Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Engineering (PhD)

Degree Level



Electrical Engineering


Zhong Chen

Committee Member

Jeff Dix

Second Committee Member

Yue Zhao

Third Committee Member

Jia Di


The blocking voltage, switching frequency and temperature tolerance of power devices have been greatly improved due to the revolution of wide bandgap (WBG) materials, such as silicon carbide (SiC) and gallium nitride (GaN). Owing to the development of SiC-based power devices, the power rating, operating voltage, and power density of power modules have been significantly improved. However, the reliability of SiC-based power modules has not been fully explored yet. Thus, this dissertation focuses on the chip- and system-level reliability on SiC-based power modules. For chip-level reliability, this work focuses on on-chip SiC ESD protection devices for SiC-based integrated circuits (ICs). In order to develop SiC ESD protection devices, SiC-based Ohmic contact and ion implantation have been studied. Nickel/Titanium/Aluminum (Ni/Ti/Al) metal stacks were deposited on SiC substrates to form Ohmic contact. Circular transfer length method (CTLM) structures were fabricated to characterize contact resistivity. Ion implantation was designed and simulated by Sentraurus technology computer aided design (TCAD) software. Secondary-ion mass spectrometry (SIMS) results show a good match with the simulation results. In addition, SiC ESD protection devices, such as N-type metal-oxide-semiconductor (NMOS), laterally diffused metal-oxide-semiconductor (LDMOS), high-voltage silicon controlled rectifier (HV-SCR) and low-voltage silicon controlled rectifier (LV-SCR), have been designed. Transmission line pulse (TLP) and very fast TLP (VF-TLP) measurements were carried out to characterize their ESD performance. The proposed SiC-based HV-SCR shows the highest failure current on TLP measurement and can be used as an area-efficient ESD protection device. On the other hand, for system-level reliability, this dissertation focuses on the galvanic isolation of high-temperature SiC power modules. Low temperature co-fired ceramics (LTCC) based high-temperature optocouplers were designed and fabricated as galvanic isolators. The LTCC-based high-temperature optocouplers show promising driving capability and steady response speed from 25 ºC to 250 ºC. In order to verify the performance of the high-temperature optocouplers at the system level, LTCC-based gate drivers that utilize the high-temperature optocouplers as galvanic isolators were designed and integrated into a high-temperature SiC-based power module. Finally, the high-temperature power module with integrated LTCC-based gate drivers was characterized by DPTs from 25 ºC to 200 ºC. The power module shows reliable switching performance at elevated temperatures.