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The miniaturisation of electronic networks creates problems of heat dissipation. Good thermal management is therefore essential. Simulation of power electronic systems presents peculiar challenges due to the need for detailed modelling of both circuitry and control algorithms. The transmission line matrix method (TLM) is a powerful tool for analysing thermal effects in electronic circuits and high power devices. In this paper, thermal analysis of a 1200 A, 3.3 kV IGBT (insulated gate bipolar transistor) module was investigated and analysed using the three-dimensional transmission line matrix (3D-TLM) method. The results show clearly that the IGBT modules are capable of self-generating considerable amounts of heat that should be dissipated very quickly to increase device lifetime. This paper also reviews the present status of the use of various thermal heat spreaders such as Al-SiC MMC, Cu-Mo and graphite-Cu MMC and compares those materials with copper based heat spreaders and the use of AlN, Diamond and Beo as substrates and their effects on the dissipation of heat flux in heat sources localised in IGBT module design. Furthermore, the results show that the use of MMC materials, the ceramic substrate, the geometry of the module, and specific material thickness play an important role in dissipating the generated heat. This paper has also demonstrated that it is relatively simple to use the three-dimensional TLM method for thermal analysis of various other semiconductor device structures.
Date of Conference: 12-14 March 2002