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Title: Development of 4H-SiC PiN diodes for high voltage applications
Author: Fisher, Craig A.
ISNI:       0000 0004 5355 9473
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2014
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Despite the excellent electrical and thermal properties of 4H-silicon carbide (SiC), the fabrication of high-voltage SiC power devices is still proving problematic, being hindered by material defects resulting in low carrier lifetimes and forward voltage drift, and suboptimum ohmic contacts to p-type material. The PiN diode is one such device that suffers from the aforementioned problems, though at the same time is sought after for high voltage power electronics applications due to the prospect of greatly reduced power losses and increased power handling capability than the Si devices currently in use. As such, this thesis is focussed on the development of these devices, investigating various device structures to achieve high reverse blocking voltages as well as developing novel fabrication processes to improve the electrical performance of the devices. Electrical characterisation of ohmic contacts to p-type 4H-SiC showed that Ti/Al-based metal schemes offered the lowest specific contact resistivity of approximately 2.2 x 10-6 Ω-cm2, which was achieved after annealing at 1000°C for 2 minutes. Physical analysis showed that these annealing conditions were optimum for formation of the Ti3SiC2 alloy at the metal-semiconductor interface, the presence of which was found to correlate with lower specific contact resistivity values. Electrical characterisation of first generation PiN diodes designed for blocking 3.3 kV showed that the fabricated devices had a differential on-resistance (Ron,dif f) of 17 Ωm -cm2 at 100 A/cm2 and 25°C, and near-ideal (η = 1.3) characteristics in the diffusion current regime. Based on the measured reverse saturation currents, the carrier lifetime of the fabricated devices was estimated to be 480 ns. Reverse leakage currents were found to vary significantly across the devices, from 5 nA/cm2 up to 200 μA/cm2 at 100 V reverse bias and 25°C. Second generation 3.3 kV PiN diodes, which featured a B-implanted JTE structure, were found to block a maximum reverse voltage of 2.8 kV, which was around 85% of the target value. PiN diodes fabricated with a drift region designed for blocking 10 kV underwent thermal oxidation processes at temperatures ranging from 1400°C to 1600°C in order to increase the carrier lifetime. Devices having undergone no lifetime enhancement treatment were found to have a Ron,dif f of 11.6 mΩ-cm2 at 100 A/cm2 and 25°C, and an ideality factor η = 1.5 in the diffusion current regime. PiN diodes that had undergone thermal oxidation were found to have improved forward characteristics, with devices oxidised at 1500°C exhibiting a Ron,dif f of around 9 mΩ-cm2 at 100 A/cm2 and 25°C, an improvement of nearly 25%. A novel combined thermal oxidation and annealing process was developed and applied to second generation 10 kV PiN diodes; a mean Ron,dif f of 4.45 mΩ-cm2 was achieved, and a carrier lifetime of 1.21 μs was extracted from reverse recovery characteristics; these were both significant improvements on both the second generation control sample and the first generation thermally oxidised PiN diodes.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: TK Electrical engineering. Electronics Nuclear engineering