Sunteți pe pagina 1din 3

IEEE ELECTRON DEVICE LETTERS, VOL. 22, NO.

5, MAY 2001 239

A Dual-Voltage Self-Clamped IGBT for Automotive


Ignition Applications
Z. John Shen and Stephen P. Robb

Abstract—Self-clamped inductive switching (SCIS) energy ca-


pability is a critical parameter of device performance for insulated
gate bipolar transistors (IGBTs) used in automotive ignition appli-
cations. In this letter, the authors propose a monolithic dual-voltage
self-clamped IGBT to improve its SCIS energy capability. During
an inductive turnoff process, the collector voltage of the proposed
device is clamped first at a high level for a short period of time and
then at a much lower level until the electromagnetic energy stored
in the inductive coil is fully discharged. The concept has been ver-
ified and analyzed with extensive numerical device simulation. A
monolithic prototype device based the concept has been designed
and fabricated with a conventional eight-mask IGBT process. The
preliminary experimental result is also reported.
Index Terms—Automotive electronics, IGBT, ignition, power
semiconductors, smart power.

I. INTRODUCTION

I N THE past few years, the insulated gate bipolar transistor


(IGBT) with integrated collector-gate clamp diodes (or
self-clamped IGBT) has been widely accepted as the device
Fig. 1. Device structure and circuit scheme of the dual-voltage self-clamped
IGBT.

of choice for automotive ignition systems [1], [2]. One of the and improve the SCIS energy capability. During an inductive
most important device parameters of the self-clamped IGBTs is turnoff process, the collector voltage of the proposed device is
the so-called self-clamped inductive switching (SCIS) energy, clamped first at a high level for a short period of time and then
which is limited by the peak junction temperature of the IGBT at a much lower level until the electromagnetic energy stored
during the inductive switching process [3]. The SCIS energy in the inductive coil is fully discharged. Both simulation and
capability of an IGBT is nearly proportional to its die size, and experimental results are discussed.
therefore imposes a fundamental limit on further reduction of
device size and cost.
II. DESIGN OF DEVICE AND CIRCUIT
Our previous work has shown that the SCIS energy capability
of an IGBT strongly depends on its clamp voltage [4]. A lower Fig. 1 illustrates the device structure and circuit scheme of
clamp voltage results in significantly higher SCIS energy capa- the proposed dual-voltage self-clamped IGBT. This new smart
bility for an IGBT. Furthermore, a close examination of typical discrete device consists of a main IGBT, an auxiliary IGBT, a
automotive ignition applications indicates that a high collector high-voltage clamp diode string (HVD), a low-voltage clamp
voltage (typically 350 to 450 V) is required only for a short pe- diode string (LVD), a rectifier diode (D1), and several resistors
riod of time (typically 30 s) for the initial ionization of the (R1 through R5, and Rg), which are all integrated monolithi-
spark plug [5]. A much lower collector voltage (typically 30 to cally in a single silicon chip. The auxiliary IGBT adopts a sim-
50 V) is needed to maintain the spark current during a much ilar cell design as the main IGBT, but contains a much smaller
longer period of time after the initial ionization. Additionally, number of cells. Note that both the gate and emitter electrodes of
in the case of spark plug disconnection, high collector voltage the auxiliary IGBT are separated from those of the main IGBT.
is neither required nor desired. All diodes and resistors are fabricated in the same polysilicon
In this paper, the authors propose a monolithic dual-voltage thin film as the gate electrodes of the IGBTs. The breakdown
self-clamped IGBT to take advantages of these unique findings voltages of the HVD and LVD back-to-back polysilicon diode
strings are around 400 and 60 V, respectively. The device oper-
ation is described as the following.
Manuscript received November 30, 2000; revised February 8, 2001. The re-
view of this paper was arranged by Editor J. Sin. When the gate electrode of the main IGBT is at ground poten-
Z. J. Shen is with the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, tial, both the main and auxiliary IGBTs are in a forward blocking
University of Michigan, Dearborn, MI 48128-1491 USA (e-mail: john- mode. The steady-state collector-emitter breakdown voltage is
shen@umich.edu).
S. P. Robb is with ON Semiconductor Corporation, Phoenix, AZ 85008 USA. completely determined by the low-voltage clamp diode string
Publisher Item Identifier S 0741-3106(01)03709-0. (LVD). Since the automotive bus voltage is much lower than
0741–3106/01$10.00 © 2001 IEEE
240 IEEE ELECTRON DEVICE LETTERS, VOL. 22, NO. 5, MAY 2001

