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Improvement of Minority Carrier Lifetime in Thick 4H-SiC Epi-layers by Multiple Thermal Oxidations and Anneals

  • Lin Cheng (a1), Michael J. O’Loughlin (a1), Alexander V. Suvorov (a1), Edward R. Van Brunt (a1), Albert A. Burk (a1), Anant K. Agarwal (a1) and John W. Palmour (a1)...


This paper details the development of a technique to improve the minority carrier lifetime of 4H-SiC thick (≥ 100 μm) n-type epitaxial layers through multiple thermal oxidations. A steady improvement in lifetime is seen with each oxidation step, improving from a starting ambipolar carrier lifetime of 1.09 µs to 11.2 µs after 4 oxidation steps and a high-temperature anneal. This multiple-oxidation lifetime enhancement technique is compared to a single high-temperature oxidation step, and a carbon implantation followed by a high-temperature anneal, which are traditional ways to achieve high ambipolar lifetime in 4H-SiC n-type epilayers. The multiple oxidation treatment resulted in a high minimum carrier lifetime of 6 µs, compared to < 2 µs for other treatments. The implications of lifetime enhancement to high-voltage/high-current 4H-SiC power devices are also discussed.



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