AN-950 IRLML2803 IRF840 52402-ID 266CT 125-3E2A - Datasheet Archive
Transformer-Isolated Gate Driver Provides very large duty cycle ratios (HEXFET® is the trademark for International Rectifier
AN-950 AN-950 (v.Int) Transformer-Isolated Gate Driver Provides very large duty cycle ratios (HEXFET® is the trademark for International Rectifier Power MOSFETs) Transformer coupling of low level signals to power switches offers several advantages such as impedance matching. DC isolation and either step up or step down capability. They also provide negative gate bias to reduce the risk of "dv/dt induced turn-on". Unfortunately, transformers can deliver only AC signals since the core flux must be reset each half cycle. This "constant volt seconds" property of transformers results in large voltage swings if a narrow reset pulse, i.e., a large duty cycle is required (Figure 1). E T -3E T/3 NOTE: VOLT-SECONDS PRODUCT IN SHADED AREAS MUST BE EQUAL. THIS CAUSES RESET VOLTAGE TO BE 3 TIMES APPLIED VOLTAGE E. Figure 1. Constant-Volt-Seconds Characteristics of Transformers Q1 Z1 T1 Q2 POWER SWITCH 1:1 Figure 2. Wide Duty Cycle HEXFET Power MOSFET Driver circuit For this reason transformers in semiconductor drive circuits are limited to 50%, duty cycle or roughly equal pulse widths positive and negative because of drive voltage limitations of the semiconductors +12V themsevles. For large duty cycle ratios designers must choose an A LOW LEVEL LOGIC SIGNAL 0 alternative to the transformer, such as -12V an optical coupler to provide the +12V necessary drive isolation. B Optoisolators for power electronics require high dV/dt capability and are expensive. They also require additional floating power sources which add complexity and cost. Most of them require a buffer stage to handle the large gate capacitances, typical of power devices. If duty cycles are such that optoisolators are the only alternative, they can be used in a more cost-effective way as drivers for a MOS-gate driver. 0 T1 WINDING VOLTAGE -12V +12V C 0 VGS POWER HEXFET Q2 -12V VDS POWER HEXFET Q2 D 0 Figure 3. Waveform Characteristics of HEXFET POWER MOSFET Driver Circuit The circuit in Figure 2 provides a low impedance turn-on drive, and minimum pulse widths (on or off) of approximately 1 microsecond; furthermore, it can have any desired voltage ratio, and provides electrical isolation. In Figure 2, Q2 is the main power device, shown as a MOSFET, providing the switching function for a switching power supply, motor drive or other application requiring isolation between the low level logic and high power output. Ql is a low power HEXFET Power MOSFET such as the IRLML2803 IRLML2803, which is used to control the drive signals to Q2, and T1 is a small 1:1 driver transformer providing electrical isolation from, and coupling to, the low level circuitry. AN-950 AN-950 (v.Int) The waveforms in Figure 3 explain the circuit operation. Waveform A is the desired logic signal to be switched by Q2. When this voltage is applied to the primary of T1 the waveform is supported by changing core flux until saturation occurs as shown in waveform B. At this time the winding voltages fall to zero and remain so until the core flux is reversed by the negative-going portion of waveform A saturation will again occur if the negativeapplied pulse exceeds the voltseconds capability of the core. VIN VO GROUND REFERENCE LOGIC Figure 4. Single Switch Regulators During the positive portion of the secondary waveform, which, of course, has the same form as the primary, the intrinsic diode of Ql is in forward conduction and Q2 receives a positive gate drive voltage with a source impedance of Z1 plus the intrinsic diode forward impedance. IRF840 IRF840 IRFD1ZO In a practical circuit this can be less than 10 Ohms total, with a consequent turn-on time of around 75nsec. IRF840 IRF840 IRFD1ZO HEXFET AVALANCE PROTECTION When T1 saturates, the intrinsic diode of Q1 isolates the collapse of voltage at the winding from the gate of the power device and the input capacitance Ciss of the power switch holds the gate bias at the fully enhanced condition for a time limited only by the gate leakage current of Q2 as indicated in Figure 3c. IRF840 IRF840 IRFD1ZO When waveform A goes 12 volts negative Ql