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Industrial/PhD Course: Design Considerations for Robust and Reliable Power Semiconductor Modules


03.12.2018 kl. 08.30 - 04.12.2018 kl. 16.00



Postdoc. Paula Díaz Reigosa, pdr@et.aau.dk , Aalborg University


Postdoc. Paula Díaz Reigosa, AAU
Postdoc. Amir Bahman, AAU
Professor Francesco Iannuzzo, AAU



In this course, the continuously growing importance of power electronics and the need for long and reliable power semiconductor devices will be addressed. First, an introduction to the most widely used power semiconductor devices will be given with a short introduction to its operation principle. Then, the role of the parasitic elements and thermal stresses in real applications, without forgetting about abnormal operations such as short-circuit will be addressed. With the target of accelerating the transition towards long-term lifetime of power electronic systems, four golden rules for reliable power module design will be proposed, which includes reliable operation under both normal and abnormal conditions.

On the second day, an overview of the most common failure mechanisms in silicon IGBTs and SiC MOSFETs will be presented. The prediction of such failure modes is complex since they can be triggered due to many parameters, such as temperature, voltage variation, inductive and capacitance effects, unbalanced current distribution and also EMI (Electro Magnetic Interference). Examples of instabilities will be given and the PhD student will become familiar with the failures that one can find in the field. The student will learn through a software tool, such as PSpice, how to model abnormal operations aiming at increasing the device robustness. 

The course is organized in two consecutive days of full-time activities, covering the following:

  • Introduction, overview of new developments in SiC MOSFETs and Si IGBTs
  • Importance of parasitic elements in real applications considering thermal aspects
  • The four golden rules for reliable power application design including abnormal operation
  • Introduction to the most common failure mechanisms in silicon IGBTs and SiC MOSFETs


Basic knowledge of circuit theory and device semiconductor behavior.

Form of evaluation

The participants must simulate with PSpice a simple semiconductor power module including chips in parallel and inductive elements under both normal and abnormal operations. The exercise can be done in group of 2-3 members. A final report must be submitted by ea




6000 DKK for PhD students outside of Denmark and 1500 DKK for PhD students in Denmark, who are not from AAU. 8000 DKK for the Industry.


Department of Energy Technology


Aalborg University, Pontoppidanstræde 103, room 4.112, 9220 Aalborg East.