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Design, prototyping, and optimization of a double pulse testing platform for high voltage dynamic testing of e-mode GaN HEMTs Wan, Zeyu


Enhancement mode (E-mode) Gallium Nitride (GaN) High Electron Mobility Transistors (HEMTs) have attracted much interest as a promising candidate for high-voltage energy-efficient power electronics in energy management and power conversion. They are used widely in solar energy grids, mobile base stations, satellite communication systems, electric vehicles, and consumer electronics. However, the switching and breakdown behaviors of E-mode GaN HEMTs under high voltage (> 200 V) conditions have not been fully investigated. As the gate driving design and the parasitic influence on the dynamic performance of E-mode GaN HEMTs are very different from those of conventional Si- and SiC-based power transistors, commonly used test benches do not work well. Therefore, component selection/design, measurement setup and board layouts need to be carefully re-considered for E-mode GaN HEMTs. In addition, the influence of parasitic parameters on the dynamic performance, which may lead to early breakdown problem, are not well studied. In this work, we aimed to address the above problems. We first designed, prototyped and optimized a double pulse testing (DPT) circuit and a DPT test platform to accurately capture the switching behavior of GaN E-mode HEMTs up to 600 V at a test current of 5 A. Using this DPT platform, we characterized the dynamic performance of some E-mode HEMTs in R&D and debugged the early breakdown problem. The results suggested that the early breakdown problem was mainly due to the parasitic elements introduced by the non-optimized circuit design and measurement setup.

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