Key Research Areas

Test and reliability for power electronics

Apart from ensuring the best possible thermal system design, understanding thermomechanical behavior on package, component and module levels is critical for ensuring overall system reliability. Thermally and thermo-mechanically induced failure mechanisms can lead to premature failure and limit lifetime.

Smaller package dimension result in shorter diffusion outlets for external humidity stress. This can result in increased electro-chemical degradation mechanisms, that usually lead to failure and thus a shorter lifetime of the electrical circuits. For this reason it is very important that crucial parameters such as (extreme) operating conditions with system-level impact (e.g. operating temperatures and humidity) are already modeled and then optimized in the early stages of the design process. The aim is maximizing reliability while keeping cost and effort low.


IZM-services relating to testing and reliability

  • Selection and qualification of suitable materials
  • Failure and damage analysis
  • Test benches for combined and accelerated lifetime testing (vibration, temperature, temperature cycling, moisture
  • In-house testing and characterization of prototypes
  • Modelling failure mechanisms of new material combinations
  • Simulation for cost-efficient design changes and their potential for success compared to existing geometries
  • Investigating driving forces and influence parameters of failure mechanisms relating to corrosion and migration effects
  • Improving design with view to harsh environments
  • Metallography, EBSD, FIB, REM, EDX
  • Ultrasonic and X-ray microscopy, as well as X-ray CT
  • Quality and reliability analysis
  • Condition monitoring concepts derived from system and failure analyses

Condition Monitoring for Wind Turbines

Making power electronics more reliable used to mean going back to the drawing board and optimizing materials, structures, and processes. For real reliability in regular opera-tions, modern condition monitoring concepts are offering their operators a new choice.


Corrosion, Electrochemical Migration and Humidity Diffusion

Modern electronic systems are increasingly exposed to constantly changing environments in terms of humidity and variations of temperature cycling and thermal shocks. At the same time, the ongoing trend of miniaturization results in smaller designs, components and by that more tightly packaged systems.


Micro Materials Testing

For the successful optimisation of the reliability of complex systems in the micro/nano range it is necessary to have knowledge about the failure behaviour of materials and of damage development.


Active Power Cycling

Quality assurance of power electronics is an essential factor in product reliability. The active power cycling test provides instant lifetime data for power modules. The corresponding area of application (e.g. wind energy, photovoltaics, automotive) determines the corresponding test parameters and procedures. We offer comprehensive consultation to find the right test method with regard to the specific mission profiles.