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Insulated-gate bipolar transistor

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Electronic symbol for IGBT

Cross section of a typical IGBT cell. The illustration is not to scale.

Equivalent circuit for IGBT

to high-power applications such as switched-mode power supply. and low prices on the surplus market. equating to hundreds ofkilowatts. Their high pulse ratings. The first-generation devices of the 1980s and early 1990s were relatively slow in switching. and prone to failure through such modes as latchup (in which the device won't turn off as long as current is flowing) and secondary breakdown (in which a localized hotspot in the device goes into thermal runaway and burns the device out at high currents). Availability of affordable. trains. The IGBT combines the simple gate-drive characteristics of the MOSFETs with the high-current and low–saturationvoltage capability of bipolar transistors by combining an isolated gate FET for the control input. Since it is designed to turn on and off rapidly. It switches electric power in many modern appliances: electric cars. Contents [hide] . and excellent ruggedness and tolerance of overloads. where they are starting to supersede older devices like thyratrons and triggered spark gaps. The IGBT is a fairly recent invention. with speed rivaling MOSFETs. noted for high efficiency and fast switching. The IGBT is used in medium. air-conditioners and even stereo systems with switching amplifiers. in a single device.and third-generation devices also make them useful for generating large power pulses in areas like particle andplasma physics.[1] The extremely high pulse ratings of second. amplifiers that use it often synthesize complex waveforms with pulse width modulation and low-pass filters. variable speed refrigerators.Static characteristic of an IGBT. Large IGBT modules typically consist of many devices in parallel and can have very high current handling capabilities in the order of hundreds of amperes with blocking voltages of 6000 V. and a bipolar power transistor as a switch. traction motor control and induction heating. also make them attractive to the high-voltage hobbyist for controlling large amounts of power to drive devices such as solid-state Tesla coils and coilguns. reliable IGBTs is an important enabler for electric vehicles and hybrid cars. The insulated gate bipolar transistor or IGBT is a three-terminal power semiconductor device. and the current third-generation ones are even better. Second-generation devices were much improved.

[5] the conductivity-modulated field-effect transistor (COMFET)[6] and "bipolar-mode MOSFET". However. it was .[3] The device structure was referred to as a ‘V-groove MOSFET device with the drain region replaced by a p-type Anode Region’ in this paper and subsequently as the insulated gate rectifier (IGR). which was filed in 1968."[10] The patent claimed "no thyristor action occurs under any device operating conditions. Hans W. and which they referred to as "power MOSFET with an anode region".• • • • • • • • • [edit] 1 History 2 Device structure 3 Comparison With Power MOSFETS 4 IGBT models 5 Usage 6 See also 7 References 8 Literature 9 External links History The IGBT is a semiconductor device with four alternating layers (P-N-P-N) that are controlled by a metal-oxidesemiconductor (MOS) gate structure without regenerative action.[7] Plummer found the same IGBT mode of operation in the four layer device (SCR) and he first filed a patent application for the device structure in 1978. This mode of operation was first proposed by Yamagami in his Japanese patent S47-21739. Becke and Carl F. USP No.4199774 was issued in 1980 and B1 Re33209[8] was reissued in 1995 for the IGBT mode operation in the four layer device (SCR). in 1982.[4] A similar paper was also submitted by J. Wheatley invented a similar device for which they filed a patent application in 1980.[4] the insulated-gate transistor (IGT).[11] The applications for the device were initially regarded by the power electronics community to be severely restricted by its slow switching speed and latch-up of the parasitic thyristor structure inherent within the device. Jayant Baliga in vertical device structures with a V-groove gate region and reported in the literature in 1979. Devices capable of operating over an extended current range for use in applications were first reported by Baliga et al. to IEEE Electron Device Letter in 1982.P.[9] This patent has been called "the seminal patent of the Insulated Gate Bipolar Transistor. Russel et al.[2] This mode of operation was first experimentally discovered by B." This substantially means that the device exhibits non-latch-up IGBT operation over the entire device operation range.

