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SOLSIC Report Summary

Project ID: G5RD-CT-2001-00563
Funded under: FP5-GROWTH
Country: France

New SG-FZ crystal growth equipment and process for 3C-SiC crystal growth

An experimental crystal growth set-up based on industrial CYBERSTAR product was developed during the project. The system alloys the growth of Silicon Carbide (SiC) crystal in a silicon float zone. The system is heated by a specific commercial generator working in the 2 MHz range. The system is equipped with primary and secondary unit pumping systems, and the atmosphere in the chamber is controlled.

The upper and lower units can rotate and translate separately at a very low rate (0.01mm/h). Some specific rotation strategies can be applied in order to control the forced convection in the silicon. A two pyrometer system enables access to the thermal measurements close to the core zone where the crystallization takes place. All the basic control/commands of the system are activated by computer.

The system can be used for other specific refractory crystals where a solvent is required (TiC, ZrC, etc.. ) and/or when a contact-less system (without a crucible) is necessary for chemical reasons.

A specific process for growing SiC crystal in a silicon float zone based on a joint (IKZ-CEA) patent is developed. The process is first related to the preparation of the required raw materials (SiC seed and feed), the installation in the core zone, as well as all the different steps of the process including temperature management, motion controls, and atmosphere control up to the cooling of the system.

The process is currently under further development in the frame-work of a PhD thesis at CEA. This process is specific for silicon carbide crystals.

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