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Ultrafast Current Shunt (UFCS): A Gigahertz Bandwidth Ultra-Low-Inductance Current Sensor

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In an effort to reduce switching loss, increase switching frequencies, and shrink passive component sizes, power device switching times are being pushed into nanosecond and subnanosecond intervals. However, these fast switching times require high rates of change of current making the power devices susceptible to overvoltage damage from parasitic inductance in the power loop. This presents challenges in measuring the device switching current accurately and, in turn, makes accurate measurements of device switching energy and stored charge difficult. Traditional current measurement methods either do not have the required frequency response to view the switching edge accurately or have a high parasitic inductance that can significantly alter switching performance and cause damage to the power device. In this article, an active current measurement system is developed. This circuit achieves up to 1.6-GHz bandwidth with zero overshoot. By utilizing mutual inductance cancellation, an insertion inductance down to 20 pH has been achieved. The research performed in this article thereby allows for an accurate measurement of device switching loss with minimal power circuit disturbance. The performance of this current measurement is experimentally verified in the frequency domain using a vector network analyzer, and time-domain switching measurements are compared with state-of-the-art current measurement.



Current measurement, Bandwidth, Inductance, Semiconductor device measurement, Probes, Switches, Power measurement, Current measurement, double pulse test, high bandwidth, network analyzer, parasitic inductance, wide band gap

Journal Title

IEEE Transactions on Power Electronics

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Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)
EPSRC (EP/T02030X/1)