Tyndall National Institute has partnered with US and Northern Irish research institutes to secure €1 million in funding to develop new ways of harnessing converted electricity. The Nano-GaN Power Electronic Devices project has the potential to have a global impact across the entire power electronics industry.
The Nano-GaN Power Electronic Devices project will seek to improve the efficiency of converting electrical power by up to 25%.
Working with Gallium Nitride (GaN), used in LED lightbulbs, Wireless communications and more and more in power electronics, the collaborators from Tyndall National Institute, Cork, Illinois Institute of Technology and Queens University Belfast, will look to stabilise the material so it can be used to convert high voltages to more manageable levels, without the current high energy losses. The new technology is expected to be particularly impactful on the development of electric and hybrid vehicles.
Commenting on the announcement, Prof Peter Parbrook, Stokes Professor of Nitride Materials & Devices at Tyndall National Institute stated:
“This will be the first time nanostructures using Gallium Nitride will be used for power electronics. We will attempt to bend out material’s defects, making it more stable and hence more reliable in the conversion process. It has the potential to produce significant energy saving efficiencies that will be benefit people in the home and at work.”
Nano-GaN is funded through the US-Ireland R&D Partnership Programme, a single-proposal, single-review mechanism, which supports tri-jurisdictional projects. The project will employ four new post-doctorate positions across the three partners.
The US-Ireland Collaborative Research on Nano-GaN Power Electronic Devices GaNnano will be led by Prof Peter Parbrook and Anne-Marie Kelleher in Tyndall; Prof. John Shen at the Illinois Institute of Technology; and Dr Miryam Arredondo-Arechavala of Queens University Belfast.
Project Investigators at a meeting in Tyndall, with the growth tool to be used to prepare the GaN materials for the device programme.
About Tyndall National Institute
Established with a mission to support industry and academia in driving research to market, Tyndall National Institute is one of Europe’s leading research centres in Information and Communications Technology (ICT) research and development and the largest facility of its type in Ireland. Established in 2004 as a successor to the National Microelectronics Research Centre (NMRC founded in 1982) at University College Cork, the Institute employs over 460 researchers, engineers and support staff, with a full-time graduate cohort of 135 students generating over 200 peer-reviewed publications each year.
With a network of 200 industry partners and customers worldwide, Tyndall generates around €30M income each year, 85% from competitively won contracts nationally and internationally. Tyndall is also a lead partner in European research partnerships in its core areas of ICT, communications, energy, health and the environment worth €44M, including €6M accruing to industry in Ireland (from Framework 7). Hosting the only full CMOS (metal oxide semiconductor) integrated circuit construction, Micro Electronic Mechanical systems (MEMS) and III-V Wafer Semiconductor fabrication facilities and services in Ireland, Tyndall is capable of prototyping new product opportunities for its target industries – electronics, medical devices, energy and communication. Tyndall is a globally leading Institute in its four core research areas of Photonics, Microsystems, Micro/Nanoelectronics and Theory, Modeling and Design. Tyndall is the lead institution for the Science Foundation Ireland funded Irish Photonics Integration Centre (IPIC)
About US-Ireland R&D Partnership Programme
The US-Ireland Research and Development Partnership, launched in July 2006, is a unique initiative involving funding agencies across three jurisdictions: United States of America (USA), Republic of Ireland (RoI) & Northern Ireland (NI). Under the US-Ireland R&D Partnership programme, a ‘single-proposal, single-review’ mechanism is facilitated by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and National Institutes of Health (NIH) who accept submissions from tri-jurisdictional (USA, NI and ROI) teams to a number of their existing funding programmes. All proposals submitted under the auspices of the Partnership must have significant research involvement from researchers in all three jurisdictions.
As part of this funding process, the governments and relevant research funding agencies within the Partnership contribute to the research costs of researchers based in their jurisdictions. The partner agencies in the USA are the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The partner agencies in RoI are Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) and the Health Research Board (HRB). In Northern Ireland, the Health & Social Care R&D Division (HSC R&D) supports health-related projects, while the Department for Employment and Learning Northern Ireland (DELNI), and Invest Northern Ireland (InvestNI) support projects related to Sensors & Sensor Networks, Nanoscale Science & Engineering, Telecommunications, and Energy & Sustainability. InvestNI and DELNI support health-related projects in the area of Sensors & Sensor Networks and Nanoscale Science & Engineering.