Design, Analysis and Experimental Verification of a Mechanically Compliant Interface for Fabricating Reliable, Double-Side Cooled, High Temperature, Sintered Silver Interconnected Power Modules
Berry, David W.
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This research developed a double-side power electronics packaging scheme for high temperature applications exemplified by 1200 V, 150 A silicon devices. The power modules, based on both quarter and half-bridge topologies, were assembled using sintered silver device attachment rather than conventional solder alloys. Thermomechanical stresses in the double-side architecture were mitigated with a compliant layer fabricated from elliptical silver tubes. This research presents an introduction to conventional packaging techniques and their weaknesses. These shortcomings provide the basis for a module design which improves upon module thermal management while also addressing electrical and reliability requirements. The optimum package design enhances heat dissipation with the addition of a substrate bonded to the top electrical pads of the semiconductor devices. The use of sintered silver also increases the useful application temperature by avoiding the creep failure mechanisms of solder alloys. The modules were characterized extensively to quantify thermal and electrical performance. In the case of thermal characterization, the double-side architecture required multiple testing configurations to fully understand the parallel heat flow paths. These results were compared to models constructed using finite element analysis (FEA). The FEA models were also utilized for measurement of strains in multiple package designs to better determine the effects of increased compliance on the relative package cycling lifetime. These lifetimes were then assessed, in part, using experimental passive and cycling tests on functional double-side packages. The resulting power modules exhibited significant decreases in thermal resistance when they are cooled, as designed, from both sides of the module. Even single sided cooling options reveal significant advantages and transient thermal impedance was found to be significantly lower. Power module models revealed the compliant layer was successful in reducing the device shear stresses which was experimentally validated through the use of DC power stage testing. It was found, through double pulse testing and electrical modeling, that parasitic inductances were reduced by utilizing planar bonding and planar symmetrical traces. Finally, modeling of the double-side package with added tube compliance revealed a decrease in plastic and shear strains when compared to other single and double-side package designs. This reduction directly translates to increased cycling lifetime using well known strain based fatigue models.
- Doctoral Dissertations