This was the first demonstration of so-called "short-circuit-withstanding-capability" in IGBTs.[17] In this sense. thus forming a vertical PNP bipolar junction transistor. for the entire device operation range. 2x105W/cm2. Goodman et al.[14] which could be utilized for a wide variety of applications.[5][12] This was followed by demonstration of operation of the device at elevated temperatures by Baliga in 1985. it was found that IGBTs exhibited very rugged and a very large safe operating area. Non-latch-up IGBT operation was ensured. Products of nonlatch-up IGBTs were first commercialized by Toshiba in 1985. the prototype 1200V IGBTs were directly connected without any loads across a 600V constant voltage source and were switched on for 25 microseconds. Nakagawa et al. the non-latch-up IGBT proposed by Hans W. Nakagawa et al. Once the non-latch-up capability was achieved in IGBTs.[16] To test the lack of latchup. in 1984.demonstrated by Baliga and also by A.[1][17] The insulating material is typically made of solid polymers which have issues with degradation. in 1984. Complete suppression of the parasitic thyristor action and the resultant non-latch-up IGBT operation for the entire device operation range was achieved by A. Cross section of a typical IGBT showing internal connection of MOSFET and Bipolar Device . and reached 5x105W/cm2. in 1983 that the switching speed could be adjusted over a broad range by using electron irradiation. There are developments that use an ion gel to improve manufacturing and reduce the voltage required. The entire 600V was dropped across the device and a large short circuit current flowed. for the first time.[15] The non-latch-up design concept was filed for US patents. Becke and Carl F.M.[18] [edit] Device structure An IGBT cell is constructed similarly to a n-channel vertical construction power MOSFET except the n+ drain is replaced with a p+ collector layer. It was demonstrated that the product of the operating current density and the collector voltage exceeded the theoretical limit of bipolar transistors. The devices successfully withstood this severe condition. Wheatley was realized by A.[13] Successful efforts to suppress the latch-up of the parasitic thyristor and the scaling of the voltage rating of the devices at GE allowed the introduction of commercial devices in 1983.

This additional p+ region creates a cascade connection of a PNP bipolar junction transistor with the surface nchannel MOSFET.[citation needed] An alternative physics-based model is the Hefner model. SPICE simulates IGBTs using Macromodels.drift region take time to enter and exit or recombine at turn on and turn off. This results in longer switching time and hence higher switching loss compared to a power MOSFET. low current and high switching frequencies are the domain of the MOSFET. IGBT has a diode like voltage drop (typically of the order of 2V) increasing only with the log of the current. In bridge circuits where reverse current flow is needed an additional diode (called a freewheeling diode) is placed in parallel with the IGBT to conduct current in the opposite direction. By contrast. discrete diodes are of significantly higher performance than the body diode of a MOSFET. This means that unlike a MOSFET. IGBTs cannot conduct in the reverse direction. In general high voltage.drift region during forward conduction. with the voltage drop proportional to current. By injecting minority carriers (holes) from the collector p+ region into the n. The penalty isn't as severe as first assumed though. Hefner's model is described in a 1988 paper and was later extended to a thermoelectrical model and a version using SABER.drift region to collector P+ diode is usually only of tens of volts. The MOSFET voltage drop can be modeled as a resistance.  The minority carriers injected into the n. because at the higher voltages where IGBT usage dominates. this resultant reduction in on-state forward voltage comes with several penalties:  The additional PN junction blocks reverse current flow. resulting in roughly square relationship increase in forward conduction loss compared to blocking voltage capability of the device. high current and low switching frequencies favor IGBTs while low voltage. However. as well as the different switching characteristics mentioned above. Additionally. introduced by Allen Hefner of the NIST. [edit] IGBT models Rather than using a device physics-based model.[19] . the resistance of the n. a method that combines an ensemble of components such as FETs and BJTs in a Darlington configuration.drift region is considerably reduced. MOSFET resistance is typically lower for smaller blocking voltages meaning that the choice between IGBTs and power MOSFETS depend on both the blocking voltage and current involved in a particular application. an additional series diode must be used. the depth of the n.drift region must increase and the doping must decrease.  The reverse bias rating of the N. so if the circuit application applies a reverse voltage to the IGBT. As the blocking voltage rating of both MOSFET and IGBT devices increases. [edit] Comparison With Power MOSFETS An IGBT has a significantly lower forward voltage drop compared to a conventional MOSFET in higher blocking voltage rated devices. It is a fairly complex model that has shown very good results.  The on-state forward voltage drop in IGBTs behaves very differently to that in power MOSFETS.

GTOs. the GATE lead. see GTO (disambiguation). as opposed to normal thyristors.[edit] Usage Gate turn-off thyristor From Wikipedia. GTO thyristor symbol A gate turn-off thyristor (GTO) is a special type of thyristor. the free encyclopedia (Redirected from GTO (Thyristor)) For other uses of the word. Contents [hide] • • • • • 1 Device description 2 Reverse bias 3 Safe operating area 4 Applications 5 See also . a high-power semiconductor device. are fully controllable switches which can be turned on and off by their third lead.