Fig. 3. Simulated SCIS waveforms of collector voltage of the dual-voltage


Fig. 2. Simulated SCIS waveforms of collector current and voltage of the self-clamped IGBT for various values of R .
dual-voltage self-clamped IGBT. The calculated power dissipation is also
plotted as a function of time.
voltage after the initial delay, the electromagnetic energy in the
inductive load can be absorbed by the dual-voltage self-clamped
the breakdown voltage of the LVD string, the LVD feedback
IGBT at a much lower power density but over a much longer
loop is essentially open-circuited except during flyback. There-
period of time than a similar single-voltage self-clamped IGBT.
fore the auxiliary IGBT is not sensitive to the dv/dt transients.
Consequently, a dual-voltage self-clamped IGBT will demon-
When a positive voltage pulse is applied to the gate of the main
strate a much lower peak junction temperature during an induc-
IGBT through the gate resistor Rg (typically 1 K ), the main
tive switching than its single-voltage counterpart for the same
IGBT turns on and allows the current through the inductive load
amount of energy absorbed. Therefore, the SCIS energy capa-
to increase to a preset value. The collector voltage of the main
bility per unit silicon area for the IGBT can be significantly im-
IGBT remains low (approximately 2 V) in this forward conduc-
proved.
tion mode. In the meanwhile, the auxiliary IGBT remains off
because its own gate is still at ground potential and the diode
D1 blocks the positive voltage from the gate of the main IGBT. III. NUMERICAL SIMULATION AND EXPERIMENT
At this point, the voltage at the gate electrode of the main IGBT A two-dimensional (2-D) electrothermal mixed-mode device
returns to ground potential. The electromagnetic energy stored and circuit simulator MEDICI [6] is used to study device op-
in the inductor forces the collector voltage of the main IGBT to eration and to optimize device performance of the dual-voltage
rise rapidly exceeding the avalanche voltage of the LVD loop. self-clamped IGBT. The breakdown voltages for the high- and
The collector voltage continues to rise and is eventually clamped low-voltage diode strings are chosen to be 350 and 60 V, respec-
by the HVD loop. As a result, the gate voltage of the auxiliary tively. Fig. 2 shows the simulated collector current and voltage
IGBT increases after the LVD loop starts conducting current. waveforms for the dual-voltage self-clamped IGBT. The calcu-
However, there is a delay time for charging the gate capacitor lated power is also plotted as a function of time. A 5-V positive
through the resistor R3. voltage pulse with a pulse width of 1ms is applied to the gate
The circuit elements are chosen in such a way that the aux- of the IGBT to ramp the collector currents to approximately
iliary IGBT does not turn on until a short period of time after 12.5 amps. At that point, the gate bias returns to ground level
the collector voltage is clamped at by the HVD loop. and forces the IGBT into a so-called flyback mode with its col-
The corresponding delay time typically ranges between 10 and lector voltage rising rapidly. The collector voltage of the IGBT
40 s, during which the high collector voltage initiates the spark is first clamped at 350 V for approximately 30 s and then at
at the spark plugs through the coil transformer. Note that the op- approximately 80 V for another 670 s before returning to the
eration of the dual-voltage self-clamped IGBT is identical to that bus voltage of 50 V. During the flyback mode, the collector cur-
of a single-voltage self-clamped IGBT during this initial period rent first decreases linearly from 12.5 to 9.5 amps at a fast rate,
of time, and the main IGBT is in a forward conduction mode. and then continues to fall to zero at a slow rate. This is due to the
However, once the auxiliary IGBT fully turns on, its emitter transition of the clamp voltage from 350 to 80 V. The shape of
voltage increases to exceed the voltage at the gate of the main the power dissipation waveform also reflects the impact of the
IGBT. As a result, the auxiliary IGBT will supply current to the changing clamp voltage. The duration of the initial high voltage
gate of the main IGBT and serve as an additional feedback path. flyback is a critical parameter for proper operation of the device
The collector voltage will subsequently decrease from and circuit. It has to be long enough to guarantee the generation
to a much lower value, which is mainly determined by , of the required initial high voltage spark, but short enough to
R1, R2, and the threshold voltage of the IGBTs. In case of spark avoid generating excessive heat and degrading the IGBTs SCIS
plug disconnection or “open secondary,” high collector voltage energy capability. Fig. 3 shows the simulated waveforms of the
is neither required nor desired. Due to the reduced collector collector voltage for various values of R3 (normalized). The
SHEN AND ROBB: DUAL-VOLTAGE SELF-CLAMPED IGBT 241

