CALCE EPSC Graduate Student Theses and Dissertation Abstracts (2016)

Kim, Dae-Suk (Ph.D.)

Thermal characterizations of high power light emitting diodes (LEDs) and laser diodes (LDs) are one of the most critical issues to achieve optimal performance such as center wavelength, spectrum, power efficiency, and reliability. Unique electrical/optical/thermal characterizations are proposed to analyze the complex thermal issues of high power LEDs and LDs. First, an advanced inverse approach, based on the transient junction temperature behavior, is proposed and implemented to quantify the resistance of the die-attach thermal interface (DTI) in high power LEDs. A hybrid analytical/numerical model is utilized to determine an approximate transient junction temperature behavior, which is governed predominantly by the resistance of the DTI. Then, an accurate value of the resistance of the DTI is determined inversely from the experimental data over the predetermined transient time domain using numerical modeling. Secondly, the effect of junction temperature on heat dissipation of high power LEDs is investigated. The theoretical aspect of junction temperature dependency of two major parameters – the forward voltage and the radiant flux – on heat dissipation is reviewed. Actual measurements of the heat dissipation over a wide range of junction temperatures are followed to quantify the effect of the parameters using commercially available LEDs. An empirical model of heat dissipation is proposed for applications in practice. Finally, a hybrid experimental/numerical method is proposed to predict the junction temperature distribution of a high power LD bar. A commercial water-cooled LD bar is used to present the proposed method. A unique experimental setup is developed and implemented to measure the average junction temperatures of the LD bar. After measuring the heat dissipation of the LD bar, the effective heat transfer coefficient of the cooling system is determined inversely. The characterized properties are used to predict the junction temperature distribution over the LD bar under high operating currents. The results are presented in conjunction with the wall-plug efficiency and the center wavelength shift.

Vasan, Arvind Sai Sarathi (Ph.D.)
Health Estimation and Remaining Useful Life Prediction of Electronic Circuit With a Parametric Fault

Degradation of electronic components is typically accompanied by a deviation in their electrical parameters from their initial values. Such parametric drifts in turn will cause degradation in performance of the circuit they are part of, eventually leading to function failure due to parametric faults. The existing approaches for predicting failures resulting from electronic component parametric faults emphasize identifying monotonically deviating parameters and modeling their progression over time. However, in practical applications where the components are integrated into a complex electronic circuit assembly, product or system, it is generally not feasible to monitor component-level parameters. To address this problem, a prognostics method that exploits features extracted from responses of circuit-comprising components exhibiting parametric faults is developed in this dissertation. The developed prognostic method constitutes a circuit health estimation step followed by a degradation modeling and remaining useful life (RUL) prediction step. First, the circuit health estimation method was developed using a kernel-based machine learning technique that exploits features that are extracted from responses of circuit-comprising components exhibiting parametric faults, instead of the component-level parameters. The performance of kernel learning technique depends on the automatic adaptation of hyperparameters (i.e., regularization and kernel parameters) to the learning features. Thus, to achieve high accuracy in health estimation the developed method also includes an optimization method that employs a penalized likelihood function along with a stochastic filtering technique for automatic adaptation of hyperparameters. Second, the prediction of circuit’s RUL is realized by a model-based filtering method that relies on a first principles-based model and a stochastic filtering technique. The first principles-based model describes the degradation in circuit health with progression of parametric fault in a circuit component. The stochastic filtering technique on the other hand is used to first solve a joint ‘circuit health state—parametric fault’ estimation problem, followed by prediction problem in which the estimated ‘circuit health state—parametric fault’ is propagated forward in time to predict RUL. Evaluations of the data from simulation experiments on a benchmark Sallen–Key filter circuit and a DC–DC converter system demonstrate the ability of the developed prognostic method to estimate circuit health and predict RUL without having to monitor the individual component parameters.

Mahan, Kenneth Howard (Ph.D.)
Advanced Adhesion Strength Testing Methods of Thin Film Multilayers in Electronic Packaging Systems

