Date of Graduation

5-2017

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Engineering (PhD)

Degree Level

Graduate

Department

Electrical Engineering

Advisor

H. Alan Mantooth

Committee Member

Simon Ang

Second Committee Member

Micheal Glover

Third Committee Member

Jia Di

Fourth Committee Member

Anthony M. Francis

Keywords

High temperature electronics, Integrated Circuit Design, Silicon Carbide

Abstract

Discrete silicon carbide (SiC) power devices have long demonstrated abilities that outpace those of standard silicon (Si) parts. The improved physical characteristics allow for faster switching, lower on-resistance, and temperature performance. The capabilities unleashed by these devices allow for higher efficiency switch-mode converters as well as the advance of power electronics into new high-temperature regimes previously unimaginable with silicon devices. While SiC power devices have reached a relative level of maturity, recent work has pushed the temperature boundaries of control electronics further with silicon carbide integrated circuits.

The primary requirement to ensure rapid switching of power MOSFETs was a gate drive buffer capable of taking a control signal and driving the MOSFET gate with high current required. In this work, the first integrated SiC CMOS gate driver was developed in a 1.2 μm SiC CMOS process to drive a SiC power MOSFET. The driver was designed for close integration inside a power module and exposure to high temperatures. The drive strength of the gate driver was controllable to allow for managing power MOSFET switching speed and potential drain voltage overshoot. Output transistor layouts were optimized using custom Python software in conjunction with existing design tool resources. A wafer-level test system was developed to identify yield issues in the gate driver output transistors. This method allowed for qualitative and quantitative evaluation of transistor leakage while the system was under probe. Wafer-level testing and results are presented. The gate driver was tested under high temperature operation up to 530 degrees celsius. An integrated module was built and tested to illustrate the capability of the gate driver to control a power MOSFET under load. The adjustable drive strength feature was successfully demonstrated.

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