Nowadays, designing ever more efficient power modules requires complex materials and more innovative methodologies. To significantly reduce the lead time of the devices and decrease the costs, especially during the prototyping and the testing phases, a Finite Element Analysis (FEA) can be the simplest way to deal with a matrix of parameters to be studied on a single setup. In this work, a thermal characterization is addressed to a stationary simulation using the COMSOL Multiphysics® software, coupling the Heat Transfer Module and the CFD Module. The study is applied to two types of power modules with different technologies, one with Direct Bonded Copper (DBC) substrate and the other one with Insulated Metal Substrate (IMS). An experimental phase follows in order to test the most performing module. A DBC module is composed by (bottom-up) a substrate (copper base, an alumina insulating layer, copper top layer with a specific electrical layout), soldering layers, the dice, the metallic pins, a covering insulating gel and an external protective box. The IMS modules are equal, except for the substrate made up by (bottom-up) a metal base (copper or aluminium), a polymer with ceramic fillers as insulating layer and a copper top layer with the same electrical layout of DBC. The experimental setup used to test real devices is composed by an aluminium water heatsink with a macroscopical copper plate on the top, separated by a thermal grease layer. The device is then mounted on the copper plate with a defined thermal grease layer in between. The geometry considered in the simulation reproduces accurately this experimental setup. The Heat Transfer Module is set to dissipate about 110 W per die. Air natural convection is neglected since it contributes only marginally to the exchange process. This has been assessed with a specific simulation that allows to fix the total insulating condition on the external boundaries, so that only conductive phenomena are considered at this point. The CFD Module is responsible of the water flux entering the heatsink, while the Multiphysics captures the non-isothermal behaviour of the fluid as it flows inside the heatsink. The mesh incorporates different element sizes, depending on the layers thickness. As a result, the FEA solution, provided by COMSOL Multiphysics®, is mostly in accordance with the experimental data. For DBC module, also the packaging is investigated. Different solutions, such as Vacuum Potting Gel (VPG), are applied to the standard module, analysing thermal resistance and heat dissipation. As an example, the VPG solution consists in filling a protective plastic case with a silicone dielectric gel. The layers disposition is precisely the one described in the DBC section above. The modules are imported in the software and placed upon the testing setup already in use for the previous part. The simulations return interesting insight in the thermal behaviour of the modules.

Influence of Materials and Packaging Solutions on Thermal Behaviour of Power Modules / Galfré, Giulio; Spano, Chiara; Aufiero, Paolo; Bertana, Valentina. - ELETTRONICO. - (2023). (Intervento presentato al convegno COMSOL Conference 2023 tenutosi a Munich nel 25-27 October 2023).

Influence of Materials and Packaging Solutions on Thermal Behaviour of Power Modules

Galfré, Giulio;Spano, Chiara;Aufiero, Paolo;Bertana, Valentina
2023

Abstract

Nowadays, designing ever more efficient power modules requires complex materials and more innovative methodologies. To significantly reduce the lead time of the devices and decrease the costs, especially during the prototyping and the testing phases, a Finite Element Analysis (FEA) can be the simplest way to deal with a matrix of parameters to be studied on a single setup. In this work, a thermal characterization is addressed to a stationary simulation using the COMSOL Multiphysics® software, coupling the Heat Transfer Module and the CFD Module. The study is applied to two types of power modules with different technologies, one with Direct Bonded Copper (DBC) substrate and the other one with Insulated Metal Substrate (IMS). An experimental phase follows in order to test the most performing module. A DBC module is composed by (bottom-up) a substrate (copper base, an alumina insulating layer, copper top layer with a specific electrical layout), soldering layers, the dice, the metallic pins, a covering insulating gel and an external protective box. The IMS modules are equal, except for the substrate made up by (bottom-up) a metal base (copper or aluminium), a polymer with ceramic fillers as insulating layer and a copper top layer with the same electrical layout of DBC. The experimental setup used to test real devices is composed by an aluminium water heatsink with a macroscopical copper plate on the top, separated by a thermal grease layer. The device is then mounted on the copper plate with a defined thermal grease layer in between. The geometry considered in the simulation reproduces accurately this experimental setup. The Heat Transfer Module is set to dissipate about 110 W per die. Air natural convection is neglected since it contributes only marginally to the exchange process. This has been assessed with a specific simulation that allows to fix the total insulating condition on the external boundaries, so that only conductive phenomena are considered at this point. The CFD Module is responsible of the water flux entering the heatsink, while the Multiphysics captures the non-isothermal behaviour of the fluid as it flows inside the heatsink. The mesh incorporates different element sizes, depending on the layers thickness. As a result, the FEA solution, provided by COMSOL Multiphysics®, is mostly in accordance with the experimental data. For DBC module, also the packaging is investigated. Different solutions, such as Vacuum Potting Gel (VPG), are applied to the standard module, analysing thermal resistance and heat dissipation. As an example, the VPG solution consists in filling a protective plastic case with a silicone dielectric gel. The layers disposition is precisely the one described in the DBC section above. The modules are imported in the software and placed upon the testing setup already in use for the previous part. The simulations return interesting insight in the thermal behaviour of the modules.
2023
978-1-7364524-1-7
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11583/2983996