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Transfer molding technology for smart power electronics modules: Materials and processes

: Becker, K.-F.; Joklitschke, D.; Braun, T.; Koch, M.; Thomas, T.; Schreier-Alt, T.; Bader, V.; Bauer, J.; Nowak, T.; Bochow-Ness, O.; Aschenbrenner, R.; Schneider-Ramelow, M.; Lang, K.-D.


Journal of microelectronics and electronic packaging 9 (2012), Nr.2, S.78-86
ISSN: 1551-4897
Fraunhofer IZM ()

In recent years, within power electronics packaging, there has been a trend toward compact power electronics modules for automotive and industrial applications, where a smart integrated control unit for motor drives is replacing bulky substrates with discrete control logic and power electronics. Most recent modules combine control and power electronics, yielding maximum miniaturization. Transfer molding is the method of choice for cost-effective encapsulation of such modules due to robustness of the molded modules and moderate cost of packaging. But there are challenges with this type of package. Typically, these packages are asymmetric, and thus a substrate with single sided assembly is overmolded on the component side and the substrate backside is exposed, providing a heat path for optimized cooling. This asymmetric geometry is prone to yielding warped substrates, preventing optimum thermal contact to the heat sink and also putting thermomechanical stress on the encap sulated components, possibly reducing reliability. Such packages are truly heterogeneous, combining power ICs, wire bonds, SMDs, control ICs, substrate, and lead frame surfaces. As a result, the encapsulant used needs to adhere sufficiently to all surfaces present. Additionally, those packages need to operate at elevated temperatures for extended time periods, for example, at 150°C for 2000 h and more, so high thermal stability is of prime importance. Within this paper, a reference application is described integrating power and control logic inside a lead frame based molded package. Taking into account the challenges mentioned above, a detailed description of material selection for this module will be given, including material analysis, such as rheology, reactivity, and change in εr; and thermomechanical properties, in initial stage as f(t,T) and after media storage. Process development tools for module molding are used to ensure manufacturability and usability.