The OBIC (Optical Beam Induced Current) technique is a powerful method to investigate the electric field distribution of p-n junctions in SiC. In a previous work we found strong indications for the presence of a high density of negative surface charge in n-type SiC. In order to study samples of both conductivity types under similar conditions we prepared Schottky contacts on ntype and p-type 6H-SiC CVD epitaxial layers.
OBIC measurements show an extension of the depletion region of several hundreds of microns from the edge of the contact on n- and p-type samples, thus interconnecting diodes on an area up to several mm2. Our results imply that there is no fixed surface charge but a high density of both acceptor- and donorlike surface states leading to a dependence of the net surface charge on the Fermi energy, in which case the sign of the surface charge reverses from negative on ntype material to positive on p-type 6H-SiC.