3-D electrothermal simulation of active cycling on smart power MOSFETs during short-circuit and UIS conditions

Michele Riccio, Vincenzo D'Alessandro, Andrea Irace, Gilles Rostaing, Mounira Berkani, Stéphane Lefebvre, Philippe Dupuy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Active cycling of power devices operated in harsh conditions causes high power dissipation, resulting in critical electrothermal and thermo-mechanical effects that may lead to catastrophic failures. This paper analyzes the ageing-induced degradation of the chip metallization of a power MOSFET and its impact on the device robustness during short-circuit and unclamped inductive switching tests. A 3-D electrothermal simulator relying on a full circuit representation of the whole device is used to predict the influence of various ageing levels. It is found that ageing can jeopardize the robustness of the transistor when subject to short-circuit conditions due to the exacerbated de-biasing effect on the gate-source voltage distribution; conversely, this mechanism does not arise under unclamped inductive switching conditions. This allows explaining the difference in time-to-failure experimentally observed for the transistors subject to these tests and dissipating the same energy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1845-1850
Number of pages6
JournalMicroelectronics Reliability
Issue number9-10
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Active cycling
  • Ageing effects
  • Electrothermal simulation
  • Power MOSFETs
  • Short circuit test
  • Unclamped inductive switching

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

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