Accelerated Aging System for Prognostics of Power Semiconductor Devices

Shared by Miryam Strautkalns, updated on May 09, 2013


Author(s) :
J. Celaya, P. Wysocki, V. Vashchenko, S. Saha, K. Goebel

Prognostics is an engineering discipline that focuses on estimation of the health state of a component and the prediction of its remaining useful life (RUL) before failure. Health state estimation is based on actual conditions and it is fundamental for the prediction of RUL under anticipated future usage. Failure of electronic devices is of great concern as future aircraft will see an increase of electronics to drive and control safety-critical equipment throughout the aircraft. Therefore, development of prognostics solutions for electronics is of key importance. This paper presents an accelerated aging system for gate-controlled power transistors. This system allows for the understanding of the effects of failure mechanisms, and the identification of leading indicators of failure which are essential in the development of physics-based degradation models and RUL prediction. In particular, this system isolates electrical overstress from thermal overstress. Also, this system allows for a precise control of internal temperatures, enabling the exploration of intrinsic failure mechanisms not related to the device packaging. By controlling the temperature within safe operation levels of the device, accelerated aging is induced by electrical overstress only, avoiding the generation of thermal cycles. The temperature is controlled by active thermal-electric units. Several electrical and thermal signals are measured in-situ and recorded for further analysis in the identification of leading indicators of failures. This system, therefore, provides a unique capability in the exploration of different failure mechanisms and the identification of precursors of failure that can be used to provide a health management solution for electronic devices.

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