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Non-destructive characterization of crystallographic defects of SiC substrates using X-ray topography for R&D and quality assurance in production

Summer 2021 Volume 37, No. 2
Christian Reimann and Christian Kranert

One of the major technical challenges of this decade are energy efficient technologies, which is among others, comparable in its importance to Artificial Intelligence, 5G and IoT. Innovative silicon carbide (SiC) technology and components will contribute significantly towards the goal of a greener, energy efficient and sustainable economy. SiC also addresses major and dynamic growth markets such as renewable energy generation and conversion, edge computing, cloud computing and data centers and last but not least the imminent change to and corresponding growth of electric mobility solutions. SiC is therefore one of the most important semiconducting material in this decade.

Due to the current undersupply of SiC substrates, the obtained prices for typical 150 mm n-type SiC wafers are quite high and in the range of $800–$1200 per wafer, depending on the material quality and the purchased quantity. Beside wafer prices, the material quality is a very important factor to choose the right material supplier. A stable baseline, instead of handpicking small numbers of best case wafers, for supplying high quality SiC substrates is needed to manufacture reliable SiC power devices, which is especially requested for automotive application. Therefore, a strong need for non-destructive and reliable SiC substrate characterization occurs, which supports R&D purposes, e.g. defect optimization or scale up to 200 mm substrate diameter, and of course in-line capability in terms of quality assurance within production environment.


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