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Increasing Lifespans of High-Power Electrical Systems

Samuel Hartmann, ABB Semiconductors, Switzerland

ABB Semiconductors increased the lifespan of an insulated-gate bipolar transistor (IGBT) using multiphysics simulation. IGBT modules are used in high-power electrical systems and are subjected to repeated electrical, thermal, and mechanical loading. The ABB team explored different wire-emitter configurations to see if stitched bonding techniques could extend product lifetime, and used new joining techniques to bond a stress buffer between the emitter's silicon chip and the aluminum wire bonds. With numerical simulation, the researchers analyzed the factors contributing to the deterioration of the components of IGBT modules and identified the physics behind the dramatically increased durability of reinforced IGBT chips.

COMSOL Multiphysics® results showing the temperature distribution obtained for a stitch-bond layout.