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Research Area - SiC

Cloride-based Epitaxial Growth

The core of an electric device is the epitaxial layer grown on a substrate by chemical vapor deposition (CVD). Gases containing silicon and carbon atoms, such as silane and ethylene, are often used to grow SiC, but limits in high growth rate are given by silicon cluster formation in the gas phase which is detrimental for the epitaxial layer quality. High growth rates are needed to deposit thick layers ( > 100 μm) which are required for high power devices. Chloride-based CVD, which is usually employed in the silicon epitaxial growth industry, is based on the presence of chlorinated species in the gas mixture which prevent the formation of silicon clusters, therefore resulting in very high growth rates. This chloride-based CVD process was first started to be investigated a few years ago and then only at typical growth conditions, without exploring all its full potential, such as its performance at low or high temperature growth. In addition important parameters affecting the epitaxial layer quality in terms of defect formation and electrical characteristics are the substrate orientation and its offcut angle. Standard processes are run on substrates having an 8° off-cut angle towards a specific crystallographic direction. On lower off-cut angles, such as 4° or almost 0° (also called on-axis) which would be more economical and could resolve problems related to bipolar degradation, many typical issues should be solved or at least minimized. For 4° off-cut angle the main problem is the stepbunching resulting in high roughness of the epi surface whereas for nominally on-axis the formation of 3C inclusions is the main problem.

(Text from Ph.D. dissertation, Stefano Leone)

Responsible for this page: Fredrik Karlsson
Last updated: 04/18/11