IEEE Transactions on Reliability, Vol. 58, No. 2, pp. 271-276, June 2009

Precursor Parameter Identification for Insulated Gate Bipolar Transistor (IGBT) Prognostics

Nishad Patil, Graduate Student Member, IEEE
Diganta Das,
Member, IEEE,
Michael Pecht,
Fellow, IEEE
Center for Advanced Life Cycle Engineering (CALCE)
University of Maryland,
College Park, MD 20742 USA

Jose Celaya, Member, IEEE
SGT Inc.
NASA Ames Research Center
Moffett Field, CA 94035 USA

Kai Goebel, Member, IEEE,
NASA Ames Research Center,
Moffett Field, CA 94035 USA


Precursor parameters have been identified to enable development of a prognostic approach for insulated gate bipolar transistors (IGBT). The IGBT were subjected to thermal overstress tests using a transistor test board until device latch-up. The collector-emitter current, transistor case temperature, transient and steady state gate voltages, and transient and steady state collector-emitter voltages were monitored in-situ during the test. Pre- and post-aging characterization tests were performed on the IGBT. The aged parts were observed to have shifts in capacitance- voltage (C-V) measurements as a result of trapped charge in the gate oxide. The collector-emitter ON voltage V CE (ON) showed a reduction with aging. The reduction in the V CE (ON) was found to be correlated to die attach degradation, as observed by scanning acoustic microscopy (SAM) analysis. The collector-emitter voltage, and transistor turn-off time were observed to be precursor parameters to latch-up. The monitoring of these precursor parameters will enable the development of a prognostic methodology for IGBT failure. The prognostic methodology will involve trending precursor data, and using physics of failure models for prediction of the remaining useful life of these devices.

Index Terms: Insulated gate bipolar transistors, precursors, prognostics.

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