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10/30/2016 CharacteristicsofSemiconductorPowerDevices

CharacteristicsofSemiconductorPowerDevices
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11/26/2015

PowerSemiconductorDevices

Thesemiconductordeviceswhichareusedforhighvoltage,highcurrentandhighpowerapplicationsareknownas
powersemiconductordevices.Thesedeviceshavehighefficiencyduetolowlossesandhighreliability.

Basedon(i)turnonandturnoffcharacteristics,(ii)gatesignalrequirementand(iii)degreeofcontrollability,the
powersemiconductordevicescanbeclassifiedasfollows:

Diodes:Theseareuncontrolledrectifyingdevices.Theirturnonandturnoffstatesarecontrolledbypower
supply.
Thyristors:Thesehavecontrolledturnonbyagatesignalandturnoffbythepowercircuit.Thiscategory
includesSCRs(SiliconControlledRectifiers),triacetc.
ControllableSwitches:Theseswitchesareturnonandturnoffbytheapplicationofcontrolsignals.These
controllableswitchesareBJT,MOSFET,GateTurnoffThyristor(GTO),StaticInductionThyristor(SITH),
InsulatedGateBipolarTransistor(IGBT),StaticInductionTransistor(SIT)andMOSControlledThyristors
(MCT).

PowerSemiconductorDiodes(PowerDiodes)

Powerdiodesaresimilartolowpowerpnjunctiondiode(signaldiode)butmorecomplexinstructure.This
complexityarisesbecauseofmodificationinsignaldiodeforthepurposeofhighpowerapplications.

Powerdiodesareconstructedwithnlayercalleddriftregionbetweenp+layer(anode)andn+layer(cathode).
Thisisdonetosupportlargeblockingvoltage.

VICharacteristics

ReverseRecoveryCharacteristicsofaPowerDiode

Aftertheforwarddiodecurrentdecaystozero,thediodecontinuestoconductinthereversedirectionbecauseof
thepresenceofstoredchargesinthedepletionregionandthesemiconductorlayers.

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toff=tw=ta+tb

where,trr=Reverserecoverytime

ReverseRecoveryTimesSoftnessFactors

trrisdefinedasthetimebetweentheinstantforward
diodecurrentbecomeszeroandtheinstantreverse

recoverycurrentdecaysto25% ofits
reversepeakvalueIRM.
Wheretaistimebetweenzerocrossingofforward
currentandpeakreversecurrentisIRMandinthis
time,thestoredexcesscarriersinthedepletion
regionareremoved.
tbistimemeasuredfromtheinstantofreversepeak
valueIRMtotheinstantwhen0.25IRMisreached.
Duringthistime,theexcesscarriersintheouterlayer
areremoved.

Softnessfactororsfactor .Itisameasureof
thevoltageoscillationbetweentheanodeand
cathodeterminalsduringreverserecoverytime.
s<1,(forfastrecoverydiodeandhaslarge
oscillatoryvoltage).
s=1,(forsoftrecoverydiode).

NotePeakreversecurrent

where,QR=Storagecharge

TypesofPowerDiodes:Basedontheirreverserecovery
characteristics,thepowerdiodescanbeclassifiedas

GeneralPurposeDiode:Thesediodeshaverelativelyhighreverserecoverytimeoftheorderofabout
25s.Theircurrentratingsvaryfrom1Atoseveralthousandamperesandvoltagerangefrom50Vtoabout
5kV.Theseareusedinbatterycharging,electrictractionandelectroplatingweldingetc.
FastRecoveryDiode:Thesediodeshavelowreverserecoverytimeofabout5sorlessandtheircurrent
ratingrangein3Ato5kAandvoltagerangeis50Vtoabout5kV.Theseareusedinchoppers,commutation
circuitsandSMPSetc.
SchottkyDiode:Thisdiodeisformedbyametaltosemiconductorjunction.Here,conductorisonlydueto
majoritycarriers.Thesediodesarecharacterizedbyveryfastrecoverytimeandlowforwardvoltagedrop.
Theirreversevoltageratingarelimitedtoabout100Vandforwardcurrentratingvaryfrom1Ato300A.
thesediodesareusedinveryhighswitchingfrequencyapplications.

