Single-Pulse Avalanche Mode Robustness of Commercial 1200 V/80 mΩ SiC MOSFETs

Mitchell D. Kelley, Bejoy N. Pushpakaran, Stephen B. Bayne

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

66 Scopus citations


Commercialization of 1200-V silicon carbide (SiC) MOSFET has enabled power electronic design with improved efficiency as well as increased power density. High-voltage spikes induced in applications such as solenoid control, solid-state transformer, boost converter, and flyback converter can drive the MOSFET into avalanche mode operation due to high di/dt coupled with parasitic inductance. Avalanche mode operation is characterized by high-power dissipation within the device due to the high voltage and current crossover. This study focuses on the evaluation of two commercially available SiC MOSFETs from different manufacturers, each rated for 1200 V with an ON-state resistance of 80 mΩ, during unclamped inductive switching (UIS) mode operation. To determine device reliability, a decoupled UIS testbed was developed to evaluate the avalanche energy robustness at 22 C and 125 C during two specific conditions: high current and low energy, and low current and high energy. The SiC MOSFETs were evaluated using a load inductance of 1.42, 5.1, 10.5, and 15.8 mH to understand the effect of current and avalanche energy on device failure. To correlate the experimental results with the failure mechanism, estimated junction temperature and static device characteristics are presented; additionally, MOSFETs were decapsulated to examine the failure sites on the semiconductor die.

Original languageEnglish
Article number7676377
Pages (from-to)6405-6415
Number of pages11
JournalIEEE Transactions on Power Electronics
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2017


  • Avalanche breakdown
  • failure analysis
  • power semiconductor devices
  • semiconductor device reliability
  • silicon carbide (SiC)
  • unclamped inductive switching (UIS)


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