Having superior mechanical properties, 3C-SiC is one of the target materials for power MEMS applications. Growing 3C-SiC films on Si is challenging, as there is a large mismatch in lattice parameter and thermal expansion between the SiC film and the Si substrate that needs to be accommodated, and results in high residual stress. Residual stress control is critical in MEMS devices as upon feature release it results in substantial deformation.
3C-SiC single crystalline films were deposited on 50 mm (100) and (111) Si substrates in a hot-wall CVD reactor. The film tensile residual stress was so high that it fractured on the (111) Si wafer. The resulting film thickness on the (100) Si wafer was non-uniform, having a linear profile along the growth direction. This presented a challenge of using the substrate curvature method for calculating residual stress. Finite Element Method correction was applied to the Stoney's formula for calculating the residual stress along the wafer radius. Suggestions for reducing the amount of residual stress are made.