With the continued miniaturization and increasing performance of electronic devices, new technical challenges have arisen. One such issue is delamination occurring at critical interfaces inside the device. This major reliability issue can occur during the manufacturing process or during normal use of the device. Proper evaluation of the adhesion strength of critical interfaces early in the product development cycle can help reduce reliability issues and time-to-market of the product. However, conventional adhesion strength testing is inherently limited in the face of package miniaturization, which brings about further technical challenges to quantify design integrity and reliability. Although there are many different interfaces in today's advanced electronic packages, they can be generalized into two main categories: 1) rigid to rigid connections with a thin flexible polymeric layer in between, or 2) a thin film membrane on a rigid structure. Knowing that every technique has its own advantages and disadvantages, multiple testing methods must be enhanced and developed to be able to accommodate all the interfaces encountered for emerging electronic packaging technologies. For evaluating the adhesion strength of high adhesion strength interfaces in thin multilayer structures a novel adhesion test configuration called “single cantilever adhesion test (SCAT)” is proposed and implemented for an epoxy molding compound (EMC) and photo solder resist (PSR) interface. The test method is then shown to be capable of comparing and selecting the stronger of two potential EMC/PSR material sets. Additionally, a theoretical approach for establishing the applicable testing domain for a four-point bending test method was presented. For evaluating polymeric films on rigid substrates, major testing challenges are encountered for reducing testing scatter and for factoring in the potentially degrading effect of environmental conditioning on the material properties of the film. An advanced blister test with predefined area test method was developed that considers an elasto-plastic analytical solution and implemented for a conformal coating used to prevent tin whisker growth. The advanced blister testing with predefined area test method was then extended by employing a numerical method for evaluating the adhesion strength when the polymer’s film properties are unknown.

Sun, Yong (Ph.D.)
Characterization of Non-linear Polymer Properties to Predict Process Induced Warpage and Residual Stress of Electronic Packages

Nonlinear thermo-mechanical properties of advanced polymers are crucial to accurate prediction of the process induced warpage and residual stress of electronics packages. The Fiber Bragg grating (FBG) sensor based method is advanced and implemented to determine temperature and time dependent nonlinear properties. The FBG sensor is embedded in the center of the cylindrical specimen, which deforms together with the specimen. The strains of the specimen at different loading conditions are monitored by the FBG sensor. Two main sources of the warpage are considered: curing induced warpage and coefficient of thermal expansion (CTE) mismatch induced warpage. The effective chemical shrinkage and the equilibrium modulus are needed for the curing induced warpage prediction. Considering various polymeric materials used in microelectronic packages, unique curing setups and procedures are developed for elastomers (extremely low modulus, medium viscosity, room temperature curing), underfill materials (medium modulus, low viscosity, high temperature curing), and epoxy molding compound (EMC: high modulus, high viscosity, high temperature pressure curing), most notably, (1) zero-constraint mold for elastomers; (2) a two-stage curing procedure for underfill materials and (3) an air-cylinder based novel setup for EMC. For the CTE mismatch induced warpage, the temperature dependent CTE and the comprehensive viscoelastic properties are measured. The cured cylindrical specimen with a FBG sensor embedded in the center is further used for viscoelastic property measurements. A uni-axial compressive loading is applied to the specimen to measure the time dependent Young’s modulus. The test is repeated from room temperature to the reflow temperature to capture the time-temperature dependent Young’s modulus. A separate high pressure system is developed for the bulk modulus measurement. The time temperature dependent bulk modulus is measured at the same temperatures as the Young’s modulus. The master curve of the Young’s modulus and bulk modulus of the EMC is created and a single set of the shift factors is determined from the time temperature superposition. The supplementary experiments are conducted to verify the validity of the assumptions associated with the linear viscoelasticity. The measured time-temperature dependent properties are further verified by a shadow moiré and Twyman/Green test.

Williard, Nicholas Dane (PhD)
Effects of External Pressure on Solid State Diffusion of Lithium in Lithium-Ion Batteries

Electrochemical-mechanical effects in lithium-ion batteries refer to the phenomena that give way to the piezo-electrochemical properties observed during intercalation of lithium into lithium-ion battery electrodes. By applying perturbations to the external pressure of a lithium-ion battery, the dynamics of lithium intercalation, in particular the diffusion rate of lithium-ions onto and out of battery electrodes, can be studied with respect to the open-circuit potential and the applied hydrostatic pressure. In this study, commercial thin film batteries were subjected to tests in a low-pressure chamber and in a dynamic materials analyzer simulating hydrostatic pressures between 0 and 115 KPa. Under each hydrostatic pressure condition, galvanostatic intermittent titration technique (GITT) was performed to measure and correlate lithium diffusivity to battery strain, open-circuit potential, and applied hydrostatic force. From the data a model was developed for lithium diffusivity as a function of open circuit potential and hydrostatic pressure. The implications of this work extend from the use of lithiated graphite for energy harvesting and actuation to policy and regulations for how batteries should be safely transported. To provide some insight into how this work can be applied to policy actions, current international regulations regarding the air transport of lithium-ion batteries are critically reviewed. The pre-shipping tests are outlined and evaluated to assess their ability to fully mitigate risks during battery transport. In particular, the guidelines for shipping second-use batteries are considered. Because the electrochemical state of previously used batteries is inherently different from that of new batteries, additional considerations must be made to evaluate these types of cells. Additional tests are suggested that evaluate the risks of second-use batteries, which may or may not contain incipient faults. Finally, this work is extended to supercapacitors through the development of a model to predict the oxidation of functional groups on the surface of graphite electrodes with respect to operational temperature and voltage. This model is used to predict the operational life of supercapacitors and validates the model on accelerated testing data. The final results are compared to previous models proposed in literature.

