Lead academic: Prof Olayiwola Alatise, University of Warwick
Universities: Bristol, Newcastle, Nottingham and Warwick
Research Highlights: The Reliability and Health Management Theme aims to develop technologies that can improve the reliability of wide band-gap semiconductors by providing a condition monitoring and health management platform for wide band-gap based power electronic modules.
- Developed novel techniques for investigating threshold voltage shift in SiC and GaN power devices using device coupling capacitances as well as 3rd quadrant conduction characteristics. This is useful for condition monitoring of gate dielectrics in wide band-gap devices known to have less reliable gate dielectric characteristics compared to silicon devices
- Developed advanced current source gate drivers capable of dynamic control of SiC devices. This can be used for optimising the switching performance and potentially implementing condition monitoring in SiC power devices
- Made significant progress in the integration and characterisation of copper metallisation for improved reliability in power devices. This is important for improving the reliability of interconnects in power devices which are traditionally based on aluminium and are susceptible to failure modes like wire bond lift-off
Understanding the reliability of WBG semiconductors is becoming increasingly important as these new devices are being used more widely in industrial settings. However, for applications with high failure costs – for example, automotive traction, aerospace and grid connected converters – the uptake of this new technology is slow. By developing technologies that can improve the reliability of these new devices and monitor their health on-line, then the likelihood of uptake of new WBG power modules will be increased. This project aims to do just this, by providing a condition monitoring and health management platform for WBG based power electronic modules.
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