CSIC Institute of Microelectronics of Barcelona from Microelectronics National Center (IMB-CNM, CSIC)

Located in Cerdanyola del Vallès (Barcelona), the Institute of Microelectronics of Barcelona from the Microelectronics National Center (IMB-CNM) belongs to the Spanish Research Council (CSIC), the largest public research institution in Spain and the third one in Europe. IMB-CNM is the largest public microelectronics R&D center in Spain, with a current staff of about 200 persons.

Since its creation in 1985, the main activity of IMB-CNM is the applied research on components and systems based on micro- and nano-technologies using several materials as a substrate. These activities are performed through six research lines supported by ten research groups. Among them, the Power Devices and Systems (PDS) group participating in iRel 4.0 investigates on the design, fabrication, characterization and integration of power semiconductor devices, optimized for developing more reliable and energy efficient converters and electronic systems.

Besides, further research is addressed on advanced instrumentation for electro-thermal local studies at die level oriented to physics of failure determination and reliability assessment in such power semiconductor devices. Thus, the PDS mission is to improve the knowledge in these fields and provide solutions based on this applied research on industrial products, while training researchers and engineers, with the vision of becoming an EU reference group and main partner in such technological research activities.


IMB-CNM (CSIC) role in iRel 4.0 is performing tests at limit and physics of failure analysis using unique tools for their study at die level in the industrial pilot IP-3 (induction cooking). Our vision in IP-3 is to link the destructive event proper of induction cooking appliances to a clear electrical signature to point out a failure indicator. Our mission in IP-3 is to study the physics of failure related to the power semiconductor device degradation in time and the electrothermal phenomena responsible for its destruction, also providing a criterion for rugged devices selection.

To this end, the following advanced techniques for die-level studies will be used: i) InfraRed-Lock-in Thermography (IR-LIT), ii) Internal IR-Laser Deflection (IIR-LD), iii) Thermal impedance measurements, iv) Scanning Acoustic Microscope, and v) FIB/SEM/EDX equipment.

Key contribution

The IMB-CNM activities in iRel4.0 will be:

  • In WP1, CSIC will define, in close collaboration with BSHE, future requirements on both “lifetime and reliability” and “test and validation methodology” for induction cooking.
  • In WP2, the physics of failure of power devices identified by BSHE will be determined after undergoing the tests detailed and carried out in WP5. In this analysis the electrical and physical failure signatures at die level are going to be pointed out. From this result, the failure indicators related to both aging and stressful events will be pinpointed.
  • In WP5, overloading tests will be carried out to reconstruct the SOA in power devices new and aged by BSHE, according to the most stressful event identified by big data analysis by BSHE. In addition, a dedicated setup for local characterization at die-level will be conceived.
  • In WP7, it is foreseen giving a wide dissemination of obtained results in renowned workshops, conferences, and peer-reviewed journals.
  • In WP8, all activities related with the organization of meetings with other partners to coordinate our research activity along the project, lead tasks T2.2.1 & T5.3.1, and be responsible for deliverables D2.5 and D5.2.
Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC)

C/del Til·lers s/n. Campus Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB)
08193 Cerdanyola del Vallès, Barcelona
Phone: + 34 93 594 77 00
E-Mail: xavier.perpinya@imb-cnm.csic.es