Thermal analysis of high power led arrays
Ha, Min Seok
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LEDs are being developed as the next generation lighting source due to their high efficiency and long life time, with a potential to save $15 billion per year in energy cost by 2020. State of the art LEDs are capable of emitting light at ~115 lm/W and have lifetime over 50,000 hours. It has already surpassed the efficiency of incandescent light sources, and is even comparable to that of fluorescent lamps. Since the total luminous flux generated by a single LED is considerably lower than other light sources, to be competitive the total light output must be increased with higher forward currents and packages of multiple LEDs. However, both of these solutions would increase the junction temperature, which degrades the performance of the LED--as the operating temperature goes up, the light intensity decreases, the lifetime is reduced, and the light color changes. The word "junction" refers to the p-n junction within the LED-chips. Critical to the temperature rise in high powered LED sources is the very large heat flux at the die level (100-500 W/cm2) which must be addressed in order to lower the operating temperature in the die. It is possible to address the spreading requirements of high powered LED die through the use of power electronic substrates for efficient heat dissipation, especially when the die are directly mounted to the power substrate in a chipon- board (COB) architecture. COB is a very attractive technology for packaging power LEDs which can lead improved price competiveness, package integration and thermal performance. In our work high power LED-chips (>1W/die) implementing COB architectures were designed and studied. Substrates for these packaging configurations include two types of power electronic substrates; insulated-metal-substrates (IMS) and direct-bonded-copper (DBC). To lower the operating temperature both the thermal impedance of the dielectric layer and the heat spreading in the copper circuit layers must be studied. In the analysis of our architectures, several lead free solders and thermal interface materials were considered. We start with the analysis of single-chip LED package and extend the result to the multi-chip arrays. The thermal resistance of the system is only a function of geometry and thermal conductivity if temperature-independent properties are used. Thus through finite element analysis (ANSYS) the effect of geometry and thermal conductivity on the thermal resistance was investigated. The drawback of finite element analysis is that many simulations must be conducted whenever the geometry or the thermal conductivity is changed. To bypass same of the computational load, a thermal resistance network was developed. We developed analytical expressions of the thermal resistance, especially focusing on the heat spreading effect at the substrate level. Finally, multi-chip LED arrays were analyzed through finite element analysis and an analytical analysis; where die-spacing is another important factor to determine the junction temperature. With this thermal analysis, critical design considerations were investigated in order to minimize device temperatures and thereby maximizing light output while also maximizing device reliability.