High-Voltage TMBS Diodes Challenge Planar

High-Voltage TMBS Diodes
Challenge Planar Schottkys
By Max Chen, Sr. Director, R&D, Henry Kuo, Sr. Manager, R&D,
and Sweetman Kim, Sr. Manager, Marketing, Vishay
Semiconductors, Taipei, Taiwan
Trench MOS barrier Schottky diodes combine
low VF and high-speed switching with improved
protection from voltage transients, enabling the
benefits of conventional planar Schottkys in
100-V and 120-V applications.
chottky rectifiers are the preferred choice for
high-frequency applications and for when low
forward-conduction energy losses are critical,
thanks respectively to their high switching speed
and low forward (on-state) voltage drop. Until
recently, silicon-based Schottky barrier rectifiers were limited
to operating voltages below 100 V for most applications.
However, with the rapid increase in power consumption in
several consumer electronics applications, Schottky rectifiers
with higher reverse-bias voltages (100 V and above) have
become a mainstream choice for higher-output adapters.
A similar development has occurred in the design of highpower, high-efficiency telecom base station power supplies.
Higher voltage spikes and/or higher switching frequencies
are the inevitable outcome of this trend. Consequently,
Schottky rectifier product developments are moving toward
higher operating voltage ranges. To meet the requirements
of these applications, 100-V Schottky rectifiers have become
more common, with new designs moving toward reverse-bias
voltage ratings of 120 V, 150 V and even 200 V.
As higher operating voltages have become more common,
the performance limitations of Schottky devices have become
more obvious. Conventional Schottky designs use a planar
structure similar to that shown in Fig. 1.
For planar structures to achieve breakdown voltages of
100 V and above with an acceptable reverse leakage current, it
is standard practice to use a carefully designed P-type guardring structure, a high-resistivity silicon epitaxial layer and
a high Schottky barrier height. In this structure, the P-type
guard ring injects minority carriers into the semiconductor
drift region. However, these carriers slow down the Schottky
rectifiers under switching conditions.
The high-resistivity silicon and high Schottky-barrier
height all contribute to increased on-state voltage drop
(and, to a lesser degree, to slower switching speeds). As the
operating voltage moves to 100 V and above, planar Schottky
Power Electronics Technology October 2006
Fig. 1. This planar structure for conventional silicon-based Schottky
barrier rectifiers is usually limited to operating voltages below 100 V.
Fig. 2. The TMBS structure replaces gate metal with polysilicon and
produces overlapping depletion regions between adjacent MOS cells
during reverse bias, resulting in current pinch-off.
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“Micro DC-DC Converter
with Integrated Inductor”
Fig. 3. In this comparison of the electric-field curves of the TMBS and
planar Schottky along the semiconductor drift region, the left side of
the X axis is the silicon surface where the Schottky barrier is formed.
Buck Converter Circuit
rectifiers tend to lose their advantage of high switching speed
and low forward-voltage drop to a substantial degree. These
limitations can be alleviated by using the trench MOS barrier
Schottky (TMBS) rectifier from Vishay.
A new series of 100-V rectifiers apply a proprietary TMBS
structure to address the previously mentioned weaknesses
of the traditional planar Schottky rectifier. The multicell
structure of the device is illustrated in Fig. 2. The parameters
that affect TMBS performance include the trench depth,
mesa width, trench-oxide thickness, doping of the epitaxial
layer, and electric-field termination. These parameters are
related to oxide stress, charge coupling, optimized forward
voltage drop (VF) and reverse current (IR).
When the TMBS device is in reverse bias, the MOS will
couple the charge along its sidewall, causing a depletion
region, also shown in Fig. 2. The depletion regions of two
adjacent MOS transistors will overlap as the reverse bias
increases, resulting in pinch-off (an overlapped depletion
region). The Schottky diode’s interface leakage current (IR)
is reduced by this pinch-off electric field.
The depletion regions that result from the trench MOS
barrier structure diminish minority carrier injections to
the drift region; hence, the stored charges are minimized
under switching conditions. The switching speed is much
improved, especially under high working temperatures and
high conduction current conditions.
The trench MOS structure also provides charge-coupling
effects in the drift region. As depicted in Fig. 3, the chargecoupling effect of the TMBS structure will change the shape
of the electric field distribution from linear to nonlinear,
where the same reverse breakdown voltages—the integration
of electric field along the distance of drift region—will be obtained even with much lower resistivity silicon, as indicated
by the sharp gradient of TMBS electric-field curve.
The TMBS structure successfully alters the electric field
distribution to move the stronger electric field away from
the Schottky metal-silicon interface to the silicon bulk. As
indicated in Fig. 3, the depth of the surface electric field of the
TMBS device is much lower than the planar Schottky devices.
Type Number: FB6831J
Vin=2.7V-5.5V, Vout min=0.8V,
Iout max=500mA
Switching frequency=2.5MHz
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Power Electronics Technology October 2006
Fig. 5. These transient-response curves indicate the switching performance
of a TMBS rectifier is superior to that of a similarly rated planar Schottky
Fig. 4. A TMBS device exhibits a lower VF when compared to a conventional planar Schottky rectifier, even when the TMBS device is rated for
lower current, as shown here.
