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A Materials Investigation of Nickel Based Contacts to n-SiC Subjected to Operational Thermal Stresses Characteristic of High Power Switching

  • M. W. Cole (a1), C. W. Hubbard (a1), C. G. Fountzoulas (a1), D. J. Demaree (a1) and F. Ren (a2)...

Abstract

This study developed and performed Laboratory experiments which mimic the acute cyclic thermal loading characteristic of pulsed power device switching operation. Ni contacts to n-SiC were the device components selected for cyclic thermal testing. Modifications of the contact- SIC materials properties in response to cyclic thermal fatigue were quantitatively assessed via Rutherford backscattering spectrometry (RBS), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), atomic force microscopy (AFM), surface profilometry, transmission electron microscopy (TEM), nanoindentation testing and current-voltage measurements. Decreases in nanohardness and elastic modulus were observed in response to thermal fatigue. No compositional modifications were observed at the metal-semiconductor interface. Our results demonstrated that the majority of the material changes were initiated after the first thermal pulse and that the effects of subsequent thermal cycling (up to 10 pulses) were negligible. The stability of the metalsemiconductor interface after exposure to repeated pulsed thermal cycling lends support for the utilization of Ni as a contact metallization for pulsed power switching applications.

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A Materials Investigation of Nickel Based Contacts to n-SiC Subjected to Operational Thermal Stresses Characteristic of High Power Switching

  • M. W. Cole (a1), C. W. Hubbard (a1), C. G. Fountzoulas (a1), D. J. Demaree (a1) and F. Ren (a2)...

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