Nathan Valentinea and Diganta Dasa
a CALCE, Center for Advanced Life Cycle Engineering, Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland 20740, USA
Power cycling is a testing method for power
semiconductor devices wherein switching functions are
simulated to generate heat and raise junction temperature
instead of using a chamber. Failure analysis of devices
following the test can provide valuable insight into the
failure modes and mechanisms of power electronic devices.
Most switching applications do not operate continuously,
particularly in transportation and energy sectors.
Applications of power electronics such as electric trains,
wind turbines, and solar inverters have long nonoperational
periods in their life cycle profiles. This work
introduces periods of dormancy into a power-cycling test to
study the effects of the dormancy on failure mechanisms.
During the dormant periods, void growth is monitored in
the IGBT die attach. The differences in failure mechanisms
and degradation patterns between continuous power
cycling and intermittent power cycling with dormancy are
being investigated for the two types of tests, and suggestions
for modifications to industry standards are being
This article is available online here and to CALCE Consortium Members for personal review.