News Release: SUNY Poly Professor Receives $625,000 from U.S. Department of Energy for Collaborative Research to Reduce Power Electronics Manufacturing Costs

News Release: SUNY Poly Professor Receives $625,000 from U.S. Department of Energy for Collaborative Research to Reduce Power Electronics Manufacturing Costs

Monday, June 1, 2020 - 10:18
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Dr. Sung

For Release:           Immediate – June 1, 2020
Contact:                   Steve Ference, Director of University Communications | (518) 956-7319 |

Effort to Lower Costs Could Support Wider Adoption of More Robust Silicon Carbide-based Devices Versus Standard Silicon-Based Chips for High-Performance Applications

ALBANY, NY – SUNY Polytechnic Institute (SUNY Poly) announced that Associate Professor of Nanoengineering Dr. Woongje Sung has been awarded $625,000 in funding from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Advanced Manufacturing Office as part of a collaborative research effort with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). Leveraging SUNY Poly’s state-of-the-art capabilities, this research seeks to reduce the cost to manufacture silicon carbide (SiC) -based power devices, which can be used in a variety of high-performance applications, including automotive, industrial, and aeronautical. Silicon carbide-based power devices are currently more expensive to fabricate than the more conventional silicon (Si) -based chips that, because of their inherent properties, are unable to support operations in more extreme heat, and which are also less energy efficient.

The research will concurrently support hands-on opportunities for at least one SUNY Poly graduate student and post-doctoral researcher who will take part in the design of the SiC-based devices, work directly with the fabrication facility, as well as characterize the fabricated devices.

“I am thrilled to congratulate Dr. Sung for this Department of Energy award which will help to catalyze a more cost-effective manufacturing process for SiC power devices, in concert with SUNY Poly’s top-tier academic and high-tech research ecosystem,” said SUNY Poly Interim President Dr. Grace Wang. “This award is a powerful testament to the expertise of SUNY Poly’s faculty who are engaging in research with global impact.”

“By laying the groundwork for a more efficient and cost-effective fabrication process for SiC-based power devices, Dr. Sung is driving advancements in a wide range of power electronics applications which are the backbone of countless technologies that we rely on, and I offer my congratulations to him for receiving this collaborative grant,” said SUNY Poly Interim Dean of the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering Dr. André Melendez. “This award is a great example of the types of innovation-based research our faculty are working on to further improve today’s technologies, and we look forward to the educational experience that Dr. Sung’s team will also gain throughout this project.”

“I am thrilled that our SUNY Poly team, including a graduate student and a post-doctoral  researcher, is undertaking this project to evaluate various options for the creation of critical manufacturing process steps that can lead to lower cost SiC devices, in order to address a significant barrier to the mass adoption of SiC power devices as compared to conventional silicon devices. We are proud to receive this grant from the Department of Energy’s Advanced Manufacturing Office and to work with NREL as we pave the way for power devices that can more cost-effectively address many of our daily technological needs around the world,” said Dr. Sung.

This research, being led by NREL, is expected to be carried out during the next two-and-a-half years. It follows $2,103,000 in funding that Dr. Sung recently received from the Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) as part of a collaborative research effort with teams from Ohio State University and North Carolina State University. As part of that effort, Professor Sung aims to develop Scalable, Manufacturable, and Robust Technology (SMART) for silicon carbide (SiC) Power Integrated Circuits (SMART SiC Power ICs) that open the door to robust switching capabilities in a range of high-performance energy applications, including automotive and industrial, as well as for electronic data processing and energy harvesting.


About SUNY Polytechnic Institute (SUNY Poly)
SUNY Poly is New York’s globally recognized, high-tech educational ecosystem. SUNY Poly offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in the emerging disciplines of nanoscience and nanoengineering, as well as cutting-edge nanobioscience programs at its Albany campus, and undergraduate and graduate degrees in technology, including engineering, cybersecurity, computer science, and the engineering technologies; professional studies, including business, communication, and nursing; and arts and sciences, including natural sciences, mathematics, humanities, and social sciences at its Utica campus; thriving athletic, recreational, and cultural programs, events, and activities complement the campus experience. As the world’s most advanced, university-driven research enterprise, SUNY Poly boasts billions of dollars in high-tech investments and hundreds of corporate partners since its inception. For information visit