Twomey, James (M.S.)
Development of an Off-line Rainflow Counting Algorithm with Temporal Parameters and Data Reduction

Rainflow counting methods convert a complex load time history into a set of load reversals for use in fatigue damage modeling. Rainflow counting methods were originally developed to assess fatigue damage associated with mechanical cycling where creep of the material under load was not considered to be a significant contributor to failure. However, creep is a significant factor in some cyclic loading cases such as solder interconnects under temperature cycling. In this case, fatigue life models require the dwell time to account for stress relaxation and creep. This study develops a new version of the multi-parameter rainflow counting algorithm that provides a range-based dwell time estimation for use with time-dependent fatigue damage models. To show the applicability, the method is used to calculate the life of solder joints under a complex thermal cycling regime and is verified by experimental testing. An additional algorithm is developed in this study to provide data reduction in the results of the rainflow counting. This algorithm uses a damage model and a statistical test to determine which of the resultant cycles are statistically insignificant to a given confidence level. This makes the resulting data file to be smaller, and for a simplified load history to be reconstructed.

Power, Daniel (M.S.)
A Thermal Management Solution for Compact Power Converters

Regulated Transformer Rectifier Units contain several power electronic boards to facilitate AC to DC power conversion. As these units become smaller, the number of devices on each board increases while their distance from each other decreases, making active cooling essential to maintaining reliable operation. Although it is widely accepted that liquid is a far superior heat transfer medium to air, the latter is still capable of yielding low device operating temperatures with proper heat sink and airflow design. The purpose of this study is to describe the models and methods used to design and build the thermal management system for one of the power electronic boards in a compact, high power regulated transformer rectifier unit. Maximum device temperature, available pressure drop and manufacturability were assessed when selecting the final design for testing. Once constructed, the thermal management system’s performance was experimentally verified at three different power levels.

Bevensee, Helmut (M.S.)
The Effect of Package Geometry on Moisture Driven Degradation of Polymer Aluminum Capacitors

Polymer aluminum electrolytic capacitors were introduced to provide an alternative to liquid electrolytic capacitors. Polymer electrolytic capacitor electric parameters of capacitance and ESR are less temperature dependent than those of liquid aluminum electrolytic capacitors. Furthermore, the electrical conductivity of the polymer used in these capacitors (poly-3,4ethylenedioxithiophene) is orders of magnitude higher than the electrolytes used in liquid aluminum electrolytic capacitors, resulting in capacitors with much lower equivalent series resistance which are suitable for use in high ripple-current applications. The presence of the moisture-sensitive polymer PEDOT introduces concerns on the reliability of polymer aluminum capacitors in high humidity conditions. Highly accelerated stress testing (or HAST) (110ºC, 85% relative humidity) of polymer aluminum capacitors in which the parts were subjected to unbiased HAST conditions for 700 hours was done to understand the design factors that contribute to the susceptibility to degradation of a polymer aluminum electrolytic capacitor exposed to HAST conditions. A large scale study involving capacitors of different electrical ratings (2.5V – 16V, 100µF – 470 µF), mounting types (surface-mount and through-hole) and manufacturers (6 different manufacturers) was done to determine a relationship between package geometry and reliability in high temperature-humidity conditions. A Geometry-Based HAST test in which the part selection limited variations between capacitor samples to geometric differences only was done to analyze the effect of package geometry on humidity-driven degradation more closely. Raman spectroscopy, x-ray imaging, environmental scanning electron microscopy, and destructive analysis of the capacitors after HAST exposure was done to determine the failure mechanisms of polymer aluminum capacitors under high temperature-humidity conditions.

Lin, Elaine (M.S.)
Effect of Isothermal Aging on SAC305 Harmonic Vibration Durability

The effect of isothermal aging on the harmonic vibration durability of Sn3.0Ag0.5Cu solder interconnects is examined. Printed wiring assemblies with daisy-chained leadless chip resistors (LCRs) are aged at 125°C for 0, 100, and 500 hours. These assemblies are instrumented with accelerometers and strain gages to maintain the same harmonic vibration profile in-test, and to characterize PWB behavior. The tested assemblies are excited at their first natural frequencies until LCRs show a resistance increase of 20%. Dynamic finite element models are employed to generate strain transfer functions, which relate board strain levels observed in-test to respective solder strain levels. The transfer functions are based on locally averaged values of strains in critical regions of the solder and in appropriate regions of the PWB. The vibration test data and the solder strains from FEA are used to estimate lower-bound material fatigue curves for SAC305 solder materials, as a function of isothermal pre-aging.

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