New power device diode brings dream of more efficient hybrid cars closer

diode_hybrid_carsJapan’s National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) has claimed on Thursday [JP] it developed a diode (pictured above) for power semiconductor devices that can withstand temperatures exceeding 400 C.

Diodes for this kind of devices are normally made from gold or platinum electrodes on a diamond substrate. Usually gold and platinum reacts with the substrate and peels off, making the diodes unusable.

The institute says their diodes can operate for 1,500 hours at 400C whereas comparable diodes need to be cooled down to 250C. Gold and platinum was replaced with inexpensive ruthenium. The AIST says the problem currently is that the diodes only handle a current of one ampere.

However, once the technology is optimized, the engines could be used in the engine compartments of hybrid cars without the need of installing a cooling system.