November 17, 2022
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Silicon carbide and diamond for high temperature device applications

Intrinsic carrier concentration as function of temperature of several semiconductors. Copyright and Credit: Boris Straumal

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The physical and chemical properties of wide bandgap semiconductors silicon carbide and diamond make these materials an ideal choice for device fabrication for applications in many different areas, e.g., light emitters, high temperature and high-power electronics, high power microwave devices, micro-electromechanical system (MEMS) technology, and substrates. These semiconductors have been recognized for several decades as being suitable for these applications, but until recently the low material quality has not allowed the fabrication of high-quality devices. Silicon carbide and diamond-based electronics are at different stages of their development. An overview of the status of silicon carbide's and diamond's application for high temperature electronics is presented. 


Silicon carbide electronics is advancing from the research stage to commercial production. The most suitable and established SiC polytype for high temperature power electronics is the hexagonal 4H polytype. The main advantages related to material properties are its wide bandgap, high electric field strength and high thermal conductivity. Almost all different types of electronic devices have been successfully fabricated and characterized. 


The most promising devices for high temperature applications are pn-diodes, junction field effect transistors and thyristors. For microwave applications, 4H-SiC is competing with Si and GaAs for frequency below 10 GHz and for systems requiring cooling like power amplifiers. Diamond is the superior material for high power and high temperature electronics. Fabrication of diamond electronic devices has reached important results, but high temperature data are still scarce. 


Magnus Willander

Linköping University


Qamar ul Wahab

Linköping University


Boris Straumal

Institute of Solid State Physics RAS


Milan Friesel


Journal of Materials Science: Materials in Electronics 17(1): 1-25

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