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High-Temperature Characterization of a 1200 V, 450 A Power Module with 36 mm2 of SiC VJFET Area
Keywords: silicon carbide, JFET, power module
There are many technological benefits associated with silicon carbide (SiC)-based power modules, including the maintenance of high power output and low losses at elevated temperature; the ability to switch at higher frequencies, which reduces the size and weight of magnetic components; and a more compact circuit board, leading to a smaller module footprint. When evaluating SiC for a given application, one important consideration is the total SiC die area necessary to achieve a given power output, as this directly impacts the achievable power density, device capacitance (i.e., switching losses), and total module and semiconductor costs. In this work, we report the high-temperature static and dynamic characteristics of a half-bridge power module that uses 36 mm2 (total die area) of 1200 V, 45 mΩ depletion-mode SiC vertical-trench junction field-effect transistors (VJFETs) in each switch position. As seen in Fig. 1, the module’s peak saturation current exceeds 450 A at Tj = 25 °C and 250 A at 250 °C. The on-state resistance, also shown in Fig. 1, increases from 8 mΩ at Tj = 25 °C to 33 mΩ at 250 °C for an output current of 100 A. It is worth noting that in the power module used, up to 126 mm2 of die would fit in each switch position [1]; this means the output current and on-state resistance could increase and decrease, respectively, by a factor of 3.5. Dynamic characterization of the module up to 100 °C is shown in Fig. 2, and Table 1 summarizes the switching losses alongside those of a similarly rated silicon IGBT power module [2]. Compared to the IGBT module, the SiC VJFET power module exhibits 92% and 94% reductions in switching losses at junction temperatures of 25 °C and 100 °C, respectively. Switching measurements made at 175 °C and 250 °C will be reported in the final paper.
Kevin M. Speer, Business Development / Technology Engineer
SemiSouth Laboratories, Inc.
Starkville, MS

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