Dislocation Conversion and Propagation during Homoepitaxial Growth of 4H-SiC
Basal Plane Dislocations (BPDs) in SiC are thought to cause degradation of bipolar diodes with blocking voltages > 2kV by triggering the formation and expansion of stacking faults during device operation. Hence, low N doped, thick epitaxial layers without BPDs are urgently needed for the realization of long-term stable SiC bipolar diodes. Such epilayers can be achieved if the conversion of the BPD into another harmless dislocation type is supported by proper epitaxial growth parameters and use of vicinal (off-cut) substrates. In this work, the influence of the substrate’s off-cut angle and of the epilayer thickness on BPD density and surface morphology were investigated. The BPD densities of epilayers grown on 2° and 4° off-cut substrates were very low compared to growth on 8° off-axis substrates. X-Ray Topography has proved that all the Threading Dislocations (TD) propagate from the substrate to the epilayer and that BPDs in the substrate convert to Threading Edge Dislocations (TED) in the epilayer, i.e. the dislocation density (DD) of the substrate determines the epilayer’s DD. The conversion of BPDs is supported by the presence of bunched steps as for growth of thick layers on 2° and 4° off-cut substrates.
Anton J. Bauer, Peter Friedrichs, Michael Krieger, Gerhard Pensl, Roland Rupp and Thomas Seyller
B. Kallinger et al., "Dislocation Conversion and Propagation during Homoepitaxial Growth of 4H-SiC ", Materials Science Forum, Vols. 645-648, pp. 299-302, 2010