Influence of Basal Plane Dislocation Induced Stacking Faults on the Current Gain in SiC BJTs
SiC BJTs show instability in the I-V characteristics after as little as 15 minutes of operation. The current gain reduces, the on-resistance in saturation increases, and the slope of the output characteristics in the active region increases. This degradation in the I-V characteristics continues with many hours of operation. It is speculated that this phenomenon is caused by the growth of stacking faults from certain basal plane dislocations within the base layer of the SiC BJT. Stacking fault growth within the base layer is observed by light emission imaging. The energy for this expansion of the stacking fault comes from the electron-hole recombination in the forward biased base-emitter junction. This results in reduction of the effective minority carrier lifetime, increasing the electron-hole recombination in the base in the immediate vicinity of the stacking fault, leading to a reduction in the current gain. It should be noted that this explanation is only a suggestion with no conclusive proof at this stage.
Robert P. Devaty, David J. Larkin and Stephen E. Saddow
A. K. Agarwal et al., "Influence of Basal Plane Dislocation Induced Stacking Faults on the Current Gain in SiC BJTs", Materials Science Forum, Vols. 527-529, pp. 1409-1412, 2006