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Wire Bond Failures in Power Modules

[+] Author Affiliations
S. Ramminger

Siemens AG, Munich, Germany

G. Wachutka

Technical University of Munich, Munich, Germany

Paper No. IMECE2003-42233, pp. 267-274; 8 pages
  • ASME 2003 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition
  • Electronic and Photonic Packaging, Electrical Systems and Photonic Design, and Nanotechnology
  • Washington, DC, USA, November 15–21, 2003
  • Conference Sponsors: Electronic and Photonic Packaging Division
  • ISBN: 0-7918-3714-9 | eISBN: 0-7918-4663-6, 0-7918-4664-4, 0-7918-4665-2
  • Copyright © 2003 by ASME


Power modules are key components for traction applications, railway locomotives, streetcars and elevators, all of which are equipped with Insulated Gate Bipolar Transistor (IGBT) modules. In this application field, a highly reliable system is of uppermost interest. Reliability tests show that wire bonding and soldering may cause the modules to fail. The packaging setup is a multilayer system in which different materials are soldered together. During a temperature swing caused by self-heating and/or by changes in the ambient temperature, the layers expand differently. This generally causes shear forces at the terminations of joint interfaces finally leading to material fatigue and shorter life. In this paper, we give an overview of the wire bonding technique used in power modules and discuss the mechanisms and failure modes associated with it.

Copyright © 2003 by ASME
Topics: Wire , Failure



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