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Title: High efficiency IGBTs through novel three-dimensional modelling and new architectures
Author: Findlay, Emma Mae
ISNI:       0000 0004 9348 1076
Awarding Body: University of Cambridge
Current Institution: University of Cambridge
Date of Award: 2020
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New Insulated Gate Bipolar Transistor (IGBT) designs are reliant on simulation tools, such as Sentaurus technology computer-aided design (TCAD) models, which allow for rapid device development that could not be achieved by manufacturing prototypes due to the cost and time associated with fabrication. These simulations are, though, computationally expensive and typically most design engineers develop these TCAD models only in two dimensions. This leads to inaccuracies in the model output since manufactured transistors are inherently three-dimensional (3D). Based upon a commercial IGBT, this thesis begins by outlining the development of a 3D TCAD model using design details provided by the manufacturer. Large variations between the experimental data from the manufactured device and the simulation model lead to the discovery of widespread birds-beaking within the IGBT – an uncontrollable processing defect that the manufacturer was unaware of. This thesis presents a new simulation technique to account for this processing error while minimising computational effort and investigates the consequence of this birds-beak on the reliability of the device. The verified 3D IGBT model was also used to determine an optimum cell design that considered critical 3D effects omitted from previous studies. An extensive literature review for the Reverse-Conducting IGBT (RC-IGBT) is provided. It is shown that despite the benefits of the RC-IGBT, the device suffers from many undesirable design trade-offs that have prevented its widespread use. The RC-IGBT designs that have currently been proposed in literature, either present a trade-off in performance, an inability to be manufactured, or a requirement for a custom gate drive. This thesis presents a new RC-IGBT concept, the ‘Dual Implant SuperJunction (SJ) RC-IGBT’ that addresses these concerns and is manufacturable using current state of the art techniques. The concept and proposed manufacturing method enables, for the first time, a full SuperJunction structure to be achieved in a 1.2kV device. In addition, an investigation into a coordinated switching scheme using both a silicon IGBT and silicon-carbide MOSFET was undertaken, which aimed to improve turn-off losses within the IGBT without sacrificing on-state losses. Thermal modelling of the power devices switching under inductive load was explored as the system was optimised to use a SiC MOSFET in excess of its nominal ratings, reducing the overall system cost.
Supervisor: Udrea, Florin Sponsor: EPSRC
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: Insulated Gate Bipolar Transistor (IGBT) ; Birds-Beak ; Three-dimensional Technology Computer Aided Design modelling (3D TCAD) ; Power devices ; Power electronics ; Reverse Conducting Insulated Gate Bipolar Transistor (RC-IGBT) ; SuperJunction (SJ) ; Body diode ; Anti-parallel diode ; Metal-Oxide-Semiconductor Field Effect Transistor ; Silicon-carbide