Performance and Reliability of Bonded Interfaces for High-Temperature Packaging: Annual Report

Research output: NRELManagement


Current generation automotive power electronics packages utilize silicon devices and lead-free solder alloys. To meet stringent technical targets for 2020 and beyond (for cost, power density, specific power, efficiency and reliability), wide-bandgap devices are being considered since they offer advantages such as operation at higher frequencies, voltages, and temperatures. Traditional power electronics packages must be redesigned to utilize the full potential of wide-bandgap devices, and the die- and substrate-attach layers are key areas where new material development and validation is required. Present solder alloys do not meet the performance requirements for these new package designs while also meeting cost and hazardous substance restrictions. Sintered silver (Ag) promises to meet the needs for die- and substrate-attach interfaces but synthesis optimization and reliability evaluation must be completed. Sintered Ag material was proposed as an alternative solution in power electronics packages almost 20 years back. However, synthesis pressure requirements up 40 MPa caused a higher complexity in the production process and more stringent flatness specifications for the substrates. Recently, several manufacturers have developed sintered Ag materials that require lower (3-5 MPa) or even no bonding pressures. Degradation mechanisms for these sintered Ag materials are not well known and need to be addressed. We are addressing these aspects to some extent in this project. We are developing generalized (i.e., independent of geometry) stress intensity factor versus cycles-to-failure relations for sintered Ag. Because sintered Ag is a relatively new material for automotive power electronics, the industry currently does not have a good understanding of recommended synthesis parameters or expected reliability under prescribed conditions. It is an important deliverable of this project to transfer findings to industry to eliminate barriers to using sintered Ag as a viable and commercialized die- and substrate-attach material. Only a few manufacturers produce sintered Ag pastes and may consider some processing conditions as proprietary. It is the goal of this project to openly explore and define best practices in order to impact the maximum number of power electronics module manufacturers and suppliers.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages18
StatePublished - 2016

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/MP-5400-64942


  • automotive power electronics packages
  • solder alloys
  • wide-bandgap devices


Dive into the research topics of 'Performance and Reliability of Bonded Interfaces for High-Temperature Packaging: Annual Report'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this