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  • Final Activity Report Summary - MANSIC (Promoting and structuring a Multidisciplinary Academic-Industrial Network through the heteropolytype growth, characterisation and applications of 3C-SiC ...)

Final Activity Report Summary - MANSIC (Promoting and structuring a Multidisciplinary Academic-Industrial Network through the heteropolytype growth, characterisation and applications of 3C-SiC ...)

Silicon carbide (SiC) is both a ceramic and a semiconductor with outstanding electronic properties. For instance, electronic devices made from this material can withstand very high electric power and temperature. In addition, one of the main added value of SiC electronics is energy saving and thus CO2 emission reduction so that this new technology shall contribute significantly to make the world greener. Though hundreds of crystalline forms (also called polytypes) of SiC have been identified, the most stable are called 4H, 6H and 3C. Simply looking to their basic electronic properties, 4H-SiC is the most suitable for the fabrication of high power and high temperature devices. However, despite the efforts done worldwide, 4H-SiC power devices still suffer of some limitations caused by inherent material challenges. In theory, 3C-SiC polytype shall not be affected by these drawbacks but one has to face the difficulty of stabilisation. Indeed, elaboration of SiC crystals requires very high temperature (>2000) while in this temperature range the 3C polytype is much less stable than 4H one. MANSiC network explored two different elaboration techniques to struggle against Nature's law and favor 3C formation. They are called Sublimation Epitaxy (SE) and continuous Feed Physical Vapor Transport (CF-PVT), the latter being patented by INPG partner. Better 3C stabilisation results can be obtained if the deposition is performed on 3C-SiC seeds. Since this polytype is not commercialised, 3C-SiC crystalline seeds were elaborated by member of the consortium (UCBL) using innovating Vapour-Liquid-Solid (VLS) technique.

The repeated experimental works allowed demonstrating for the first time a 3C-SiC crystal of sufficient size for handling and thus electronic testing. Record value of low crystalline defect density was obtained in this way. The 3C crystals could be grown very pure or intentionally "doped" with selected impurity in order to tune the electronic properties. The incorporation and electrical activity of these impurities were studied in details using both optical and electrical characterisation techniques. Using the 3C-SiC material grown by the consortium, several evaluation and characterisation tests were perform in order to estimate its performances in electronic devices. It was shown that this 3C-SiC material still contains some crystalline defects which are degrading the performances of the devices, for example by increasing the leakage current, reducing the efficiency of the electric contacts or reducing the maximum breakdown voltage achievable. On the other hand, the interface with insulating layer (silica) was found extremely good, close to the standard of Silicon technology. This latter point is very encouraging since it allow considering a 3C-SiC Metal-Oxide-Semiconductor (MOS) device with better electronic performances than the ones made with 4H-SiC polytype.

As a conclusion, MANSiC network allowed increasing the basic knowledge on 3C-SiC polytype for electronic applications. It was possible thanks to the fundamental research performed in the laboratories of the consortium and also thanks to the gathering of multiple fields of expertise brought by each partner. The active participation of the recruited young researchers helped also reaching the goals faster.

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