sured at 61.5 V at a current level of 1mA. Fig. 4 shows the mea-


sured waveforms of the fabricated dual-voltage self-clamped
IGBT. It is observed that the measurement data agrees with
the simulation results reasonably well. Preliminary wafer form
switching measurement also indicates that the dual-voltage self-
clamped IGBT demonstrates a SCIS energy of 513 mJ, com-
pared to 380 mJ of a single-voltage counterpart. This represents
an approximate 35% improvement in SCIS energy.

IV. SUMMARY
In summary, the authors propose a monolithic dual-voltage
self-clamped IGBT to improve its SCIS energy capability for
automotive ignition applications. The concept has been verified
and analyzed with extensive numerical device simulation.
A monolithic prototype device based the concept has been
designed and fabricated with a conventional eight-mask IGBT
process. Future work includes adjusting the initial flyback
Fig. 4. Measured inductive switching waveforms of gate voltage, collector delay time, characterizing the improved SCIS energy capability
current, and collector voltage of the dual-voltage self-clamped IGBT.
of the IGBT, and studying the device performance in realistic
ignition circuit operations.
simulated peak junction temperatures are 519 K, 527 K, and
530 K for the three pulse widths, respectively. For comparison,
REFERENCES
a single-voltage self-clamped IGBT under the same switching
conditions reaches a peak junction temperature of 558 K. Note [1] J. Phipps, S. Robb, J. Sutor, and L. Terry, “Semiconductor device having
high energy sustaining capability and a temperature compensation sus-
that a package thermal resistance of 60 C/W and a case tem- taining voltage,” U.S. Patent 5 536 958.
perature of 400 K are assumed in the simulation. [2] L. Mamileti, A. Taomoto, J. Shen, and S. Robb, “IGBTs designed for
The dual-voltage self-clamped IGBT was monolithically fab- automotive ignition systems,” in Proc. IEEE 27th Annu. Power Electron.
Spec. Conf. (PESC), 1996.
ricated with a conventional DMOS/IGBT process using eight [3] J. Yedinak, J. Merges, J. Wojslawowicz, A. Bhalla, D. Burke, and G.
mask layers. No process modification was required. The die Dolny, “Operation of an IGBT in a self-clamped inductive switching
size is 15 mm . The active area is approximately 9 mm . The circuit (SCIS) for automotive ignition,” in Proc. 10th Int. Symp. Power
Semiconductor Devices ICs (ISPSD), Kyoto, Japan, 1998, pp. 399–402.
auxiliary IGBT uses approximately 1% of the total active area. [4] Z. J. Shen, D. Briggs, and S. P. Robb, “Voltage dependence of self-
It should be pointed out that the auxiliary IGBT conduct cur- clamped inductive switching energy capability of IGBTs,” IEEE Elec-
rents at a much lower density than the main IGBT during the tron Device Lett., vol. 21, pp. 119–122, Mar. 2000.
[5] H. Bauer, Ed., Automotive Electric/Electronic Systems, 2nd
switching process, therefore does not become a weak link of the ed. Stuttgart, Germany: Robert Bosch GmbH, 1995, pp. 181–182.
device. The steady-state breakdown voltage of the IGBT is mea- [6] “MEDICI User Manual,” Avanti Corporation, 1999.