Program > Tutorials

ESREF 2019 Tutorials

Within the frame of ESREF 2019, we offer a series of attractive tutorials on important issues of electronics. Since avionic and aeronautic applications are in focus of this year’s conference, related tutorials deal with reliability and power electronics as well as PCB- and system-related analysis and anamnesis approaches towards root cause finding. Take the opportunity looking beyond the scope of device-related failure analysis by learning from experienced tutorialists from industry and research.


Tutorial 1 : The Future of Reliability Testing

J.W. McPherson, McPherson Reliability Consulting LLC, USA

Historically, reliability physics has focused on developing models for time-to-failure. The time- to-failure models for circuits were generally developed using reliability data gathered from very simple test structures that could be stressed to failure. However, today, with circuits playing a such a critical role in our life-support systems (implantable medical devices, auto safety devices, business and home security systems, etc.) a chip failure is no longer an acceptable option. For example, a paradigm shift in the way we approach reliability testing is needed if were are to fully succeed in autonomous driving vehicles. During this presentation it will be emphasized that we must start to focus on device degradation rates rather than failure rates. Special monitoring circuits can be embed in future chip designs to monitor circuit-level degradation. These relatively small reliability monitoring circuits will analyze (real time) the degradation rate (which is a precursor to failure) and forewarn the user of an impending reliability issue. Using this chip-level degradation analysis approach, the chip user can take corrective actions well in advance of a life-threatening chip failure. This presentation will show how degradation rate analysis is well suited for many of the well-known device-degradation mechanisms: HCI, BTI, EM, SM, etc. Even for a failure mechanism such as TDDB (which often gives little/no forewarning of impending failure), the monitoring circuits can analyze voltage overshoots, local temperature rises, high duty-cycle use conditions, and alert the chip user of an impending TDDB issue. In summary, with relatively small monitoring circuits strategically placed and connected in many locations on the chip, there is no fundamental reason why these monitoring circuits cannot analyze circuit degradation and alert the user of an impending reliability issue. Zero chip failures can go from a goal to reality.


 Dr. J.W. McPherson holds a PhD degree in Physics. He is recognized internationally as an expert in Reliability Physics & Engineering.   He has published over 200 papers on reliability, authored the Reliability Chapters for 4 Books, and awarded 20 patents.  Dr. McPherson was a Senior Fellow at Texas Instruments and a past General Chairman of the IEEE International Reliability Physics Symposium (IRPS) and still serves on its Board of Directors.   Joe is an IEEE Fellow and his semiconductor reliability expertise includes: device-physics, design-in reliability, wafer-level reliability testing, and assembly-related issues.   Several of the reliability models that are used today in the semiconductor industry are closely associated with his name. Dr. McPherson has authored a reliability textbook that is widely used by students and practicing engineers: Reliability Physics and Engineering, Springer Publishing2010,  2nd Edition in 2013, and with a 3rd Edition in 2019.



Tutorial 2 : Reliability of Power Electronic Packaging

Olaf Wittler, Fraunhofer IZM, Germany

Andreas Middendorf, Fraunhofer IZM, Germany

Power electronics modules and packages are subject to changing requirements. On the one hand automotive electrification requires increasing duty cycles in shorter time. On the other hand energy generation and conversion is being done in different outdoor atmospheres like onshore and offshore wind energy generation. Both application fields show an increased impact from moisture related failure mechanisms. In order to address the trend for more performant and robust packages a range of new technologies enter the market, which need to be evaluated regarding their reliability. The tutorial will give an overview on packaging trends and related solutions to assure reliability for long lifetimes and harsh environments. The topics to be covered are:

  • Mission profiles and trends
  • Packaging Trends
  • Failure Mechanisms
    • Thermo-mechanical Degradation
    • Thermal Ageing
    • Moisture, Corrosion and Migration
    • Lifetime Models
    • Accelerated Life Testing
    • Condition Monitoring Strategies and Examples




Dr. Olaf Wittler studied physics in Paderborn, Berlin and London and received his diploma degree in 1999. Afterwards he worked on his Ph.D. thesis at Robert Bosch GmbH on a methodology to include viscoelastic effects in the finite element analysis of cracks of polymer encapsulations. In 2002 he joined Fraunhofer IZM / TU Berlin and continued to work on thermal and thermomechanical reliability in power electronic packaging. Since 2010 he is heading the Fraunhofer IZM department Environmental and Reliability Engineering together with Dr. Nils F. Nissen. He has authored and co-authored several papers in the fields of laser physics, thermomechanical material characterisation and reliability simulation of electronic packages.

