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Opportunity at Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL)

Electro-thermo-mechanical Optimization for Reliable Power Packaging for High Temperature Operation

Location

Aerospace Systems Directorate, RQ/Aero Propulsion Systems

RO# Location
13.30.02.B4834 Wright-Patterson AFB, OH 454337542

Advisers

Name E-mail Phone
Scofield, James D. james.scofield.1@us.af.mil 937.255.5949

Description

Wide temperature range power semiconductor research opportunities exist in the areas of power device design, development, and reliability assessment as they relate to wide bandgap power switch and diode performance in harsh environments. In addition to a consideration of carrier transport phenomena over wide temperature operational ranges, current research focuses on the thermomechanical aspects of device packaging to minimize coefficient of thermal expansion related stresses and enhance reliability while providing the requisite electrical functionality. Novel composite and metallurgical materials are being investigated in module designs, which aim to functionally optimize heat transfer efficiency and temperature distributions to minimize the stresses that drive conventional packaging failure modes. Finite element modeling and simulation are extensively used to drive component designs, which are subsequently validated empirically. In conjunction with this research we are interested in developing thermal models of heat transport across small-dimensional layers and interfaces that are not accurately described by Fourier conduction theory. A related area of research involves improving our understanding of the fundamental physics and chemistry of device failure in these emerging wide bandgap material systems. Efforts to determine activation energies and correlate device failure data with resident dislocations, inclusions, micropipe, and other defects is an area of high priority. Research interests also exists to develop sensors and optical interrogation techniques that are capable of providing accurate, repeatable, high-resolution response to small changes (<5%) in pressure, temperature, electrical current, voltage, and fluid flow under similar thermal environments.

 

Keywords:
Power switches; Reliability; SiC; FEA modeling; Harsh environment;

Eligibility

Citizenship:  Open to U.S. citizens
Level:  Open to Postdoctoral and Senior applicants
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