Power semiconductor devices such as MOSFET/IGBT and PiN diodes are widely used as basic components for supporting infrastructure in the field of electronics, including in power conversion, industrial equipment, railways, and automobiles. Recently, increasing attention has been paid to silicon carbide (SiC) as a wide-band-gap semiconductor suitable for use in power devices with low loss and high breakdown voltage. However, basic knowledge of the material properties and reliability of SiC devices, and particularly the influence of mechanical stress on device characteristics, is still incomplete. In this paper, we evaluated the effect of mechanical stress on the electrical characteristics of SiC devices. In order to investigate the effect of stress on the SiC device characteristic, we propose a simple evaluation method using four-point bending, which is a classical method capable of applying uniaxial stress to a device. With this method, we evaluated the stress in a SiC device using residual stress measurement by Raman spectroscopy and stress simulation based on the finite element method. Our proposed experimental method is as follows. First, the SiC device was bonded with AuGe solder to a metal plate [phosphor bronze; Young’s modulus: 105 GPa; Poisson’s ratio: 0.33; dimensions: 100 mm (W) × 12 mm (L) × 2 mm (T)], and aluminum wire (wire radius: 200 μm) was also bonded to the device. Second, the prepared device was placed on the specially designed four-point bending apparatus for mechanical stress experiments. Finally, the sample was bent in compression or tension in the in-plane direction by the four-point system. The SiC device was subjected to compression or tensile stress via the metal plate. The electrical characteristics of the SiC-MOSFET were measured with a curve tracer in our proposed system. IdVds characteristics changed linearly as stress was applied to the device. As a result, the on-resistance was increased by 7.6% by applying a tensile stress of 300 MPa and was decreased by 1.0% by applying a compressive stress of 100 MPa at room temperature, respectively. A power device circuit with multiple chips was also simulated by SPICE based on the experimental results to confirm the effects of stress on SiC devices in a power module. Simulated MOSFET model contains stress factors obtained from experimental results. The circuit was simulated by electro-thermal coupled analysis using a one-dimensional model of the electric circuit and thermal circuit constructed in SPICE. The results show that the proposed method is powerful simulation method for power device design.

This content is only available via PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.