STTR Phase I: Growth of 3C-SiC Substrates using High-Temperature Chemical Vapor Deposition

Period of Performance: 01/01/2006 - 12/31/2006

$100K

Phase 1 STTR

Recipient Firm

BarSiC Semiconductors, LLC
209 Brook Ave
Starkville, MS 39759
Principal Investigator
Firm POC

Research Institution

Mississippi State University
133 Etheridge Hall, 449 Hardy Road
Mississippi State, MS 39762
Institution POC

Abstract

This Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Phase I project aims at developing new material growth technology for manufacturing semiconductor substrates of cubic 3C-SiC polytype for high-power, high-frequency, high-temperature, and high-radiation hardness military, space, and commercial applications. The new process for SiC epitaxial growth utilizes novel mechanisms of gas phase and surface reactions. These mechanisms are provided by using halo-carbon growth chemistry replacing the traditional propane-based system. Applied to homoepitaxial growth of the 4H-SiC polytype, the new growth method resulted in defect-free epilayers at temperatures as low as 1350C, which is much lower than what was considered possible for high-quality growth. Simultaneously, a drastic increase of the growth rate in comparison to the propane-based growth was achieved at regular for 4HsiC growth temperatures. The halo-carbon growth promises to resolve critical problems impeding 3C-SiC commercialization such as morphology degradation by unfavorable homogeneous reactions, lattice mismatch-related defect generation, and growth rate reduction by silicon vapor condensation. Commercial supply of wafers of 3C-SiC polytype is not available today. Growing efforts to develop and commercialize 3C-SiC technology in Japan and Europe may put the wide band gap industry in the US significantly behind in cost-efficiency of SiC electronics. This novel fabrication method offers a possibility of a strong competitive advantage. The potential for process scaling makes it possible to achieve large-diameter 3C wafers in less than 3 years. Use of Si substrates for 3C seed growth will ensure an estimated order of magnitude advantage in cost-to-diameter ratio in comparison to 4H and 6H-SiC wafers. Overcoming the price and wafer size limitations of the existing SiC technologies will significantly speed up commercial acceptance of high-power and high frequencySiC devices.