You are on page 1of 14

LectureNotes

Thyristors(SCRs)
OUTLINE
SCRconstructionandIVcharacteristics.
PhysicaloperationofSCRs.
SwitchingbehaviorofSCRs
dv/dtanddi/dtlimitationsandmethodsof
improvingthem.
SCRdrivecircuitconsiderations.

CopyrightbyJohnWiley&Sons2002

SCRs1

Thyristor(SCR)Geometry
Cathode

Gate

N+

J3

19
-3
10 cm

N+
P

17
-3
10 cm

10

13

10

J 2
N

19
-3
10 cm

14
- 5x10

cm-3

J1

17
10 cm -3

+
P

19
-3
10 cm

3050

Anode

Gateandcathodemetallizationfor
slow(phasecontrol)thyristor.
cathode

gate

Crosssectional
viewshowing
vertical
orientationof
SCR.
SCRswith
kiloampratings
havediameters
of10cmor
greater.

Gateandcathodemetallization
forfast(invertergrade)SCR
wafer
distributed
gate

wafer

CopyrightbyJohnWiley&Sons2002

cathode area
(metallization
not shown)

SCRs2

ThyristorIVCharacteristics
SCRtriggerablefromforwardblocking
statetoonstatebyagatecurrentpulse.

i
A
forward
on-state
I
-V

I
RW
M

i >0
G

Thyristorlatchesonandgatecannotturnit
off.ExternalcircuitmustforceSCRoff.
i

=0

BO
V
H

V
BO vAK
forward blocking
state

Thyristorcircuitsymbol.
+
i
A

VA
K

cathode

anode

i
gate

CopyrightbyJohnWiley&Sons2002

Currenttoseveral kiloampsforV(on)of2
4volts.
Blockingvoltagesto58kilovolts.
VBO=breakovervoltage;I BO =
breakovercurrent
VH=holdingvoltageI H=holdingcurrent
Maximumjunctiontemperature=125

.
SCRs3

SCRModelandEquivalentCircuit
OnedimensionalSCRmodel.
A

BJTs in equivalent circuit in active region.

P
1
J
1

(N- )
N1

P
2

J
+
(N )
N2

Use Ebers-Moll equations for BJTs


IC1 = -


Twotransistorequivalentcircuit
A
J
1
J


Q
1

Q
2
J

G
3

CopyrightbyJohnWiley&Sons2002


SCRs4

ThyristorTurnonProcess
A

Inforwardblockingstate,bothBJTsactive.
If

Q
1

p
1

J 1
J

J 3

+
+ + +
+
p
+
2

Holes attracted
by negative
charge of injected
electrons
J 2 depletion
width - no gate
current
J 2 depletion
width - with
gate current

Electrons
injected in
response to
gate current
flow

CopyrightbyJohnWiley&Sons2002

Q
2

Negativechargeofelectronssweptinton1
layerpartiallycompensatepositivecharge
ofionizeddonorsexposedbygrowthof
depletionofjunctionJ2.
Growthofdepletionreduceswidthof
basesofQnpnandQpnpandthus
increases

SCRs5

ThyristorOnstateLatchup
SCRwithnegativegatecurrent

Negativegatecurrentcauseslateralvoltage
dropsasindicatedwhichleadtocurrent
crowdingincenterofcathode.

K
Negative gate
current

N
+

P
N

ConventionalSCRs(phasecontrol)havelarge
areacathodesnegativegatecurrentcannot
removestoredchargefromcenteroflarge
cathodearea.

SCRstayslatchedoninspiteofnegativegate
current.

P
A

CopyrightbyJohnWiley&Sons2002

Externalcircuitmustforceanodecurrentto
negativevaluesinorderthatenoughstored
chargeberemovedfromSCRsothatitcan
turnoff.
SCRs6

ThyristorOnstateOperation
G
N
2

total
carrier
density

P
2

N
1

P
1

NA
1
1

D
2

N
A
2

N
D1
x

Onstate:allthreejunctionsforwardbiasedand BJTs
inequivalentcircuitsaturated.
Onstatestablebecausesaturated BJTshave



CopyrightbyJohnWiley&Sons2002

SCRs7

ThyristorTurnonBehavior
i (t)
G
T
A
v
A
v

TB

i (t)
A

di F

T
C

t
d(on)

