Gallium Nitride (GaN) power devices can offer better switching performance and higher efficiency than Silicon Carbide (SiC) and Silicon (Si) devices in power electronics applications. GaN has extensively been incorporated in electric vehicle charging stations and power supplies, subjected to harsh environmental conditions. Many reliability studies evaluate GaN power devices through thermal stresses during current conduction or pulsing, with a few focusing on high blocking voltage and high humidity. This paper compares GaN-on-Si High-Electron-Mobility Transistors (HEMT) device characteristics under a High Humidity, High Temperature, Reverse Bias (H3TRB) Test. Twenty-one devices from three manufacturers were subjected to 85◦C and 85% relative humidity while blocking 80% of their voltage rating. Devices from two manufacturers utilize a cascade configuration with a silicon metal-oxide-semiconductor field-effect transistor (MOSFET), while the devices from the third manufacturer are lateral p-GaN HEMTs. Through characterization, three sample devices have exhibited degraded blocking voltage capability. The results of the H3TRB test and potential causes of the failure mode are discussed.
- power electronics