NoMIS Power Group, a SUNY Polytechnic Institute spinoff, began from a research effort begun in September of 2019, when postdoc Dr. Adam Morgan connected with Associate Professor of Nanoengineering Dr. Woongje Sung and his students. This was to help them further evaluate their silicon carbide (SiC) power semiconductor devices beyond on-wafer measurements (computer chips are fabricated on silicon-based discs called wafers, and SiC, used for power electronics because of its robust ability to handle more heat and remain reliable in more extreme circumstances, holds promise for a host of applications.)
Spearheading a project proposal to the New York State Center for Advanced Technology in Nanomaterials and Nanoelectronics (CATN2) matching investment program, and in partnership with Indium Corporation, the group received funding in 2020. As a result, SUNY Poly and Indium have been evaluating advanced packaging materials (die attachments and thermal interface materials) and their compatibility with the SiC devices.
Based on joint successful outcomes from Dr. Sung’s projects, Morgan said, “We felt that the performance of the SiC devices produced were on par, if not better, in some key aspects than what is commercially available. And at the same time the rising interest globally in clean tech was making it clear that a growing market exists for the SiC device technologies we are working on.”
Because Morgan’s expertise revolves around making the SiC bare chips useable by applications engineers by means of packaging the SiC chips using supporting material systems with high power terminations, allowing them to be useable in power electronic circuits, the research team felt they had the necessary technical background to turn the technology into a product. They soon formed NoMIS, or Novel Materials and Innovative Semiconductors (pronounced: No-Miss), Power Group.
The near-term goal of NoMIS—to design, manufacture, and sell SiC power semiconductor devices, modules, and associated services that are presently unavailable on the market in order to provide enabling 21st century technology that supports power management product developers (i.e. power electronics engineers who are operating in the electric vehicle (EV) fast charger, heavy-duty EV, traction locomotive, marine electrification, and industrial motor drive markets) as they work on next generation, efficient and reliable clean tech products/solutions.
With plans to grow further, SUNY Poly experts, along with Dr. Anant Agarwal: Co-founder, technical and business advisor, and professor at The Ohio State University, are the driving force behind the company:
- Dr. Adam Morgan: Co-founder, CEO and technical lead of power packaging efforts.
- Dr. Woongje Sung: Co-founder, technical lead of SiC device design.
- Dr. Shadi Shahedipour-Sandvik: Co-founder, technical lead of wide-bandgap material and GaN device design; SUNY Provost-in-Charge and SUNY Poly Interim Vice President of Research and Graduate Studies.
Morgan said that SUNY Poly is well connected to the rapidly growing technology ecosystem of NYS and is strongly supported by government, industry, and research institutions. This puts its students at an advantage of getting to be a part of it all.
Currently, NoMIS is focused on scaling the production of larger SiC chips and multi-chip modules in the form of available prototypes, as well as customer discovery efforts. Within five years, NoMIS aims to have established a diversified, reliable supply chain capable of mass-producing its SiC technology, and in parallel, partner with several customers and researchers to perform rigorous field demonstration testing that truly shows off the technology’s performance to attract additional customers.
The success of NoMIS’ products could lead to the deployment of more clean technologies, from large-scale residential and commercial PV solar and wind generation coupled with energy storage to electrified transportation, or high-speed industrial motors, for example. These technologies will be deployed due to higher efficiency, improved reliability, and lower system-level cost compared to the technical solutions that are available today.
Already, NoMIS is a semifinalist for the American-Made Solar Prize competition; a competition funded by the U.S. Department of Energy that would award the company $3 million to help develop the technology for its potential use to integrate solar technology on the grid.
For Morgan, pursuing the goals that NoMIS is now tackling has been a lifelong dream. “Personally, I have been interested in clean technologies and the field of renewable energy ever since high school,” said Morgan. “Since then, I wanted to make my occupational effort revolve around solving the world’s energy crisis. Through NoMIS, I am able to use my unique skillset to do my part in the global effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and fight climate change. NoMIS is also a great opportunity to really challenge myself, try something new, and work with great people I can learn a lot from, while at the same time make good use of my skillset that complements the other NoMIS members.”