CVD Growth of Silicon Carbide for High Frequency Applications

University dissertation from Linköping : Linköping University Electronic Press

Abstract: Silicon Carbide (SiC) is an important wide band gap semiconductor with outstanding electronic properties. With figures of merit far better than silicon, SiC is believed to replace and outcompete silicon in many applications using high frequencies, high voltage and high temperatures. With the introduction of seeded sublimation technique, a realisation of substrates with large diameter and high quality became possible. Recent progress in the bulk growth using high temperature chemical vapour deposition (HTCVD) has shown excellent results with high purity substrates with semi insulating (SI) properties. The availability of high quality SI substrates allows the fabrication of microwave devices with low rf losses such as the Metal Schottky Field Effect Transistor (MESFET). With the introduction of the hot-wall CVD technique, thick low doped n-type epitaxial layers have been grown for high power devices (> 4 kV) such as the PiN diode.The main contribution of the present work relates to the investigation of growth of MESFET structures. The goal has been to demonstrate the ability to grow MESFET structures using the hot-wall CVD technique. The challenge with abrupt interfaces and controlled doping has been investigated. A comprehensive investigation has been made on how nitrogen and aluminum dopant atoms incorporate into the SiC lattice using the hot-wall CVD technique. Fundamental research of MESFET structures has been combined with growth of device structures for both Swedish and European groups as well as industries. The research has been focused towards the understanding of dopant incorporation, characterization of doped epitaxial layers, the growth of device structures, the modelling of temperature distribution in a hot-wall susceptor and the development of growth systems for future up scaling.In paper 1 we present how the nitrogen dopant is incorporated into the SiC lattice. The influence of several different growth parameters on the nitrogen incorporation is presented. Equilibrium thermodynamical calculations have been performed to give a further insight into the incorporation mechanism. The investigation shows that the N2 molecule itself does not contribute directly to the nitrogen incorporation, however, molecules like the HCN and HNC are more likely.In paper 2 the incorporation of the aluminum dopant into the SiC lattice is investigated in a similar way as the nitrogen incorporation in paper 1. The results show that the aluminum incorporation in SiC is mainly controlled by the carbon coverage on the SiC surface. The investigation shows that it is difficult to obtain high aluminum doping on carbon face whereas the silicon face is sensitive to changes of the growth parameters. High growth rate resulted in a diffusion controlled incorporation.In Paper 3 we present the results from the growth of MESFET structures as well as characterization of the structures and final device properties. Knowledge taken from paper 1 and 2 was used to improve the abruptness of the grown structures.Paper 4 presents the results obtained by low temperature photoluminescence (LTPL) on separately grown 4H-SiC epitaxial layers. Doping calibration curves for nitrogen in the doping range from 1?1014 to 2?1019 cm-3 are presented. A discussion concerning the Mott transition is also presented.Paper 5 presents the results of the use of simulation to investigate the heating of a hot-wall CVD reactor. New susceptor and coil design are tested. The simulation has been verified with experimental heating tests which show excellent agreement. The new design has a temperature variation of less than 0.5 % over more than 70% of the total susceptor length in addition to a decreased power input of 15 %.In the final two papers, paper 6 and 7, we present work of growth of AlN on SiC. Thin films were grown and characterized with different techniques concerning crystal quality and thickness. The use of infrared reflectance and the features of the AlN reststrahl reflectance band allowed us to determine the thickness of AlN films as thin as 250 Å.