Impact of Device Parametric Tolerances on Current Sharing Behavior of a SiC Half-Bridge Power Module

TR Number
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Virginia Tech

This paper describes the design, fabrication, and testing of a 1.2 kV, 6.5 mΩ, half-bridge, SiC MOSFET power module to evaluate the impact of parametric device tolerances on electrical and thermal performance. Paralleling power devices increases current handling capability for the same bus voltage. However, inherent parametric differences among dies leads to unbalanced current sharing causing overstress and overheating. In this design, a symmetrical DBC layout is utilized to balance parasitic inductances in the current pathways of paralleled dies to isolate the impact of parametric tolerances. In addition, the paper investigates the benefits of flexible PCB in place of wire bonds for the gate loop interconnection to reduce and minimize the gate loop inductance. The balanced modules have dies with similar threshold voltages while the unbalanced modules have dies with unbalanced threshold voltages to force unbalanced current sharing. The modules were placed into a clamped inductive DPT and a continuous, boost converter. Rogowski coils looped under the wire bonds of the bottom switch dies to observe current behavior. Four modules performed continuously for least 10 minutes at 200 V, 37.6 A input, at 30 kHz with 50% duty cycle. The modules could not perform for multiple minutes at 250 V with 47.7 A (23 A/die). The energy loss differential for a ~17% difference in threshold voltage ranged from 4.52% (~10 µJ) to -30.9% (~30 µJ). The energy loss differential for a ~0.5% difference in V_th ranged from -2.26% (~8 µJ) to 5.66% (~10 µJ). The loss differential was dependent on whether current unbalance due to on-state resistance compensated current unbalance due to threshold voltage. While device parametric tolerances are inherent, if the higher threshold voltage devices can be paired with devices that have higher on-state resistance, the overall loss differential may perform similarly to well-matched dies. Lastly, the most consistently performing unbalanced module with 17.7% difference in V_th had 119.9 µJ more energy loss and was 22.2°C hotter during continuous testing than the most consistently performing balanced module with 0.6% difference inV_th.

SiC MOSFET, power module packaging, flexible PCB, current sharing, symmetrical direct bonded copper (DBC) layout, diode-less module, multi-chip module, device parametric tolerances, package parasitics, vertical GaN