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Lifetime and failure modes of important power module package materials caqpable of operation above 300degC
Keywords: High temperature, Power modules, Material lifetimes
One method of determining the relative lifetimes for power electronic components and assemblies is accelerated passive thermal cycling. Lower temperature amplitudes might result in waiting times to failure of many years. In this work, we increased the amplitude of the thermal cycles from 0 to 350degC in order to accelerate determination of the ultimate limits and modes of failure for the main material candidates for high temperature applications, including both copper and aluminium DBC type substrates, silver sinter and transient liquid phase die attach solutions, and silicon carbide power semiconductor devices. We also evaluated a number of material combinations, including complete power modules without the temperature limiting thermoplastics, solders and gels. All of the materials evaluated may be operated at well over 300degC, which is our peak temperature requirement for a high power automotive inverter application; the only question is how long the materials will last and what the issues are. This knowledge will provide benchmarks for engineers and scientists to develop and test both individual materials and package solutions (material combinations) that will enable increased operating lifetimes for systems required to operate at these high temperatures. In this paper, we present operating lifetime results from a 2.5 year project, and reveal insight into the failure modes using electron microscope and other images.
Dean Hamilton, Honorary Research Fellow
University of Warwick
Coventry, Warwickshire
United Kingdom

  • Amkor
  • ASE
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  • Corning
  • EMD Performance Materials
  • Honeywell
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  • Kyocera America
  • Master Bond
  • Micro Systems Technologies
  • MRSI
  • Palomar
  • Promex
  • Qualcomm
  • Quik-Pak
  • Raytheon
  • Specialty Coating Systems
  • Technic