Dynamic Gate Breakdown of p-Gate GaN HEMTs in Inductive Power Switching


We employ a new circuit method to characterize the gate dynamic breakdown voltage (BVdyn) of Schottky-type p-gate GaN HEMTs in power converters. Different from prior pulse I-V and DC stress tests, this method features a resonance-like gate ringing with the pulse width down to 20 ns and an inductive switching concurrently in the drain-source loop. At the increased pulse width, the gate BVdyn shows a decrease and then saturation at 21~22 V. Moreover, the gate BVdyn increases with temperature and is higher under the hard switching than that under the drain-source grounding condition. In the 400 V hard switching at 150 oC, the gate BVdyn reaches 27.5 V. Such impact of the drain switching locus and temperature on the gate BVdyn is not seen in Si and SiC power transistors tested in the same setup. These results are explained by a physics model that accounts for the electrostatics in the p-GaN gate stack in hard switching and at high temperatures. This work unveils new physics critical to the gate robustness of p-gate GaN HEMTs and manifest the necessity of the gate robustness evaluation in inductive switching conditions.

GaN, HEMT, power electronics, hard switching, gate, breakdown voltage, overvoltage, ruggedness, reliability
B. Wang, R. Zhang, H. Wang, Q. He, Q. Song, Q. Li, F. Udrea, and Y. Zhang, “Dynamic Gate Breakdown of p-Gate GaN HEMTs in Inductive Power Switching,” in IEEE Electron Device Letters, vol. 44, no. 2, pp. 217-220, Feb. 2023, doi: 10.1109/LED.2022.3227091.