will become fully enhanced; and the main switch Q2 will now be turned off at approximately -12V at a source impedance Z1 + RDS(ON) of Q2. IRF840 IRF840 IRFD1ZO This will again be less than 10 Ohms and will yield a turn-off time less than 100nsec. When T1 again saturates, during the negative half cycle, its winding voltages fall to zero and Q1 turns off. As T1 voltage collapses, the gate of Q2 also follows this voltage and remains at zero bias. Figure 5. High Voltage, High Power HEXFET Power MOSFET Switch (500V, 8A per Section) The drain voltage of the power HEXFET Power MOSFET Q2 appears in Figure 3d, showing that it is indeed a mirror image of waveform A, the desired low level logic signal. Note that because T1 need only support a 12V signal, for 1msec or less, it is very small-and inexpensive. In a practical circuit Z1 is frequently a 0.1 mF capacitor, and the signal source is a low impedance driver such as a PWM controller or gate driver. AN-950 AN-950 (v.Int) It should be noted that the circuit in Figure 3(b) may not provide the necessary noise immunity when the power device is off. The gate-source voltage of Q2 in the OFF state returns to zero when T1 saturates and the only noise immunity is provided by the threshold voltage of Q2 (2V < VTH < 4V). In most applications it may be desirable to provide more noise immunity, by adding another small N-Channel HEXFET Power MOSFET (typically another IRLML2803 IRLML2803) as shown in Figure 7. The circuit now provides -12V to the power MOSFET after the transformer saturates, and this reverse bias remains until the next positive half cycle of drive. Thus, a minimum of 14V noise immunity is provided which should be adequate for all applications. The cost and noise immunity of this solution is much less than alternatives using optoisolators and their auxiliary supplies. Figures 5 and 6 show two applications where this gate drive method is particularly advantageous. The first is a high-voltage, high-frequency switch. The second is a bi-directional ac switch. Transformer T1 Considerations In the circuits illustrated, the transformers were built from miniature tape wound or ferrite toroids. Typical part numbers for these cores are as follows: (1) Tape Wound Cores Magnetics Inc. #80558-(1/2D)MA #52402-ID 52402-ID (2) Ferrite Toroids Ferroxcube #266CT 266CT 125-3E2A 125-3E2A or equivalent IRFD1Z0 IRF840 IRF840 IRFD1Z0 IRFD1Z0 ON INTRINSIC DIODES OFF ADDITIONAL CAPACITANCE FOR LONG SWITCH PERIODS IRF840 IRF840 Figure 6. Bi-directional AC Switch using HEXFET POWER MOSFET Figure 7. Driver Circuit with additional Noise Immunity Choice of a core type is not critical provided that 10 to 20 turns bifilar of suitable wire can be hand-wound onto it. The size of core should be chosen so that adequate insulation thickness can be used for the isolation voltage requirements and to reduce interwinding capacitance. Square Permalloy 80 cores are more expensive than ferrite types, but they have much narrower hysteresis loops and hence need fewer ampere turns of excitation. This can make a critical difference when the driver has limited current capability. Bifilar windings improve the magnetic coupling of primary to secondary. and it is also important to space the turns to occupy 360° of the core circumference to minimize leakage inductance. Unity turn ratios between primary and secondary also serve to minimize leakage inductance and hence optimize the transformer coupling coefficient. Related Topics: MOS-gate drivers Negative gate bias AN-950 AN-950 (v.Int) Gate drive buffers AN-950 AN-950 (v.Int) WORLD HEADQUARTERS: 233 Kansas St., El Segundo California 90245, Tel: (310) 322 3331 EUROPEAN HEADQUARTERS: Hurst Green, Oxted, Surrey RH8 9BB, UK Tel: + 44 1883 732020 IR CANADA: 7321 Victoria Park Ave., Suite 201, Markham, Ontario L3R 2Z8, Tel: (905) 475 1897 IR GERMANY: Saalburgstrasse 157, 61350 Bad Homburg Tel: + 49 6172 96590 IR ITALY: Via Liguria 49, 10071 Borgaro, Torino Tel: +39 11 451 0111 IR FAR EAST: K&H Bldg., 2F, 3-30-4 Nishi-Ikeburo 3-Chrome, Toshima-Ki, Tokyo Japan 171 Tel: 81 3 3983 0086 IR SOUTHEAST ASIA: 315 Outram Road, #10-02 Tan Boon Liat Building, Singapore 0316 Tel: 65 221 8371 AN-950 AN-950 (v.Int) Data and specification subject to change without notice.