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Title: Soft-switching performance analysis of the clustered insulated gate bipolar transistor (CIGBT)
Author: Nicholls, Jonathan Christopher
ISNI:       0000 0004 2686 8385
Awarding Body: De Montfort University
Current Institution: De Montfort University
Date of Award: 2009
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The use of Insulated Gate Bipolar Transistors (IGBT) have enabled better switching performance than the Metal Oxide Semiconductor Field effect Transistor (MOSFET) in medium to high power applications due to their lower on-state power loss and higher current densities. The power ratings of IGBTs are slowly increasing and are envisaged to replace thyristors in medium power applications such as High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) inverter systems and traction drive controls. Devices such as the MOS Controlled Thyristor (MCT) and Emitter Switched Thyristor (EST) were developed in an effort to further simplify drive requirements of thyristors by incorporating a voltage controlled MOS gate into the thyristor structure. However, the MCT is unable to achieve controlled current saturation which is a desirable characteristic of power switching devices while the EST has only limited control. The IGBT can achieve current saturation, however, due to the transistor based structure it exhibits a larger on-state voltage in high power applications compared with thyristor based devices. MOS Gated Thyristor (MGT) devices are a promising alternative to transistor based devices as they exhibit a lower forward voltage drop and improved current densities. This current research focuses on the Clustered Insulated Gate Bipolar Transistor (CIGBT) whilst being operated under soft-switching regimes. The CIGBT is a MOS gated thyristor device that exhibits a unique self-clamping feature that protects cathode cells from high anode voltages under all operating conditions. The self-clamping feature also enables current saturation at high gate biases and provides low switching losses. Its low on-state voltage and high voltage blocking capabilities make the CIGBT suitable as a contender to the IGBT in medium to high power switching applications. For the first time, the CIGBT has been operated under soft-switching regimes and transient over-voltages at turn-on have been witnessed which have been found to be associated with a number of factors. The internal dynamics of the CIGBT have been analysed using 2D numerical simulations and it has been shown that a major influence on the peak voltage is the P well spacing within the CIGBT structure. For example, Small adjacent P well spacings within the device results in an inability for the CIGBT to switch iv on correctly. Further to this, implant concentrations of the n well region during device fabrication can also affect the turn-on transients. Despite this, the CIGBT has been experimental analysed under soft-switching conditions and found to outperform the IGBT by 12% and 27% for on-state voltage drop and total energy losses respectively. Turn off current bumps have been seen whilst switching the device in zero voltage and zero current switching mode of operation and the internal dynamics have been analysed to show the influence upon the current at turn off. Preliminary results on the Trench CIGBT (TCIGBT) under soft switching conditions has also been analysed for the first time and was found to have a reduced peak over-voltage and better switching performance than the planer CIGBT. Through optimisation of the CIGBT structure and fabrication process, it is seen that the device will become a suitable replacement to IGBT in medium power application.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: CIGBT ; IGBT ; Power semiconductor ; soft switching ; semiconductor physics