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Chin. Phys. B, 2015, Vol. 24(6): 068105    DOI: 10.1088/1674-1056/24/6/068105
Special Issue: TOPICAL REVIEW — III-nitride optoelectronic materials and devices
TOPICAL REVIEW—III-nitride optoelectronic materials and devices Prev   Next  

Transient thermal analysis as measurement method for IC package structural integrity

Alexander Hanß, Maximilian Schmid, E Liu, Gordon Elger
Technische Hochschule Ingolstadt, Esplanade 10, 85049 Ingolstadt, Germany

Practices of IC package reliability testing are reviewed briefly, and the application of transient thermal analysis is examined in great depth. For the design of light sources based on light emitting diode (LED) efficient and accurate reliability testing is required to realize the potential lifetimes of 10^5 h. Transient thermal analysis is a standard method to determine the transient thermal impedance of semiconductor devices, e.g. power electronics and LEDs. The temperature of the semiconductor junctions is assessed by time-resolved measurement of their forward voltage (Vf). The thermal path in the IC package is resolved by the transient technique in the time domain. This enables analyzing the structural integrity of the semiconductor package. However, to evaluate thermal resistance, one must also measure the dissipated energy of the device (i.e., the thermal load) and the k-factor. This is time consuming, and measurement errors reduce the accuracy. To overcome these limitations, an innovative approach, the relative thermal resistance method, was developed to reduce the measurement effort, increase accuracy and enable automatic data evaluation. This new way of evaluating data simplifies the thermal transient analysis by eliminating measurement of the k-factor and thermal load, i.e. measurement of the lumen flux for LEDs, by normalizing the transient Vf data. This is especially advantageous for reliability testing where changes in the thermal path, like cracks and delaminations, can be determined without measuring the k-factor and thermal load. Different failure modes can be separated in the time domain. The sensitivity of the method is demonstrated by its application to high-power white InGaN LEDs. For detailed analysis and identification of the failure mode of the LED packages, the transient signals are simulated by time-resolved finite element (FE) simulations. Using the new approach, the transient thermal analysis is enhanced to a powerful tool for reliability investigation of semiconductor packages in accelerated lifetime tests and for inline inspection. This enables automatic data analysis of the transient thermal data required for processing a large amount of data in production and reliability testing. Based on the method, the integrity of LED packages can be tested by inline, outgoing inspection and the lifetime prediction of the products is improved.

Keywords:  transient thermal analysis      thermal resistance      reliability      light emitting diode  
Received:  09 January 2015      Revised:  28 March 2015      Accepted manuscript online: 
PACS:  81.70.Pg (Thermal analysis, differential thermal analysis (DTA), differential thermogravimetric analysis)  
  81.05.Ea (III-V semiconductors)  
  44.10.+i (Heat conduction)  
  85.60.Bt (Optoelectronic device characterization, design, and modeling)  
Corresponding Authors:  Gordon Elger     E-mail:
About author:  81.70.Pg; 81.05.Ea; 44.10.+i; 85.60.Bt

Cite this article: 

Alexander Hanß, Maximilian Schmid, E Liu, Gordon Elger Transient thermal analysis as measurement method for IC package structural integrity 2015 Chin. Phys. B 24 068105

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