblies, especially of WBG-semiconductors
  • Passive components, particularly design and qualification of inductive components
  • EMC-compatible design using modeling and simulation of electromagnetic interference phenomena on system level
  • Development of EMC concepts, filters and shielding
  • Broad range of simulation tools for all design phases, including Matlab, Simplorer, Portunus, Solid Works, FEM- and PEEC-Tools including thermal design (supported by thermal and fluidic simulation)
  • Building of prototypes, especially with WBG-semiconductors
  • In-house laboratory for prototype testing and characterization

Advanced driver by Fraunhofer IZM

Miniaturized, Zero-Dead-Time High-Efficiency Drivers for Si, SiC, and GaN Applications.


Low-inductance packages for fast-switching semiconductors

The secret for miniature converters with high power density.


Measuring switching losses in wide bandgap semiconductors

The traditional approach for measuring switching losses like double pulses relies on measuring the current in the semiconductor and the voltage drop at the point of switching. However, the parasitic effect of the measuring equipment itself is enough to skew the measurements.


Compact converters enabling high power density

Due to the low switching losses when using the novel wide band-gap semiconductor generation made from gallium nitride and silicon carbide, respectively, it is possible to increase the switching frequency of power electronic systems significantly.  

Ultra-Compact, Ultra-Reliable Power Module


The module, which will be integrated into an existing inverter once development has been completed, comprises semiconductors sandwiched between two DCBs.

Ultra low inductive
multilayer ceramic SiC Power Module