Transient thermal measurement on nano-metallic sintered die-attach joints using a thermal test chip

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The rapid development of power electronics has challenged the thermal integrity of semiconductor packaging. Further developments in this domain can be supported significantly by utilizing fast and flexible thermal characteristic evaluation. This study employs the transient dual interface method (TDIM) to characterize and compare the thermal resistance of Ag- and Cu-sintered die-attach joints using an in-house developed thermal test chip (TTC). The proposed TTC with 82.5% active area achieves a temperature sensitivity of 12 Ω/K and maximum power of 360 W per cell, which are 50% and 44% higher than the state-of-the-art, respectively. The uniformity of the temperature distribution (1 °C at 68 W) is verified by infrared thermography. The cost-effective manufacturing process allows the design to be applied to any substrate, such as SiC or GaN. Ag and Cu sintering is performed to bond the TTC on a Cu substrate, and the junction-to-case thermal resistance of the sintered structures is extracted. The lowest junction-to-case thermal resistance of 0.144 K/W is measured for the device sintered using Ag paste. Meanwhile, the Cu sintered structure exhibits a comparable value of 0.158 K/W. The proposed TTC in combination with TDIM accelerates the introduction of novel and cost-effective materials such as Cu.