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Electromagnetic Monitoring of Semiconductor Ageing

PIC Microcontroller Test Board

PIC Test Board

PIC Board under test

Monitoring emissions from PIC board using onboard coupler

Shift in onboard clock harmonic frequency with ageing

Shift in the emission spectrum of PIC due to ageing‌

IGBT Dual pulse system diagram

IGBT Dual pulse test system

IGBT Voltage waveform

Change in waveform with ageing

The ability to monitor the through life ageing of semiconductor devices is useful to provide system health level information. Here we aim to determine the feasibility of methods of monitoring age related performance effects which require no connection to the circuit and no additional circuitry in the design. This may be achieved by monitoring the electromagnetic emissions of the circuit, or its non-linear interaction with an applied electromagnetic field.

We tested a number of simple systems to determine whether ageing effects can be observed in integrated circuits, and power devices. In order to ensure consistent and repeatable measurements RF couplers have been incorporated into the design of the test boards. 

Cyrrently we are asessing the effects of ageing on IGBT switching devices EMC and performance.

 

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Funding

  • EPSRC EP/1033246/1 Project SC15
  • University of Malta (PhD Studentship)

Research