Thyristors can only be turned ON and cannot be turned OFF. but even after the gate signal is de-asserted (removed). Thyristors are switched ON by a gate signal.• 6 References [edit] Device description Equivalent circuit of a GTO thyristor Simplified cross section of a GTO thyristor Normal thyristors (Silicon-controlled rectifier) are not fully controllable switches (a "fully controllable switch" can be turned on and off at will). Thus. a thyristor behaves like a normal semiconductor diode after it is turned on or "fired". . or when the current flowing through (forward current) falls below a certain threshold value known as the "holding current"). the thyristor remains in the ON-state until any turn-off condition occurs (which can be the application of a reverse voltage to the terminals.

Some of the forward current (about one-third to one-fifth) is "stolen" and used to induce a cathode-gate voltage which in turn induces the forward current to fall and the GTO will switch off (transitioning to the 'blocking' state. Thus switching frequency of GTO is faster than an SCR. whereby after the forward current falls.The GTO can be turned-on by a gate signal.2 A toff 150 µs 15 µs Comparison of an SCR and GTO of same rating. Turn on is accomplished by a "positive current" pulse between the gate and cathode terminals.5 V 3. This restricts the maximum switching frequency to approx 1 kHz. GTO (1600 V. Turn off is accomplished by a "negative voltage" pulse between the gate and cathode terminals. 350 A) 350 A) VT ON On state voltage drop Turn on time. [edit] Reverse bias . there is a long tail time where residual current continues to flow until all remaining charge from the device is taken away.Igon 8 µs. and can also be turned-off by a gate signal of negative polarity.4 V ton. As the gate-cathode behaves like PN junction. not as reliable as an SCR (thyristor) and small positive gate current must be maintained even after turn on to improve reliability. gate current Turn off time 1. Character istic Description Thyristor (1600 V. there will be some relatively small voltage between the terminals.It may however be noted that the turn off time of a comparable SCR is ten times that of a GTO[dubious – discuss].) GTO thyristors suffer from long switch off times. A distributed buffer gate turn-off thyristor (DB-GTO) is a thyristor with additional PN layers in the drift region to reshape the field profile and increase the voltage blocked in the off state. Compared to a typical PNPN structure of a conventional thyristor. this thyristor would be a PN-PN-PN type structure in here. The turn on phenomenon in GTO is however.200 mA 2 µs.

for Reverse Conducting GTO.GTO thyristors are available with or without reverse blocking capability. abbreviated S-GTO. Usually. the device has a maximum dI/dt rating limiting the rise of current. Reverse blocking capability adds to the forward voltage drop because of the need to have a long. low doped P1 region. abbreviated A-GTO. often explosively. The minimum on and off time is handled in DC motor chopper circuits by using a variable switching frequency at the lowest and highest duty cycle. These are known as RCGTO. the reverse blocking voltage rating and forward blocking voltage rating are the same. due to the high voltage and current focused on a small portion of the device. During turn on. then the frequency stays constant over most of the speed ranges. GTO thyristors capable of blocking reverse voltage are known as Symmetrical GTO thyristors. If the voltage rises too fast at turn off. [edit] Safe operating area See also: Safe operating area Unlike the insulated gate bipolar transistor (IGBT). They typically have a reverse breakdown rating in the tens of volts. The rate of dI/dt is usually controlled by adding a saturable reactor. This is observable in traction applications where the frequency will ramp up as the motor starts. the GTO thyristor requires external devices to shape the turn on and turn off currents to prevent device destruction. The typical application for symmetrical GTO thyristors is in current source inverters. Reseting the snubber circuit usually places a minimum on time requirement on GTO based circuits. Reset of the saturable reactor usually places a minimum off time requirement on GTO based circuits. then the frequency drops back down to zero at full speed. If this rating is exceeded. This is to allow the entire bulk of the device to reach turn on before full current is reached. in switching power supplies or DC traction choppers). in voltage source inverters) or where reverse voltage would never occur (for example. not all of the device will turn off and the GTO will fail. the forward voltage of the device must be limited until the current tails off. GTO thyristors can be fabricated with a reverse conducting diode in the same package. . During turn off. The limit is usually around 20% of the forward blocking voltage rating. the area of the device nearest the gate contacts will overheat and melt from over current. A-GTO thyristors are used where either a reverse conducting diode is applied in parallel (for example. Substantial snubber circuits are added around the device to limit the rise of voltage at turn off. GTO thyristors incapable of blocking reverse voltage are known as asymmetrical GTO thyristors.

inverters and traction. high power.[edit] Applications See also The main applications are in variable speed motor drives. [edit]  Integrated Gate Commutated Thyristor .