Andreas Middendorf works as a business developer in the Business Development Team of the Fraunhofer Institute for Reliability and Microintegration (IZM). He was working as a scientist in the department Environmental and Reliability Engineering of the Fraunhofer Institute for Reliability and Microintegration (IZM) and of the Technical University Berlin since May 1995. He was responsible for the development and implementation of methods and demonstrators for the estimation of lifetime for electronic appliances. Further on he is investigating technological aspects which combine the electronics design with environmental engineering techniques. This includes environmental assessments through LCA and through other methods, especially for Eco-Design, the evaluation of recycling attributes, the development of databases and software as well as environmental oriented product evaluation. He is lecturer of courses on EcoDesign and Reliability at the Technical University Berlin and the HTW Berlin. Further on he carried out courses on EcoDesign and Reliability for electronic companies, holds four patents and has coordinated several cooperative research projects in Germany and Europe. Since 2010 until 2015 he was senior manager for the application field automotive and transportation systems and in charge for the System Reliability and Measurement Group at IZM.


Tutorial 3 : Introducing layered dielectrics in solid-state microelectronic devices

Mario Lanza, Institute of Functional Nano & Soft Materials, Soochow University, China

The introduction of two-dimensional (2D) layered materials in the structure of microelectronic devices is a promising strategy to enhance and extend their performance. Several 2D layered metallic and semiconducting materials (e.g. graphene and MoS2) have been successfully implemented in different types of devices. However, their interaction with traditional dielectrics (e.g. SiO2, HfO2, Al2O3) is very poor because 2D materials do not have dangling bonds, leading to a highly defective interface. To solve this problem, the most feasible solution is to couple graphene and MoS2 with 2D layered dielectrics, so that they can form a clean van der Waals interface. In this context, h-BN is a 2D layered dielectric (with a direct band gap of ~5.9 eV) in which boron and nitrogen atoms arrange in a sp2 hexagonal lattice by covalent bonding, whereas the layers stick to each other by van der Waals attraction. Given its high in-plane mechanical strength (500 N/m), large thermal conductivity (600 Wm-1K-1), and high chemical stability (up to 1500 ºC in air), h-BN has attracted much attention as dielectric. However, most investigations in this field just analyzed small (<10 µm) and thick (> 10 nm) nanoflakes, and applied the electrical stresses using experimental techniques, such as conductive atomic force microscopy (CAFM). In this talk, I will present the most scalable approaches to synthesize multilayer hexagonal boron nitride (h-BN) dielectric stacks, and I will discuss their reliability when used as dielectric in different electronic devices.


Mario Lanza got his PhD in Electronic Engineering (with honors) in 2010 at the Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona. During the PhD he was visiting scholar at the Deggendorf Institute of Technology (Germany, 2008) and University of Manchester (UK, 2009). During his PhD he analyzed high-k dielectric samples from Infineon Technologies and Numonyx. In 2010-2011 he did a postdoc at Peking University, and in 2012-2013 he was a Marie Curie fellow at Stanford University. On October 2013 he joined Soochow University as Associate Professor, and in 2017 he was promoted to Full Professor. Currently, Prof. Lanza leads a group formed by 17-20 graduate students and postdocs, and it focuses on the improvement of electronic devices using 2D materials. Prof. Lanza has published over 90 research papers (including Science, Nature Electronics, IEDM Tech Digest, and Advanced Materials) edited an entire book on Conductive Atomic Force Microscopy for Wiley-VCH, and registered four patents (one of them granted with 1 million USD investment). He is a member of the technical committee of several top conferences in the field of electronic devices (IEDM, IRPS, IPFA), and member of the advisory board of Advanced Electronic Materials, Nature Scientific Reports, Nanotechnology, Nano Futures and Crystal Research and Technology. Prof. Lanza has received some of the most important research awards at his stage, including the 2017 Young Investigator Award in the field of Microelectronic Engineering (Elsevier), the Young 1000 Talent (Ministry of Education of China), and the Marie Curie postdoctoral fellowship (European Union).



