Reliability Challenges for SiC Power Devices in Systems and the Impact on Reliability Testing


Article Preview

The reliability of SiC devices remains to be a field of hectic activity because it is one of the obstacles for the ubiquitous application of SiC devices. Without decades of field experience, reliability testing, especially accelerated testing, is the only way to obtain information on reliability during the projected lifespan of the devices. For silicon devices, such tests exist and they are canonized in internationally recognized test standards. For SiC devices, these standards have to be revised and/or supplemented with tests to capture SiC specific degradation mechanisms. On the one hand, this requires a detailed knowledge about the mechanisms but on the other hand, this also requires the mission profile of the devices. In fact, it is not the mission profile of the device that determines its reliability but the mission profile of the chip. This contribution reviews the standard silicon tests useful for SiC devices and looks into additional, SiC specific tests that have been proposed but not yet been recognized as standards.



Edited by:

Robert Stahlbush, Philip Neudeck, Anup Bhalla, Robert P. Devaty, Michael Dudley and Aivars Lelis




N. Kaminski "Reliability Challenges for SiC Power Devices in Systems and the Impact on Reliability Testing", Materials Science Forum, Vol. 924, pp. 805-810, 2018

Online since:

June 2018





* - Corresponding Author

[1] N. Kaminski, The ideal chip is not enough: Issues retarding the success of wide band-gap devices,, Jap. Jour. of Appl. Phys. 56 (2017) 04CA03.


[2] D. Gajewski, B. Hull, D. Lichtenwalner, S.-H. Ryu, E. Bonelli, H. Mustain, G. Wang, S. Allen, J. Palmour, SiC Power Device Reliability,, IEEE Int. Integrated Rel. Workshop (IIRW), (2016).


[3] J. B. Casady et al., First Automotive Reliability Assessment and Drive-train Performance of Large-area 900V, 10mΩ SiC MOSFETs,, IEEE Appl. Pow. El. Conf. and Exp. (APEC), Mar. (2017).


[4] A. J. Lelis, R. Green, D. B. Habersat, SiC MOSFET Reliability and Implications for Qualification Testing,, IEEE Intern. Reliability Phys. Symp. (IRPS), April 2017, p. 2A-4.1-4.


[5] C. Herold, M. Schäfer, F. Sauerland, T. Poller, J. Lutz, O. Schilling, Power cycling capability of Modules with SiC-Diodes,, 8th Int. Conf. on Integrated Power Systems (CIPS), May (2014).

[6] C. Herold, J. Sun, P. Seidel, L. Tinschert, J. Lutz, Power cycling methods for SiC MOSFETs", 29th Int. Symp. on Power Semi. Dev. and IC,s (ISPSD), May (2017).


[7] R. Schmidt, R. Werner, J. Casady, B. Hull, A. Barkley, Power Cycle Testing of Sintered SiC-MOSFETs,, Int. Conf. on Power Conversion and Intelligent Motion (PCIM Europe), May (2017).

[8] R. Kakanakov et al., Thermally Stable Low Resistivity Ohmic Contacts for High Power and High Temperature SiC Device Applications,, 23rd Int. Conf. on Microel. (MIEL), May (2002).


[9] T. Kimoto, A. Iijima, H. Tsuchida, T. Miyazawa, et al., Understanding and Reduction of Degradation Phenomena in SiC Power Devices, IEEE Int. Rel. Phys. Symp. (IRPS), Apr. (2017).


[10] C. Zorn, F. Hoffmann, M. Hanf, N. Kaminski, F. Allerstam, A. Konstantinov, T. Neyer, H³TRB Test on 650 V SiC JBS Diodes,, Int. Conf. on SiC and Rel. Mat. (ICSCRM), Sept. (2017).

[11] M. Holz, G. Hultsch, T. Scherg, R. Rupp, Reliability considerations for recent Infineon SiC diode releases,, Microelectronics Reliability 47 (2007), p.1741.


[12] C. Bödeker, T. Vogt, D. Silber et al., Criterion for the Stability Against Thermal Runaway During Blocking Operation and Its Application to SiC Diodes,, IEEE JESTPE 4, (2016) p.970.


[13] T. Basler, R. Rupp, R. Gerlach, B. Zippelius, M. Draghici, Avalanche Robustness of SiC MPS Diodes,, Int. Conf. on Power Conversion and Intelligent Motion (PCIM Europe), May (2016).

[14] C. Zorn, N. Kaminski, Temperature–humidity–bias testing on insulated-gate bipolartransistor modules – failure modes and acceleration due to high voltage,, IET Power El. 8 (2015) 2329–2335.


[15] D.-P. Sadik, J.-K. Lim, F. Giezendanner, P. Ranstad, H.-P. Nee, Humidity Testing of SiC Power MOSFETs – An Update,, 19th Euro. Conf. on Power El. and Appl. (EPE), Sept. (2017).


[16] C. Zorn, M. Piton, N. Kaminski, Impact of Humidity on Railway Converters,, Int. Conf. on Power Conversion and Intelligent Motion (PCIM Europe), May (2017).

[17] A. Bolotnikov et al., Overview of 1.2kV–2.2kV SiC MOSFETs targeted for industrial power conversion applications,, IEEE Appl. Pow. El. Conf. and Exp. (APEC), Mar. (2015).

[18] Y. Mori, D. Hisamoto et al., Effects of interface properties in SiC MOSFETs on reliability,, 22nd Int. Symp. on the Physical and Failure Analysis of Integrated Circuits (IPFA), (2015).


[19] C. Bödeker, E. Ayerbe, N. Kaminski, Impact of a Kelvin Source Connection on Discrete High Power SiC-MOSFETs,, Int. Conf. on SiC and Rel. Mat. (ICSCRM), Sept. (2017).

[20] A. Lemmon, M. Mazzola, J. Gafford, C. Parker, Instability in Half-Bridge Circuits Switched With Wide Band-Gap Transistors,, IEEE Trans. on Power El. 29 (2014), p.2380.


Fetching data from Crossref.
This may take some time to load.