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PHYSICAL RF CIRCUIT TECHNIQUES AND THE IMPLICATIONS ON FUTURE POWER MODULE DESIGN
Keywords: RF topologies, Ribbon bonding, Power electronic packaging
Electro-physical topologies of direct bond copper (DBC) substrate and aluminum ribbon bond are characterized using high frequency, RF (radio frequency with a spectrum of 3 kHz to 300 GHz) circuit analysis techniques. Power electronic module components, specifically flexible welded interconnects, behave like transmission lines at higher frequencies. Therefore, interconnects contribute to the power losses within the power module, and ultimately affect overall efficiency. Background studies are done into the more common RF circuit topologies, such as strip lines, grounded co-planar waveguides (GCPW), coaxial cables, faraday cages, etc. An understanding of how circuit layouts support transverse electromagnetic (TEM) modes are obtained in order to carry over RF techniques and electro-physical topologies to the interconnects and substrates used within power electronic modules. An overview of several RF circuits, parameter definitions, and two-port network analysis is given. Three “power RF” circuit topologies are proposed and made into 3D models that are analyzed using ANSYS Q3D Extractor in order to extract the physical parasitic impedances that are inherent to the aforementioned circuit topologies. Characteristic impedance is then calculated using parasitic resistance, inductance, capacitance, and conductance for each structure. Next, reflection coefficients, voltage standing wave ratios (VSWR), and return losses (S11) are calculated for each model based on a given load impedance in order to observe improvement in interconnect losses. Power electronics packaging engineers are encouraged to embrace RF packaging methods in order to take advantage of wide-bandgap (WBG) semiconductor switching capabilities within power electronic modules.
Adam Morgan, Graduate Student
North Carolina State University
Raleigh, North Carolina
USA


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