The reduced surface field will suppress the barrier-lowering
effect, which significantly reduces the leakage current for a
given Schottky barrier height. This allows lower Schottky
barrier heights to be used without sacrificing reverse-leakage
performance, which in turn results in a lower forward-bias
on-state voltage drop.
TMBS Verus Planar Schottky Devices
Fig. 4 compares the forward current/voltage characteristics of TMBS and conventional planar Schottky rectifiers
with the same chip sizes and barrier heights. Even when
compared with conventional 60-A rectifiers, a 40-A, 100-V
TMBS device shows improved forward-voltage-drop performance. The switching performance of the TMBS is also
better, as shown in Fig. 5.
To compare the new TMBS rectifiers with conventional
planar Schottky rectifiers in an actual application, a series of
experiments were performed in which TMBS rectifiers were
tested against benchmark Schottky rectifier products built
with planar technology. In the first test, a 350-W switchmode power supply (SMPS) was used as a test vehicle.
TMBS devices rated at 40 A and 100 V were compared to
industry-standard Schottky rectifiers rated at 20 A and 100
V (MXXXXH100CT), and two such devices with ratings of
60 A and 100 V (XX
(XXCTQ100 and STXXXXH100CT). All
devices in this evaluation are packaged in the standard
From the results illustrated in Table 1, we find that at a
67% output (about 235 W) to full-rated power levels, the
Power Electronics Technology October 2006
Fig. 6. The value for CJ in a TMBS diode is moderately larger than that
of a planar Schottky diode having the same die size for reverse-bias
voltages exceeding 30 V.
20-A rated device has the lowest total power-supply efficiency
of 78.3%. When the 60-A rated devices were substituted for
the 20-A devices in the same power-supply slot, efficiency
improvements of 0.8% and 0.9% were observed. These
improvements translate into a savings for the power supply
of 2.35 W and 2.77 W, respectively. Even when the 40-A
TMBS rectifier is used to replace a traditional planar device
rated at 60 A, the improvement in efficiency is still positive at 0.4%. Compared to a baseline 20-A planar Schottky
rectifier, the efficiency improvement is 1.3%, for a power
savings of 3.72 W.
To further demonstrate the capabilities of the new TMBS
devices, we evaluated TMBS rectifiers with ratings of 40 A
and 100 V (VTS40100CT) in a 120-W adapter. The typical
solution for this application is a synchronous rectification
approach implemented with two 40-A, 100-V MOSFETs and
a matching driver IC. From test data as described in Table 2,
and under full-rated 120-W output conditions, the pair of
TMBS rectifiers provide the same total adapter efficiency of
87% as the more complicated, more costly and less robust
synchronous rectification solution.
Another advantage of the TMBS structure over the
conventional planar Schottky structure is its capability to
withstand higher energy transients during reverse bias. The
strongest electric field of a conventional
planar Schottky rectifier is at the surface
of the device, which will limit heat dissipation and avalanche energy absorption. The
strongest electrical field of a TMBS device,
by contrast, distributes at the bottom of
each trench well. The silicon bulk can
thus absorb and dissipate more avalanche
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energy than the surface, thus providing
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the TMBS structure increased protection
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average of 8 µs  20 µs reverse-surge energy
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of the 40-A, 100-V VTS40100CT is about
170 mJ. This is about twice the conventional
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planar Schottky diode’s reverse-surge englossary of terms, papers
ergy under the same test condition.
and application notes
The junction capacitance (C J ) of a
TMBS device is much higher than that of
planar Schottky diodes at a small reverse
bias. This high capacitance is caused by the
trench sidewall and bottom capacitance
being in parallel with the original Schottky
barrier capacitance. When reverse bias
increases, however, the TMBS capacitance
falls significantly. Depletion regions will
completely overlap when reverse-bias voltage is high enough.
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same chip size. The value for CJ of the 100Log on today,
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the planar Schottky rectifier for reverse-bias
voltages over 30 V. However, since TMBS
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Power Electronics Technology October 2006
Extensive benchmark and application tests have been
done so far for TMBS products with a 100-V reverse-bias
voltage. However, 120-V products have been developed and
released for applications that see higher voltage spikes and
where a 100-V rated product might provide inadequate
headroom to ensure long-term reliability. These 120-V
products offer current ratings from 15 A to 60 A, and are
offered in the ITO-220, TO-220, TO-262, TO-263 and TO247 packages.
The next step for TMBS rectifiers will be 200-V devices,
which are now under development. Preliminary test results
as described in Table 3 have been very
encouraging, showing that the TMBS
rectifier provides lowest on-state voltage drop compared to the industry’s
benchmark 200-V planar Schottky rectifiers and 200-V ultrafast p-n junction
diodes. The comparison underscores
the switching performance advantages
of the TMBS rectifier.
