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Title: Analysis of dynamic performance and robustness of silicon and SiC power electronics devices
Author: Jahdi, Saeed
ISNI:       0000 0004 5992 6422
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2016
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The emergence of SiC power devices requires evaluation of benefits and issues of the technology in applications. This is important since SiC power devices are still not as mature as their silicon counterparts. This research, in its own capacity, highlights some of the major challenges and analyzes them through extensive experimental measurements which are performed in many different conditions seeking to emulate various applications scenarios. It is shown that fast SiC unipolar devices, inherently reduce the switching losses while maintain low conduction losses comparable with contemporary bipolar technologies. This translates into lower temperature excursions and an enhanced conversion efficiency. However, such high switching rates may trigger problems in the device utilizations. The switching rates influenced by the device input capacitance can cause significant ringing in the output, especially in SiC SBDs. Measurements show that switching rate of MOSFETs increases with increasing temperature in turn on and reduces in turn off. Hence, the peak voltage overshoot and oscillation severity of the SiC SBD increases with temperature during diode turn off. This temperature dependence reduces at the higher switching rates. So accurate analytical models are developed for predicting the switching energy in unipolar SiC SBDs and MOSFET pairs and bipolar silicon PiN and IGBT pairs. A key parameter for power devices is electrothermal robustness. SiC MOSFETs have already demonstrated such merits compared to silicon IGBTs, however not for MOSFET body diodes. This research has quantified this in comparison with the similarly rated contemporary device technologies like CoolMOS. In a power MOSFET, high switching rates coupled with the capacitance of drain and body causes a displacement current in the resistive path of P body, inducing a voltage on base of the parasitic NPN BJT which might forward bias it. This may lead to latch up and destruction if the thermal limits are surpassed. Hence, trade offs between switching energy and electrothermal robustness are explored for the silicon, SiC and superjunction power MOSFETs. Measurements show that performance of body diodes of SiC MOSFETs is the most efficient due to least reverse recovery. The minimum forward current for inducing dynamic latch up decreases with increasing voltage, switching rate and temperature for all technologies. The CoolMOS exhibited the largest latch up current followed by the SiC and silicon power MOSFETs. Another problem induced by high switching rates is the electrical coupling between complementing devices in the same phase leg which manifests as short circuits across the DC link voltage. This has been understood for silicon IGBTs with known corrective techniques, however it is seen that due to smaller Miller capacitance resulting from a smaller die area, the SiC module exhibits smaller shoot through currents in spite of higher switching rates and a lower threshold voltage. Measurements show that the shoot through current exhibits a positive temperature coefficient for both technologies the magnitude of which is higher for the silicon IGBT. The effectiveness of common techniques of mitigating shoot through is also evaluated, showing that solutions are less effective for SiC MOSFET because of the lower threshold voltages and smaller margins for a negative gate bias.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: TK Electrical engineering. Electronics Nuclear engineering