Raytheon has opened a silicon carbide manufacturing facility in Glenrothes, Scotland.
The application of silicon carbide in electronic systems is expected to place the UK in a leading position to develop next-generation, high-efficiency, smaller, low-weight power conversion products used in harsh environments across the automotive, aerospace, geothermal exploration, oil and gas, and clean energy sectors.
Raytheon says its ability to process silicon carbide utilises high-temperature annealing and high-temperature/high-voltage ion implantation.
Silicon carbide has the ability to operate at higher voltages and greater temperatures than pure silicon, and at a third of the weight and volume — improving operational performance and reducing system operating costs.
Raytheon further claims to be the first company to have successfully tested silicon carbide circuit devices at temperatures up to 400°C.
Bob Delorge, chief executive at Raytheon UK, said: ‘Raytheon’s investment in the foundry coupled with support from the Technology Strategy Board exceeds £3.5m to date.
‘This places the company at the start of a journey to exploit new global markets for this cost-efficient material, which is estimated to bring significant new business to Raytheon in Scotland in the coming years.’