Power Modules: Typical Failure Modes and How to Solve Them

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Typical failures in IGBT power modules are often the result of CTE mismatches, which cause thermo-mechanical stresses that lead to solder fatigue and constitutes itself in the form of cracking or delamination. The overheating occurs in the areas of poor heat transfer (cracks/delaminations), which leads to faster crack propagation. The surface overheating also leads to wire/ribbon bond lifts or heel cracks. With this case study, it has been demonstrated that using the above method of vacuum reflow utilized in an SST 8300 Series Automated Vacuum Soldering System, it is possible to achieve a very low void soldering result (around 1% on average) while soldering a large DBC substrate to Ni plated base plate with SAC 305 or Sn95Sb5 preforms. The low void rate mitigates the likelihood of solder fatigue and overheating, reducing failure rates and increasing IGBT power module reliability.

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