In addition to a stored charge that
is only about half the values of the
industry’s benchmark devices, peak
switching reverse recovery current (IRR)
is 34% lower by comparison. This low
IRR will contribute to the lower switching losses of the transistor switches and
improve the power conversion efficiency of the complete circuit, particularly
in designs with switching frequencies
above 300 kHz. The 200-V rated TMBS
rectifier is slated for release in the third
quarter of 2006.
As shown in the performance
comparisons in Table 1, SMPS achieve
higher efficiency operation by using TMBS instead of conventional
planar Schottky rectifiers, due to the
lower forward-voltage drop and faster
switching speed of the TMBS. The
performance comparisons in Table 2
also show that TMBS achieves the same
efficiency as a MOSFET synchronous
rectifier in a 120-W adapter application, but at a lower cost.
Synchronous rectification circuits
have used low on-resistance MOSFETs
instead of planar Schottky rectifiers
due to their higher efficiency and better
thermal performance. However, as we
have shown, TMBS is a cost-effective
alternative to MOSFET synchronous
rectifiers. Furthermore, TMBS offers
the advantage of providing better perwww.powerelectronics.com
formance in low output current devices such as adapters and
open-frame power supplies. Synchronous MOSFET rectifiers may indeed provide good performance in high current
rectification applications, but the percentage of total power
loss contributed by switching losses from MOSFETs used for
output rectification increases in low current applications.
Also, the MOSFET circuits generally require complex
control circuitry, with the effect of creating additional failure
risks that can reduce the reliability of power-supply systems.
Therefore, low VF TMBS rectifiers are more suitable for lower
current adapters and open-frame power-supply designs. The
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Power Electronics Technology October 2006
power (W)
power (W)
saving (W)
Industry 20-A Planar Schottky (MXXXXH100CT)
0 (Base)
Industry 60-A Planar Schottky (XXCTQ100)
Industry 60-A Planar Schottky (SXXXXXH100CT)
Vishay 40-A TMBS (VTS40100CT)
Table 1. Efficiency evaluation on a 350-W SMPS, comparing TMBS with industry-standard planar Schottky products.
Original 40-A,100-V SR Solution
Change to 40-A, 100-V TMBS
Input voltage (Vac)
Input voltage (Vac)
VO (V)
VO (V)
IO (A)
IO (A)
PO (W)
PO (W)
Efficiency (%)
Efficiency (%)
Table 2. Efficiency evaluation comparing the use of a TMBS rectifier pair and synchronous MOSFETs in a 120-W adapter.
Product Type
Industry 200-V
Planar Schottky
Industry 200-V
Ultrafast diode
Vishay 200-V
VR (V)
at 1 mA/25°C
IR (mA)
at 200 V/125°C
VF (V)
at 5 A/125°C
VF (V)
at 15 A/125°C
I RR (A)
TRR (ns)
QRR (nC)
5A, -300 A/s,
100 V, 10%, 125°C
Table 3. Comparison of electrical characteristics for the experimental 200-V TMBS rectifier, a 200-V planar Schottky rectifier and an ultrafast diode.
performance of TMBS can compete with that of MOSFETs
in lower-current rectification applications, and enjoys the
advantages of shortened design cycles and lower production
costs by requiring no additional control circuits.
In high-reliability power systems, redundant power supplies share electrical loads and protect the system in case of
any shutdown resulting from malfunctions in one of the
power supplies. The design aims to isolate the failed SMPS
from the common bus if an SMPS failure occurs, and thus
requires a switch to isolate the failed SMPS. This switch must
be highly sensitive and able to react with high interrupt speed
when an SMPS fails; but it must also have low conductivity
for big transient loads.
TMBS diodes offer significant improvements over conventional diodes for ORing functions in isolated redundant
power supplies. Low RDSON MOSFETs (ORing FETs) are
sometimes used in these applications. However, ORing FETs
have a lower switching speed than ORing diodes, which may
cause undesirable 0.8-V to 1.5-V voltage drops by the body
diode of the ORing FET after it is tripped by high-transient
voltage changes from high loading to low loading. The
more reliable redundant power-system design is to use one
ORing FET in parallel with one low VF Schottky diode. The
Power Electronics Technology October 2006
100-V TMBS Schottky diode offers a good design solution
in telecom redundant power systems.
Another advantage of the TMBS diodes over conventional
Schottky diodes is their higher reverse-energy capability to
better withstand transients when power supplies switch on.
The unique trench well structure and silicon bulk in the TMBS
absorb and dissipate more avalanche energy than the plain
interface structure of conventional planar Schottky rectifiers. The average 8-µs  20-us reverse-surge energy of the
VTS40100CT is about 170 mJ, which is about two times that
of conventional planar Schottky diodes under the same testing conditions. This ability to enable higher reverse avalanche
energy makes the TMBS more suitable for use in high ESD
or rectification applications than the diodes used for ORing
in hot-plug systems and rectification in SMPS.