2022 / 07 / 12

Finite Element Influence Analysis of Power Module Design Options

Marius van Dijk; Olaf Wittler; Ping-Chi Hung; Wei-Hong Lai; Cheng-Yu Hsieh; Thomas Wang; Martin Schneider-Ramelow

The electrification trend for the automotive industry (electric- and hybrid electric vehicles EV/HEV) desires the development of application specific power modules with shorter time-to-market for which the reliability is guaranteed over a large time span. Besides the electrical layout of such power modules, numerous variations of the design can be made which include material selection, the used assembly and interconnection technologies and geometrical variations like layer thicknesses and position of certain components.Due to the time efficiency, relative low costs and good possibilities for visualizing thermal and thermomechanical behavior in detail, research and development is focusing nowadays more and more on Finite Element Analysis (FEA). The possibilities of assessing finite element analysis for visualizing influences of certain design choices are discussed in this paper, where the development of a new, low-power automotive power module is used as an example. Moreover, simulation analysis focusses on the complete power module, in order to consider cross influences of design choices.First, a discussion on the static thermal behavior is presented followed by the thermomechanical behavior. As the die attach is prone to show early failure/degradation, a numerical simulation Design of Experiment (DoE) is conducted to visualize the influence of – for example – the heat sink material on die attach reliability. For this purpose, 37 simulation models are evaluated, having different configurations. Additional simulations are performed to investigate the reliability of the electrical connection (ribbon- or wire bond).Special attention is given to the reliability of sintered silver die attach technology. This trend-topic in power electronics is gaining much interest in the recent years where many authors have published results of increasing reliability when the classical soldered die attach is replaced with sintered silver. Experimental tests are performed to investigate the influence of the sintered silver Bond Line Thickness (BLT) and to verify the simulation results. The experiments indicate that even after 2500 thermal shock cycles according to the AQG324 no failure or starting degradation for all bond line thicknesses was observed.

Published in: 2022 IEEE 72nd Electronic Components and Technology Conference (ECTC)