High-Temperature High-Power Packaging Techniques for HEV Traction Applications

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A key issue associated with the wider adoption of hybrid-electric vehicles (HEV) and plug in hybrid-electric vehicles (PHEV) is the implementation of the power electronic systems that are required in these products. One of the primary industry goals is the reduction in the price of these vehicles relative to the cost of traditional gasoline powered vehicles. Today these systems, such as the Prius, utilize one coolant loop for the engine at approximately 100 C coolant temperatures, and a second coolant loop for the inverter at 65 C. One way in which significant cost reduction of these systems could be achieved ... continued below

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Elshabini, Aicha & Barlow, Fred D. November 1, 2006.

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A key issue associated with the wider adoption of hybrid-electric vehicles (HEV) and plug in hybrid-electric vehicles (PHEV) is the implementation of the power electronic systems that are required in these products. One of the primary industry goals is the reduction in the price of these vehicles relative to the cost of traditional gasoline powered vehicles. Today these systems, such as the Prius, utilize one coolant loop for the engine at approximately 100 C coolant temperatures, and a second coolant loop for the inverter at 65 C. One way in which significant cost reduction of these systems could be achieved is through the use of a single coolant loop for both the power electronics as well as the internal combustion engine (ICE). This change in coolant temperature significantly increases the junction temperatures of the devices and creates a number of challenges for both device fabrication and the assembly of these devices into inverters and converters for HEV and PHEV applications. Traditional power modules and the state-of-the-art inverters in the current HEV products, are based on chip and wire assembly and direct bond copper (DBC) on ceramic substrates. While a shift to silicon carbide (SiC) devices from silicon (Si) devices would allow the higher operating temperatures required for a single coolant loop, it also creates a number of challenges for the assembly of these devices into power inverters. While this traditional packaging technology can be extended to higher temperatures, the key issues are the substrate material and conductor stability, die bonding material, wire bonds, and bond metallurgy reliability as well as encapsulation materials that are stable at high operating temperatures. The larger temperature differential during power cycling, which would be created by higher coolant temperatures, places tremendous stress on traditional aluminum wire bonds that are used to interconnect power devices. Selection of the bond metallurgy and wire bond geometry can play a key role in mitigating this stress. An alternative solution would be to eliminate the wire bonds completely through a fundamentally different method of forming a reliable top side interconnect. Similarly, the solders used in most power modules exhibit too low of a liquidus to be viable solutions for maximum junction temperatures of 200 C. Commonly used encapsulation materials, such as silicone gels, also suffer from an inability to operate at 200 C for extended periods of time. Possible solutions to these problems exist in most cases but require changes to the traditional manufacturing process used in these modules. In addition, a number of emerging technologies such as Si nitride, flip-chip assembly methods, and the elimination of base-plates would allow reliable module development for operation of HEV and PHEV inverters at elevated junction temperatures.

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  • Report No.: ORNL/TM-2006/515
  • Grant Number: DE-AC05-00OR22725
  • DOI: 10.2172/974605 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 974605
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc932216

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Office of Scientific & Technical Information Technical Reports

Reports, articles and other documents harvested from the Office of Scientific and Technical Information.

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  • November 1, 2006

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Nov. 13, 2016, 7:26 p.m.

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  • Nov. 21, 2016, 6:39 p.m.

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Elshabini, Aicha & Barlow, Fred D. High-Temperature High-Power Packaging Techniques for HEV Traction Applications, report, November 1, 2006; [Tennessee]. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc932216/: accessed September 23, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.