PowerTransistors

Powertransistorsareoffourtypesasfollows

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BipolarJunctionTransistor(BJT)
MetalOxideSemiconductorFieldEffectTransistor(MOSFET)
InsulatedGateBipolarTransistor(IGBT)

BipolarJunctionTransistor(BJT)

NoteBJTisacurrentcontrolleddevicewhileMOSF

ETisvoltagecontrolleddevice.

BJTCharacteristics

1.SteadyStateCharacteristics

InputCharacteristic

OutputCharacteristic

1.BJTSwitchingCharacteristics

Here,tr=risetimeduringwhichcollectorcurrentrisesfrom0.1/CSto0.9/CSandcollectoremittervoltagefallsfrom
0.9VCCto0.1VCC

td=delaytime,duringthecollectorcurrentriseszeroto0.1/CSandcollectoremittervoltage(fallsfromVCCto0.9
VCC).

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TotalturnontimeT on=td+tr(orderto30to300ns)

Transistorturnofftime,T off=ts+tf
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Where,tn=Conductortime

ts=Storagetime

tf=Falltime

RC=Loadresistance

IC=Collectorcurrent

=Forwardcurrentgainvariesfrom0.95to0.99

KeyPoints

BJTisabipolardeviceconductionisduetobothmajorityandminoritycarriers.
BJTIacurrentcontrolleddevice.
BJThasnegativetemperaturecoefficient.
ParalleloperationduetohighercurrentatloadcanbeadvisablebecauseBJThasnegativetemperature
coefficient(secondarybreakdownoccurs).
BJTratings:1200V,800A,10to20kHz.
Ithaslowonstateconductionlossesandhighswitchingpowerlosses.

PowerMOSFET

ApowerMOSFEThasthreeterminalscalleddrain(D),source(S)andgate(G)inplaceofthecorrespondingthree
terminalscollector,emitterandbaseforBJT.PowerMOSFETs,justliketheirintegratedcircuitcounterpart,canbe
oftwotypes

1.depletiontypeand
2.enhancementtype.Bothofthesecanbeeithernchanneltypeorpchanneltypedependingonthenatureof
thebulksemiconductor.

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NoteTheequationfordraincurrentinthedepletionMOSFETunderdepletionmodeis

PowerMOSFETCharacteristics

TransferCharacteristics

Where,VGST=Thresholdvoltage

VGS=Gatesourcevoltage

VP=Pinchoffvoltage

VDS=Drainsourcevoltage

ID=Draincurrent

OutputCharacteristics

TransferCharacteristicsofMOSFETs

KeyPoints

PowerMOSFETisavoltagecontrolledDevice.
Itactsasacapacitor,soitisvoltagecontrolcapacitor.
ThecarrierstoragetimeofMOSFETiszero.
MOSFETismoresuitableforhighfrequencyapplicationsthanBJT,becausethereisnominoritycarrier
storagetime.

ComparisonofPMOSFETwithBJT
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ThreeterminalsinaPMOSFETaredesignedasgate,sourceand
drain.InaBJT,thecorrespondingthreeterminalsarebase,emitter
andcollector.APMOSFEThasseveralfeaturesdifferentfromthoseof
BJT.Theseareoutlinedbelow

BJTisabipolardevicewhereasPMOSFETisaunipolardevice.
APMOSFEThashighinputimpedance(M)whereasinput
impedanceofBJTislow(afewk).
PMOSFEThaslowerswitchinglossesbutitsonresistanceand
conductionlossesaremore.ABJThashigherswitchinglossesbut
lowerconductionloss.So,athighfrequencyapplications,
PMOSFETistheobviouschoice.Butatloweroperating
frequencies(lessthanabout10to20kHz).BJTissuperior.
PMOSFETisvoltagecontrolleddevicewhereasBJTiscurrent
controlleddevice.
InPMOSFETs,secondarybreakdowndoesnotoccur,becauseit
haspositivetemperaturecoefficient.AsBJThasnegative
temperaturecoefficientandsecondarybreakdowndoesoccur.

