Real-time temperature estimation for power MOSFETs considering thermal ageing effects

Huifeng Chen, Bing Ji, Volker Pickert, Wenping Cao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper presents a novel real-time power-device temperature estimation method that monitors the power MOSFET's junction temperature shift arising from thermal aging effects and incorporates the updated electrothermal models of power modules into digital controllers. Currently, the real-time estimator is emerging as an important tool for active control of device junction temperature as well as online health monitoring for power electronic systems, but its thermal model fails to address the device's ongoing degradation. Because of a mismatch of coefficients of thermal expansion between layers of power devices, repetitive thermal cycling will cause cracks, voids, and even delamination within the device components, particularly in the solder and thermal grease layers. Consequently, the thermal resistance of power devices will increase, making it possible to use thermal resistance (and junction temperature) as key indicators for condition monitoring and control purposes. In this paper, the predicted device temperature via threshold voltage measurements is compared with the real-time estimated ones, and the difference is attributed to the aging of the device. The thermal models in digital controllers are frequently updated to correct the shift caused by thermal aging effects. Experimental results on three power MOSFETs confirm that the proposed methodologies are effective to incorporate the thermal aging effects in the power-device temperature estimator with good accuracy. The developed adaptive technologies can be applied to other power devices such as IGBTs and SiC MOSFETs, and have significant economic implications.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)220-228
Number of pages9
JournalIEEE Transactions on Device and Materials Reliability
Issue number1
Early online date22 Nov 2013
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2014

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  • circuit topology
  • converters
  • monitoring
  • MOSFET switches
  • prognostics and health management
  • reliability testing
  • thermal management


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