Basal Plane Dislocations Elimination and Conversion Below the Epilayer Interface


Reference #: 01252

The University of South Carolina is offering licensing opportunities for a novel approach for improving the quality of semiconductor materials (4H-SiC).



Power electronic semiconductor devices are critical components in next-generation energy-efficient power systems such as electric vehicles, smart grid power controls, and alternative energy grid-compatibility circuitry. Their power handling capabilities and ability to operate at high temperatures without active cooling enables transformative system-level improvements such as reduction in size, weight, and performance. Wide bandgap materials such as SiC, GaN and diamond have been investigated to replace the industry workhorse, silicon, due to their superior material properties. Silicon carbide (SiC) has come highly recommended. It crystallizes in more than 250 different modifications or polylypes. Of the several polylypes, 4H-SiC is considered the most viable candidate. Translating these material advantages into real devices requires high quality SiC with low density of defects, particularly basal plane dislocations (BPDs). BPD conversion at the substrate/epilayer interface is very important for high reliability of SiC power devices.


Invention Description:

The subject invention is a novel approach for improving the quality of the semiconductor material (4H-SiC). The invention will enable the improvement of the reliability and efficiency of high voltage switches used in day-to-day applications such as inverters, uninterrupted power supplies, aircraft electronic systems and other high power handling devices employed in hybrid electric vehicles (HEV) through enabling the manufacturing of smaller, lighter, and more efficient high-power SiC devices in a cost effective and reliable platform.


Potential Applications:

This invention addresses the main performance/reliability problem in 4H-SiC power devices (currently the key candidates for replacing Si, the industry workhorse). This requires eliminating Basal Plane Dislocations (BPDs) in high-doped SiC epilayers, which are currently killer defects for SiC bipolar power devices and circuits.


Advantages and Benefits:

(1)       Completely eliminates the killer defect of Basal Plane Dislocations (BPDs) from the active device layer, and improves the material quality of the device layer significantly (100% elimination of a specific crystal defect).

(2)       Reduces the BPD line length by dragging it below the buffer layer interface, which improves the current handling capacity of the device exponentially.

(3)       The elimination of the BPD defect would enable the realization of truly transformative wide band gap power systems with considerable reduction in cost and size of the device with high yield (commercial scale) and performance.


Patent Information:
For Information, Contact:
Technology Commercialization
University of South Carolina
Tangali Sudarshan
Mv.s. Chandrashekhar
Anusha Balachandran
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