Tutorial 4 : Methodology of soft error expertise applied for the use of embedded electronic devices in natural radiation environments

Laurent Artola, ONERA, France

The effects of the space radiation environment on spacecraft systems and instruments are significant design considerations for space missions. The wide interest in satellite and more recently in nano-satellites and drones is reflected by the rapid decrease in cost of COTS (Components Off The Sheft) embedded systems, such as FPGA (Field Programmable Gate Array). Due to the very limited size of these embedded systems and hence of their batteries and/or solar cells, their maximum power consumption is usually constrained to a few tens of Watts. This tight power budget is mostly dominated by the engine and the radio-frequency (RF) transmissions. 

Laurent Artola will first discuss on the description of radiation environment, from space down to the ground and the associated radiation effects. The applicative environments of the embedded electronic systems are harsh: (1) space radiation particles, (2) civil artificial radiation environment. These radiation environment are known to induce functional errors in analog and digital devices. Moreover, it has been highlighted that low power systems are more sensitive to radiation than standard power devices.

Next, he will present two methodologies of soft error expertise: first to evaluate and size the use of COST components such as a FPGA; second, to help designers to harden specific microelectronics, such an ASICs use for IR detector. Finally, he will present the challenge of reliability induced by radiation in the very large scale interaction roadmap.



Laurent Artola (MSEE 2007, Ph.D. EE 2011) is a research engineer at ONERA since 2012, and head of the research team “Radiation effects on components and materials since 2019. His researches are focus on radiations effects in devices and integrated circuits, modeling and characterization of Single Event Effects and total ionization dose. He received the best ONERA physics PhD award and the best PhD presentation award. He is regularly involved in radiations R&D projects for space applications. He has served the radiation effects community as reviewers, session chairman, and member of the award comity for the IEEE Nuclear and Space Radiation Effects Conference (NSREC) and Space RAdiation Effects in Components and Systems (RADECS) european conference. He serves as reviewers in more than 15 journals and as guest editor for the special issue Radiation effects in avionics for the open access journal MDPI Aerospace. He has authored and co-authored more than 50 papers, including one best paper award at RADECS conference paper." Since 2014, he supervises 4 PhD students.


Tutorial 5 : Review on failure mechanisms InGaN/GaN MQW LED for public light applications

Yannick Deshayes, IMS University of Bordeaux, France


This tutorial gives an actual overview of sustainability, robustness and reliability of GaN LED devices. The overview deals with low, medium and high power GaN LEDs and detailed the main functional parameters drift to estimate performances of the technology regarding application. Different LEDs are considering and coming from different manufacturer and different years of development: LED type I(2005), II(2010) and type III(2015). GaN-based LEDs often use polymer material as chip coating. The most used polymer coatings are siloxane-based materials such as Poly(Methyl-Phenyl-Silixane) – PMPS – or Poly(DiMethylSiloxane) – PDMS. Although their thermal properties offer great possibilities to justify their integration in optoelectronic devices, pellicular effect may occur. This paper points out a pellicular failure mechanism occurring in different Multi Quantum Wells (MQW) GaN-based LEDs coming from different manufacturer and submitted to active storage. Before ageing, an absorption/reemission fluorescence process has been extracted from some LEDs. By performing fluorescence analysis, we have found out the cause of such mechanism coming from silicone oil (polymer coating). Additional physics-chemical analyses, consisting in 1H NMR (Nuclear Magnetic Resonance) and MALDI-TOF (Matrix Assisted Laser Desorption Ionisation/Time Of Flight) mass spectrometry, have been investigated to work out the origin of the absorption/reemission process. The presence of Low Molecular Weight Molecules (LMWM) playing the role of fluorophor molecules is responsible for it. After ageing, some LEDs have loss from 3%(type III) to 65%(type I) of optical power showing the technological evolution of LED assembly. A combination of electro-optical characterizations and physico-chemical analyses has led to the main failure mechanism extraction that is the molecular change of silicone oil activated by photothermal phenomenon. Such pellicular failure mechanism has been suggested to be linked to polymerization or cross-linking of silicone oil usually present in GaN-based LEDs.


Associate Professor Yannick Deshayes, 46 years old received PhD. Degree in electronic from the University of Bordeaux 1, France, in 19 July 2002.

In 2004, he became associate professor in University of Bordeaux in Physical department. He has primarily worked in the mechanical simulation of complete laser module structure to characterize the stress after manufacturing process. The evaluation of failure mechanisms using both electro-optical analyses and finite element simulation has been performed. The main activities are composed on physics of failure from materials to devices. Actual research are based on the smart lighting applications as LiFi, Augmented reality,… based on the short pulse (< 1us) in overcurrent (> 10 Inom) biased conditions

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