Since the commercial availability of SiC substrates in 1990, SiC processing technology has advanced rapidly. There have been demonstrations of monolithic digital and analogue integrated circuits, complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS) analog integrated circuits, nonvolatile random-access memories, self-aligned polysilicon-gate metal-oxide-semiconductor field-effect transistors (MOSFETs), and buried-channel polysilicon-gate charge-coupled devices (CCDs). In this article, we review processing technologies for SiC.
A beneficial feature of SiC processing technology is that SiC can be thermally oxidized to form SiO2. When a thermal oxide of thickness x is grown, 0.5x of the SiC surface is consumed, and the excess carbon leaves the sample as CO. Shown in Figure 1 are the oxide thicknesses as a function of time for the Si-face and the C-face of 6H-SiC, and for Si. The oxidation rates are considerably lower for SiC than for Si. The oxidation rate of the C-face of 6H-SiC is considerably greater than that of the Si-face. Hornetz et al. have shown that the reason for the slower oxidation rate of the Si-face is due to a 1-nm Si4C4−xO2 (x < 2) layer that forms between the SiC and the SiO2 during oxidation of the Si-face. When oxidizing the Si-face, the Si atoms oxidize first, which inhibits the oxidation of the underlying C atoms that are 0.063 nm below the Si atoms. When oxidizing the C-face, the C atoms readily oxidize first to form CO, with no formation of the Si4C4−xO2 layer for temperatures above 1000°C.