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Evaluation of Thermal Resistance Degradation of SiC Power Module Corresponding to Thermal Cycle Test
Keywords: SiC power module, Transient thermal analysis, Thermal cycle test
In this paper, a method for detecting and tracing the degradation of an SiC power module is described. Silicon carbide (SiC) power devices are attracting attention as one of the candidate for future power devices, since they can be operated at considerably higher temperature than conventional silicon (Si) power devices. Power modules capable of operating at higher temperatures are needed to maximize the possibilities of SiC power devices. We have been developing the power module with SiC-MOSFET capable of operating up to 250 C. The wide temperature range which is temperature difference between the minimum and the maximum operating temperature of the module (e.g. -40 to 250 C) causes significant thermal- mechanical stress in the module. The die-attach solder and the substrate solder are fatigued and fractured due to thermal deformation during the thermal cycle. However, it is difficult to identify which part is fractured by non-destructive inspection method. We developed the method to identifying the fracture part as increasing of thermal resistance corresponding to the thermal cycle by using transient thermal analysis with SiC-MOSFET. Transient thermal analyses for the module before and after thermal cycle tests, of which temperature varies from -40 C to 250 C, up to 1000 cycles have been executed. Then, the position where the degradation of thermal resistance has been occurred was identified and traced. It becomes clear that the thermal resistance between the substrate and the base plate was increased as the number of cycle increases. Thus, we confirmed that the degradation of the thermal resistance due to the progress of the fracture at the substrate solder can be a significant problem as a reliability of power module.
Fumiki Kato,
National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology
Tsukuba, Ibaraki

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