>Status of silicon carbide (SiC) as a wide-bandgap semiconductor for high-temperature applications
Silicon carbide (SiC), a material long known with potential for high-temperature, high-power, high-frequency, and radiation hardened applications, has emerged as the most mature of the wide-bandgap (2.0 eV ≲ Eg ≲ 7.0 eV) semiconductors since the release of commercial 6H SiC bulk substrates in 1991 and 4H SiC substrates in 1994. Following a brief introduction to SiC material properties, the status of SiC in terms of bulk crystal growth, unit device fabrication processes, device performance, circuits and sensors is discussed. Emphasis is placed upon demonstrated high-temperature applications, such as power transistors and rectifiers, turbine engine combustion monitoring, temperature sensors, analog and digital circuitry, flame detectors, and accelerometers. While individual device performances have been impressive (e.g. 4H SiC MESFETs with fmax of 42 GHz and over 2.8 W mm−1 power density; 4H SiC static induction transistors with 225 W power output at 600 MHz, 47% power added efficiency (PAE), and 200 V forward blocking voltage), material defects in SiC, in particular micropipe defects, remain the primary impediment to wide-spread application in commercial markets. Micropipe defect densities have been reduced from near the 1000 cm−2 order of magnitude in 1992 to 3.5 cm−2 at the research level in 1995.
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