For power module, the reliability evaluation of thermal fatigue life by power cycling has been prioritized as an important concern. Since in power cycling produces there exists non-uniform temperature distribution in the power module, coupled thermal-structure analysis is required to evaluate thermal fatigue mechanism. The thermal expansion difference between a Si chip and a substrate causes thermal fatigue. In this study, thermal fatigue life of solder joints on power module was evaluated. The finite element method (FEM) was used to evaluate temperature distribution induced by joule heating. Higher temperature appears below the Al wire because the electric current flows through the bonding Al wire. Coupled thermal-structure analysis is also required to evaluate the inelastic strain distribution. The damage of each part of solder joint can be calculated from equivalent inelastic strain range and crack propagation was simulated by deleting damaged elements step by step. The initial cracks were caused below the bonding Al wire and propagated concentrically under power cycling. There is the difference from environmental thermal cycling where the crack initiated at the edge of solder layer. In addition, in order to accurately evaluate the thermal fatigue life, the factors affecting the thermal fatigue life of solder joint where verified using coupled electrical-thermal-structural analysis. Then, the relation between the thermal fatigue life of solder joint and each factor is clarified. The precision evaluation for the thermal fatigue life of power module is improved.

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