Micross

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Reliability of Cryogenic Power Electronics Components
Keywords: reliability, cryogenic power electronics, liquid nitrogen temperature
In theory, the reliability of power electronics components increases dramatically at cryogenic temperatures, provided the parts are kept cold. Extrapolated from Arrhenius plots of mean time between failure data taken at higher temperatures, lifetimes of such devices at low temperatures are immeasurable. Of course, thermal stresses encountered during temperature cycling as well as those due to internal heating during usage can greatly reduce this effect, and can damage devices, or at least affect their performance, in just a few thermal cycles. We present an overview of the reliability of active and passive cryogenic devices based on the literature as well as thermal cycling data performed at MTECH Laboratories. MTECH and its subsidiary distributor, CryoCircuits, have been involved in cryogenic qualification and testing of power electronics components for many years, and are developing a comprehensive database of cryogenically qualified parts for space and other extreme-temperature applications.
E. K. Mueller, Staff Physicist
MTECH Laboratories, LLC
Ballston Spa, NY
USA


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