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Integrated power devices

S. Reggiani, C. Fiegna

One of the key challenges in building power devices for next generation Smart-Power technology is their reliability. Special care needs to be devoted to the characterization and modeling of the long-term degradation. State-of-the-art techniques based on accelerated stress conditions and noise measurements are used in our laboratories.

Power devices are traditionally made in silicon, but further performance improvements and higher efficiencies will become more and more challenging and cost-intensive to achieve. This is the driving motivation of the research on new power device technologies based on the Wide-Band Gap (WBG) materials GaN and SiC, to replace the incumbent Si technologies with the mission to achieve a higher performance at equivalent cost. Special attention is paid on reliability issues and parasitic effects that are investigated through advanced characterization techniques and TCAD simulations allowing to understand and identify the Safe Operating Area and to develop a robust and reliable power device.

Another important topic is the development of suitable package materials allowing high temperature operation and stability. To this purpose, characterization  and modeling of their long-term reliability are carried out both on bulk samples and integrated test structures.

Reliability of power devices
POW-REL-1 Long-term degradation, occurring in discrete and integrated power devices, is characterized and modeled by means of experimental and simulation analyses.
Investigation of Reliability Issues and Physical Mechanisms in High-Voltage GaN/AlGaN HFETs on Silicon Substrates
gan-susanna TCAD device simulations, physical modeling and reliability investigations on self-heating effects, leakage currents and breakdown conditions are carried out in order to understand the performance limitations, under both static and dynamic operation modes, of GaN-on-Si power devices.
Package Influences on High-Voltage Semiconductor FETs
mold-susanna The proposed research activity deals with the effect of charging and polarization of molding compounds and other packaging materials. Experimental characterizations of electrical losses are carried out, and physical models for TCAD tools are developed and validated in order to improve the power device reliability.