InsulatedGateBipolarTransistor(IGBT)

IGBThasbeendevelopedbycombiningtheBJTandPMOSFETandit
isthebestqualitiesofbothBJTandPMOSFET.Thus,anIGBT
possesseshighinputimpedancelikeaPMOSFETandhaslowon
statepowerlossasinaBJT.Further,IGBTisfreefromsecondary
breakdownproblempresentinBJT.

BasicStructure

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IGBTCharacteristics

Thyristor

Itisafourlayer,threeterminal,minoritycarriersemi
controlleddevice.
Itisalsocalledassiliconcontrolledrectifier(SCR).
Ithasthreeterminals:anode,cathode,andgate.
Thedeviceisturnedonbyapplyingashortpulseacross
thegateandcathode.Oncethedeviceturnson,thegate
losesitscontroltoturnoffthedevice.
Theturnoffisachievedbyapplyingareversevoltage
acrosstheanodeandcathode.

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StaticOutputVICharacteristicsofaThyristor

ConsiderVBRF=Forwardbreakovervoltage,VBRR=
Reversebreakovervoltage,andIg=Gatecurrent.

Voltampere(VI)characteristicsshowninthefollowing
twofigures.

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ReverseBlockingMode

WhencathodeismadepositivewithrespecttoanodewithswitchSopenthyristorisreversebiasedasshownin
figure.JunctionJ1,J3areseentobereversebiasedwhereasjunctionJ2isforwardbiased.Thedevicebehavesas,
iftwodiodesareconnectedinserieswithreversevoltageappliedacrossthem.Thisisreverseblockingmode,
calledtheoffstateofthethyristor.

ForwardBlockingMode

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Whenanodeispositivewithrespecttothecathode,withgate
circuitopen,thyristorissaidtobeforwardbiasedasshownin
figure.ItisseenfromthisfigurethatjunctionsJ1,J3areforward
biasedbutjunctionJ2isreversebiased.Inthismode,asmall
current,calledforwardleakagecurrent,flows.Astheforward
leakagecurrentissmall,SCRoffersahighimpedance.Therefore,
athyristorcanbetreatedasanopenswitchevenintheforward
blockingmode.

ForwardConductionMode

Whenanodetocathodeforwardvoltageisincreasedwithgate
circuitopen,reversebiasedjunctionJ2willhaveanavalanche
breakdownatavoltagecalledforwardbreakovervoltageVBRF.
Afterthisbreakdown,thyristorgetsturnedonandworksintheforwardconductionmode.Athyristorcanbebrought
fromforwardblockingmodetoforwardconductionmodebyturningitonbyapplying(i)apositivegatepulse
betweengateandcathodeor(ii)aforwardbreakovervoltageacrossanodeandcathode.

LatchingCurrent

Theminimumvalueofanodecurrentwhichmustattainforthyristor
toremaininconductionmodeevenafterremovingthegatesignal.

HoldingCurrent

Thevalueofanodecurrentbelowwhichitmustfallforthyristorto
blockthejunctionJ2i.e.,toturnoff

ThyristorTurnonMethods

Thethyristorturnonmethodscanbeclassifiedas

Forwardvoltagetriggering
Gatetriggering
dV/dttriggering
Temperaturetriggering
Lighttriggering

SnubberCircuit

Itisusedforlimiting acrossthyristor.ThiscircuitconsistsofaseriesRCcircuitconnectedacrossthethyristor.

ResistanceRofsnubbercircuitcanbefoundfromtheequation

where,=Dampingfactor,generallytakenas0.65

L=Effectiveinductance
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WhenmaximumvalueofdV/dtisspecified,Cisgivenby

where,Vm=PeakvalueofappliedACvoltage

SeriesandParalleloperationsofThyristors

ThyristorsinSeriesWhensinglethyristorisnotcapabletowithstandda
veryhighvoltage,someofthethyristorsareconnectedinseries,sothat
theycansharetheappliedvoltageduringblockingstate.