Io

dt

Io
t
tr
tps

v (t)
AK

control

t
v
A

vB

td(on) =turnondelaytime;timerequiredforcharge
injectionbygatecurrenttomake

C
t

Time intervals that T


i

can be on

G
Delay or trigger angle

CopyrightbyJohnWiley&Sons2002

SCRs8

ThyristorTurnoffBehavior
diR
dt
iA (t)

I
t1

t2

t
3

V
REV

v (t)
AK

IR

Turnoffwaveforms

dvF
dt
t

recovery time t q
>t
3

SCRturnoffquitesimilartopowerdiodeturnoff.
Anodecurrentrateoffallcontrolledbyexternalinductance.
Reversevoltageovershootcausedbyexternalinductance.
JunctionJ1isblockingjunctioninreversebias.J3haslow
breakdownvoltage(2040volts)becauseoftheheavydopingon
bothsidesofthejunction.
CopyrightbyJohnWiley&Sons2002

SCRs9

Thyristordi/dtLimitatTurnon
i

N2

N2

P2

i (t)
G

N
1
P1
i

t
A

SCRfirstturnsonatcathodeperipherynearestgate.
Currentconstrictedtosmallareasduringinitialphasesofturn
on,td(on)andtr.

Useshapedgatecurrentpulsefor
rapidturnon.

Ifanodecurrentrateofrise,diF/dt,notkeptlessthansome
specifiedmaximum,currentdensityinconstrictedareawillbe
toolarge.
Localizedpowerdissipationtoohighandthermalrunaway
likely.
CopyrightbyJohnWiley&Sons2002

SCRs10

ThyristorReapplieddv/dtLimits
dv F
dt

v (t)
AK

RemovalofallstoredchargeinSCRrequiresa
minimumtimetq.

VF
t

REV

ApplicationofpositivedVF/dtlargerthanaspecified
valuebeforetqresultsinapulseofpositiveanode
currentwhichmayproduceunintentionedturnonof
theSCR.

forward
recover
y
current

i (t)
A

Avoidanceofunintentionedturnonrequires
dVF/dt<dVF,max/dtandremaininginreversebias
foraminimumtimetq.

A
dv

I
F

BO
<

dt

dv

j2

F
100 V/

Rateeffect

j2

max

dt
max

CopyrightbyJohnWiley&Sons2002

SCRs11

MethodsofImprovingThyristordi/dtRating
Interdigitatedgatecathodestructureusedtogreatly
increasegatecathodeperiphery.

distributed

gate
wafer

Distancefromperipherytocenterofanycathoderegion
significantlyshortened.
Abilityofnegativegatecurrenttobreaklatching
conditioninonstateincreased.
Combinationofpilotthyristor,diode,anditerdigitated
gatecathodegeometrytgermedagateassistedturnoff
thyristororGATT

cathode area

(metallization

not shown)

Useofpilotthyristortoincreaseturnongate
current tomainthyristor.
pilot

main

thyristor

thyristor

CopyrightbyJohnWiley&Sons2002

Largergatecurrentincreasesamountofinitial
conductingareaofcathodeandthusimprovesdiF/dt
capabiities.
Diodeallowesnegativegatecurrenttoflowfrom
mainSCR.
SCRs12

Improvementindv/dtRatingViaCathodeShorts
dv

CurrentthruCj2 indistinguishablefrompositivegatecurrentwith
respecttoturnonofSCR.

AK

C
A

j2
dt

IfcurrentthruCj2 bypassesjunctionJ3,thenSCRwillnotbe
turnedonbythelargedisplacementcurrents.
G

C
j2
J
3

Cathodeshortsprovidethisdesirablebypass.Mosteffectivewith
interdigitaatedgatecathodegeometry.

K
Cathode

shorting

cathode
structure
short

+
N

+
N

+
N

+
P

CopyrightbyJohnWiley&Sons2002

SCRs13

ThyristorGateTriggerRequirements
V
G
K
V
G
G

trigger
circuit load
line

maximum gate
power
dissipation

minimum
temperature

Equivalentcircuitof
SCRdrivecircuit
RG

maximum
temperature

I
minimum
trigger
current

I
G
2

G
1

V
G
R
GG

V +
G
G

IG

i (t)
G

Gate current must be on for a specified


minimum time interval (few tens of
microseconds) to guarantee SCR turn-on
CopyrightbyJohnWiley&Sons2002

SCRs14