What is thermal breakdown


Technology lexicon

Petra Nordinghaus-Martin

(electrical). Conductive bridging of two mutually isolated electrodes by exceeding a certain voltage. If the so-called breakdown voltage is exceeded, semiconductors are destroyed by damaging the barrier layers. In vehicle technology: Term for the damage to a tire in which the protector including the ~> carcass has penetrated. Can be repaired if D. is not too big. Electrodynamics and electrical engineeringElectronics, semiconductor physics, 1)Semiconductor physics: crystal rectifiers.

2)Electrodynamics: an electrical discharge through a non-conductive medium (dielectric, insulator). If it is a gas, one speaks of gas discharge, in the atmosphere also of lightning strike (Lightning). The strong increase in the number of charge carriers during breakdown occurs either as a result of impact ionization (electrical breakdown) or as a result of heating (thermal breakdown, heat breakdown). In the case of purely electrical breakdown, individual conduction electrons, which are present in small numbers, are accelerated so strongly by high electrical field strengths that they locally destroy the grid through scattering processes and can thus release a large number of charge carriers in less than 1 ms. In the case of thermal breakdown, however, the heating in the dielectric (dielectric loss) leads to the release of charge carriers. In the final phase, every breakdown is a heat breakdown, solid insulators are destroyed along a breakdown channel. Under certain circumstances, a breakdown analogous to a gas discharge, the avalanche breakdown, can occur in the solid body. A breakdown that occurs along the interface between a solid insulating material and air is called a flashover. The voltage at which no breakdown occurs in a material is called the breakdown voltage, the external field strength above which the breakdown is irreversible in a solid material, breakdown field strength or dielectric strength.

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