Impurity Effects in the Growth of 4H-SiC Crystals by Physical Vapor Transport


SiC is an important wide bandgap semiconductor material for high temperature and high power electronic device applications. Purity improvements in the growth environment has resulted in a two-fold benefit during growth: (a) minimized inconsistencies in the background doping resulting in high resistivity (>5000 ohm-cm) wafer yield increase from 10-15% to 70-85%, and (b) decrease in micropipe formation. Growth parameters play an important role in determining the perfection and properties of the SiC crystals, and are extremely critical in the growth of large diameter crystals. Several aspects of growth are vital in obtaining highly perfect, large diameter crystals, such as: (i) optimized furnace design, (ii) high purity growth environment, and (iii) carefully controlled growth conditions. Although significant reduction in micropipe density has been achieved by improvements in the growth process, more stringent device requirements mandate further reduction in the defect density. In-depth understanding of the mechanisms of micropipe formation is essential in order to devise approaches to eliminate them. Experiments have been performed to understand the role of growth conditions and ambient purity on crystal perfection by intentionally introducing arrays of impurity sites on one half of the growth surface. Results clearly suggest that presence of impurities or second phase inclusions during start or during growth can result in the nucleation of micropipes. Insights obtained from these studies were instrumental in the growth of ultra-low micropipe density (less than 2 micropipes cm−2) in 1.5 inch diameter boules.

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Balakrishna, V., Augustine, G. & Hopkins, R.H. Impurity Effects in the Growth of 4H-SiC Crystals by Physical Vapor Transport. MRS Online Proceedings Library 572, 245 (1999).

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