Novel Silicon Carbide Epitaxy Process for Dramatic Improvements to Material Characteristics, Cost, and Throughput
ABSTRACT: Silicon carbide electronics technology has several advantages over conventional silicon electronics and it finds its application in several power electronics applications. However, the manufacturing of reliable SiC power devices is a critical challenge because of the degradation of the forward current gain or voltage drop attributed to the propagation of Shockley-type stacking faults (SF) which are nucleated by basal plane dislocations (BPDs) present in the epitaxial layers. The current state-of-the-art SiC epitaxial methods are less successful in eliminating such defects, hindering the commercialization of this technology. Sinmat, in collaboration with University of South Carolina, plans to investigate a novel defect capping and planarization assisted growth (DC-PAG) process that is expected to reduce the defect density (inclusive of BPD and other defects) by at least two orders of magnitude, thereby resulting in virtually BPD-free wafers. This novel method uses a novel polishing process to impede the propagation of defects during growth. Such a technical enhancement will lead to high performance, reliable and reproducible SiC based power devices and can lead to rapid insertion of SiC devices in military, automotive and renewable energy sectors. BENEFIT: TThe DC-PAG technology will enable the SiC applications in high power and alternative energy applications. Silicon carbide (SiC) power devices can be used in applications such as solar inverters, power convertors for computing and network power supplies; industrial motors and hybrid electric vehicles. The SiC power device can also be used in high-power, high frequency, high temperature military and aerospace applications.
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