National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Glenn Research Center


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NASA Glenn (known as NASA Lewis prior to 1999) has long been a leading driver of SiC technology, as it was one of the first U.S. Government agencies to fund and carry out SiC research work. The NASA Glenn in-house research program has contributed a number of significant discoveries to the emerging high-technology silicon carbide field. These discoveries include:

NASA Glenn sponsored research (through contracts to industry and grants to universities) has also resulted in a number of pioneering advancements in silicon carbide technology. For example, NASA Glenn (named NASA Lewis at the time) sponsored the early stages of SiC power MOSFET development at Cree in the early 1990’s under NASA Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) program. Cree is now recognized as one of the world’s leading manufacturers of SiC power MOSFETs that are enabling higher-efficiency power conversion and management circuits.

Today, the Smart Sensors and Electronics Systems Branch remains in a unique position to make crucial advancements to silicon carbide technology. The continuing importance and relevance of NASA Glenn SiC research is reflected in the strong support of our research customers and collaborators. The NASA Glenn SiC team is also collaborating with the NASA Glenn Chemical Species Gas Sensors team towards developing hostile-environment SiC-based gas sensors.