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research-article

INVESTIGATION OF ACTIVE POWER CYCLING COMBINED WITH PASSIVE THERMAL CYCLES ON DISCRETE POWER ELECTRONIC DEVICES

[+] Author and Article Information
Alexander Otto

Fraunhofer Institute for Electronic Nano Systems (ENAS), Micro Materials Center, D-09126 Chemnitz, Germany
alexander.otto@enas.fraunhofer.de

Sven Rzepka

Fraunhofer Institute for Electronic Nano Systems (ENAS), Micro Materials Center, D-09126 Chemnitz, Germany
Sven.Rzepka@enas.fraunhofer.de

Bernhard Wunderle

Technical University of Chemnitz, Chair of Materials and Reliability of Microsystems, D-09126 Chemnitz, Germany
bernhard.wunderle@etit.tu-chemnitz.de

1Corresponding author.

ASME doi:10.1115/1.4043646 History: Received October 31, 2018; Revised April 14, 2019

Abstract

Active power cycling is a standardized and well-established method for reliability assessment and product qualification in power electronics (PE). Repetitive pulses of load current are applied to cause cyclic thermal swings in the p-n junction and in the whole semiconductor device. They induce thermo-mechanical stresses, which ultimately leads to the typical interconnect failure in the 'devices under test'. However, these tests are insensitive with respect to new automotive system architectures, in which PE devices are exposed to additional loads besides the intrinsic thermal swings. Furthermore, the deployment of PE in harsher environments combined with increased reliability requirements strongly increase the demands for improved reliability assessment methodologies. The new testing methods shall be more comprehensive and more efficient, i.e., they shall simultaneously cover the real service conditions better and reduce testing time. One promising approach is the combination of loading factors - such as the superposition of active power cycling by passive thermal cycles. Both loading factors are well-known to cause most relevant failure mechanisms in PE. In reality, they are exposed to both factors simultaneously. Hence, this load case should also be replicated in the test. The paper will report a systematic investigation of such superimposed test schemes, which cover the case of self-heating and passive heating (from neighboring elements) of the PE devices under real service conditions. Typical discrete PE components in TO-200 packages are selected as test vehicles. The paper details the test concept and discuss the quantitative and qualitative test results.

Copyright (c) 2019 by ASME
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