Investigation of GTO Turn-on in an Inverter Circuit at Low Temperatures using 2-D Electrothermal Simulation

  • Y. C. Gerstenmaier
  • E. Baudelot


GTO (gate-turn-off-thyristor) turn-on failure in inverter circuits for traction drives is investigated by mixed-mode 2D electrothermal device and circuit simulation. Whereas GTO turn-off failure has already been analysed extensively in the past, in this paper a novel turn-on failure mechanism at low temperatures is analysed. The turn-on failure is due to a decreased carrier lifetime at low temperature with resulting increased latching current. As a consequence at low load current and low triggering current large parts of the device area do not latch while other parts with somewhat higher carrier lifetime or deviating doping concentration have to sustain a very high current density at high voltages. It is essential for this destruction mechanism to take into consideration the distributed resistance of the gate metallisation and its contact resistance.


Contact Resistance Load Current Carrier Lifetime Destruction Mechanism Gate Current 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. [1]
    Technology Modeling Associates. Inc. Palo Alto, California, USA MEDICI user’s manual. March 1992.Google Scholar
  2. [2]
    Y.C. Gerstenmaier, ISPS’92 Proceedings, 1992, Czech Technical University in Prague, p.49.Google Scholar
  3. [3]
    Y.C. Gerstenmaier, SISDEP’93 Proceedings, Springer Verlag, p.53–56, 1993.Google Scholar
  4. [4]
    I. Omura and A. Nakagawa, Proceedings of 1992 International Symposium on Power Semiconductor Devices & ICs, Tokyo, pp.112–117.Google Scholar
  5. [5]
    H. Ohashi and A. Nakagawa, IEEE IEDM-81 Tech. Dig., p.414, 1981.Google Scholar
  6. [6]
    K. Lilja and H. Grüning, IEEE PESC Dig., p.398, 1990.Google Scholar
  7. [7]
    G.K. Wachutka, IEEE Trans. on Electron Devices, Vol.38, p.1516, 1991.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. [8]
    M.S. Tyagi, R. van Overstraeten, Solid State Electronics Vol.26, pp.577–597, 1983.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. [9]
    Y.C. Gerstenmaier, Proceedings of 6th ISPSD’94, pp.271–274, 1994.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Wien 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • Y. C. Gerstenmaier
    • 1
  • E. Baudelot
    • 2
  1. 1.Corporate Research and DevelopmentSiemens AGMunichGermany
  2. 2.Drives and Standard ProductsSiemens AGErlangenGermany

Personalised recommendations