Tyndall collaboration secures €1m in funding for electrical research

Prof Peter Parbrook
Pictured: Prof Peter Parbrook, tyndall National Institute

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1 April 2015 | 0

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 will seek to improve the efficiency of converting electrical power by up to 25%.

Working with a substance called Gallium Nitride, often used in LED lightbulbs and space satellites, 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 useful in the development of electric and hybrid vehicles.

Prof Peter Parbrook, Stokes Professor of Nitride Materials & Devices at Tyndall National Institute, said: “This will be the first time nanostructures using Gallium Nitride will be used for power electronics. We will attempt to bend out the 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 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.

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