Novel Thermal Management of Power Electronic Devices: High Power High Frequency Planar Gunn Diodes

Lead Research Organisation: University of Bristol
Department Name: Physics


This proposal targets the development of a compact high power planar Gunn diode suitable for Tera-Hertz (THz) imaging. THz imaging is seen as new opportunity for enhanced security screening at airports, train stations, and other security sensitive places to counter terrorist threats. To achieve high-power THz Gunn diodes, novel heat-sink technologies will need to be developed, which is the key aim of this proposal. This proposal focuses on a novel Gunn diode design, planar Gunn diodes, which enables output frequencies much higher than possible with the traditional commercially available vertical Gunn diode design. We will develop innovative integrated cooling approaches using a combination of thermoelectric (TE) and gas micro-refrigeration for planar Gunn diodes to achieve the goal of a compact and high power Gunn diode suitable as source for THz imaging. With the UK being technology industry leader on Gunn diodes (e.g. e2v technologies Ltd.), the development of compact and high-power THz Gunn diodes is of strategic importance for UK science, engineering and technology, to gain an international lead in the THz field. Developments on integrated active device cooling achieved in this work, however, will be transferable to other device systems. This is important as active cooling to remove heat from electronic and opto-electronic devices is becoming increasingly important as devices shrink in size, packing densities increase, and as higher output powers are demanded in many applications. The proposal brings together internationally leading UK groups on Gunn diodes and their design, cooling technologies, thermal characterization and device thermal management.
Description A novel way of integrating heat sinking in THz devices was developed. The programme also developed new methods to measure temperature and reliability of these devices.
Exploitation Route Directly applicable to device development in industry. Via project partners.
Sectors Aerospace, Defence and Marine,Electronics

Description The programme developed new GHz towards THz Gunn diodes; the research enabled new security screening devices in the universities involved in this research.
First Year Of Impact 2014
Sector Aerospace, Defence and Marine
Impact Types Economic