ThyristorsinParallelWhensinglethyristorisnotcapableforgivenload
currentthensomeoftheSCRmustbeconnectedinparallel,sothatthey
cansharetheloadcurrentduringonstate.

StringEfficiency:Whenthyristorsareconnectedinparallel,theydonot
sharethetotalcurrentequally.Whentheyareconnectedinseries,they
donotsharethetotalvoltageequally.Stringefficiencyisdefinedas

Stringefficiency

Derating:Ifthethyristorssharethevoltage/currentequally,stringefficiencywillbeoneandtheutilizationof
thyristorswillbemaximum.Whenthyrisotrsareconnectedinparallel,thecurrentderatingis

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Currentderating

Where,Imisthetotalcircuitcurrent,npisthenumberofthyristorinparallelandITisthecurrentratingofeach
thyristor.

Whenthyrisorsareconnectedinseries,thevoltagederatingis

Voltagederating

Where,Vsisthetotalvoltageacrossthestring,nsisthenumberofthyristorsinseriesandVDistheforwardvoltage
ratingofeachthyristor.

Triac

Atriacisfunctionallyapairofconvertergradethyristorsconnectedinantiparallel.

Thetriacsymbolisshownintheabovefigure.Becauseoftheintegration,thetriachas
poorreapplieddv/dt,poorgatecurrentsensitivityatturnon,andlongerturnofftime.
Voltamperecharacteristicsareshowninthefollowingfigure.

Triacsaremainlyusedinphasecontrolapplicationssuchasinacregulatorsfor
lightingandfancontrolandinsolidstateacrelays.

RCTandASCR

ReverseConductingThyristor(RCT):InRCTs,thediodeisintegratedwithafast
switchingthyristorinasinglesiliconchip.

Thisintegrationbringsforthasubstantialimprovementofthestaticanddynamic
characteristicsaswellasitsoverallcircuitperformance.

TheRCTsaredesignedmainlyforspecificapplicationssuch
astractiondrives.
Theantiparalleldiodelimitsthereversevoltageacrossthe
thyristorto1to2V.
Also,becauseofthereverserecoverybehaviorofthediodes,
thethyristormayseeveryhighreapplieddv/dtwhenthediode
recoversfromitsreversevoltage.Thisnecessitatesuseof
largeRCsnubbernetworkstosuppressvoltagetransients.
Astherangeofapplicationofthyristorsanddiodesextends
intohigherfrequencies,theirreverserecoverycharge
becomesincreasinglyimportant.
Highreverserecoverychargeresultsinhighpowerdissipation
duringswitching.

AsymmetricalSiliconControlledRectifier(ASCR):TheASCRhasasimilarforwardblockingcapabilityasan
invertergradethyristor,butithasalimitedreverseblocking(about2030V)capability.

Ithasanonstatevoltagedropofabout25%lessthananinvertergradethyristorofasimilarrating.
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TheASCRfeaturesafastturnofftimethusitcanworkatahigherfrequencythananSCR.
Sincetheturnofftimeisdownbyafactorofnearly2,thesizeofthecommutatingcomponentscanbe
halved.Becauseofthis,theswitchinglosseswillalsobelow.
GateassistedturnofftechniquesareusedtoevenfurtherreducetheturnofftimeofanASCR.
Theapplicationofanegativevoltagetothegateduringturnoffhelpstoevacuatestoredchargeinthedevice
andaidstherecoverymechanisms.Thiswillineffectreducetheturnofftimebyafactorofupto2overthe
conventionaldevice.

ComparisonbetweenDifferentTypesofSemiconductorDevices

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NextChapter:IntroductionofPowerElectronics

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TOPICS

IntroductionofPowerElectronics
CharacteristicsofSemiconductorPowerDevices
DCtoDCConversion
SingleandThreePhaseConfigurationofUncontrolledRectifiers
LineCommutatedThyristorBasedConverters
BidirectionalACtoDCVoltageSourceConverters
IssuesofLineCurrentHarmonics,PowerFactor,DistortionFactorofACtoDCConverters
SinglePhaseandThreePhaseInverters
SinusoidalPulseWidthModulation

ViewCompleteEEStudyNotes

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