Reliability Evaluation of Large-Area Sintered Direct Bonded Aluminum Substrates for Medium-Voltage Power Modules

dc.contributor.authorGersh, Jacob Danielen
dc.contributor.committeechairDimarino, Christina Marieen
dc.contributor.committeememberLu, Guo Quanen
dc.contributor.committeememberCvetkovic, Igoren
dc.contributor.departmentElectrical Engineeringen
dc.description.abstractThis thesis investigates techniques for prototyping and evaluation of medium voltage (MV) power module packages. Specific focus will be given to the utilization of silver sintering as a bonding method for high temperature, high density power modules. Nano-silver paste and preform will be examined in detail as enabling technologies for a new generation of power electronics. To accomplish this task, analysis and characterization of the metal-ceramic substrate and its structure is performed. First, finite element models are created to evaluate the fatigue behavior of the large area bonds in the substrate structure. Prototypes of these multi-layer substrates have also been fabricated and will be subjected to thermal cycling tests for experimental verification of the efficacy of their sintered silver bonds. Stacked direct-bonded aluminum (DBA) substrates have been found to withstand up to 1000 thermal cycles of –40 °C to 200 °C when attached with low pressure-assisted silver sintering. The thermal performance of 10 kV SiC power module utilizing multi-layer DBA substrates bonded with a large-area, low pressure-assisted sintered silver bond will also be examined to ensure the sintered bond is viable for the harsh operating conditions of MV modules. A junction-to-case thermal resistance of 0.142 °C/W is measured on a module prototype utilizing stacked DBA substrates. Finally, analysis of a double-sided cooling scheme enabled by large area sintering is simulated and prototyped to demonstrate a 6.5 kV package for a MV power device. Residual stress failures induced by a highly rigid structure have been examined and mitigated through implementation of a 5 MPa pressure-assisted, double-sided silver sintering approach.en
dc.description.abstractgeneralPower modules are the building blocks of the electrical grid of the future. As society transitions to renewable energy to fight the crisis presented by climate change, the structure of the energy grid will have to change to accommodate the increase in solar, wind, geothermal, and other renewable sources of energy generation. A clean energy grid structure will contain ubiquitous opportunities to use power modules for medium-voltage (MV) applications, like managing the flow of electricity from solar panels and wind turbines to neighborhoods and office buildings. However, these MV power modules will need to be resilient to extreme temperature and electrical stresses inherent to these applications. Current technology must be improved in both performance and reliability to match the needs of this future grid. This thesis investigates, through both experiment and computer simulation, techniques for improving the reliability of MV power modules without sacrificing thermal or electrical performance. Techniques presented in this work have the potential to transform power modules, so they may operate at higher temperatures and efficiencies for a longer lifetime than the current state-of-the-art.en
dc.description.degreeMaster of Scienceen
dc.publisherVirginia Techen
dc.rightsIn Copyrighten
dc.subjectpower moduleen
dc.titleReliability Evaluation of Large-Area Sintered Direct Bonded Aluminum Substrates for Medium-Voltage Power Modulesen
dc.typeThesisen Engineeringen Polytechnic Institute and State Universityen of Scienceen


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