Silicon carbide, Laser doping, Laser metallization, Endotaxy, PIN diode
Silicon carbide is a promising semiconductor material for high voltage, high frequency and high temperature devices due to its wide bandgap, high breakdown electric field strength, highly saturated drift velocity of electrons and outstanding thermal conductivity. With the aim of overcoming some challenges in metallization and doping during the fabrication of silicon carbide devices, a novel laser-based process is provided to direct metallize the surface of silicon carbide without metal deposition and dope in silicon carbide without high temperature annealing, as an alternative to the conventional ion implantation, and find applications of this laser direct write metallization and doping technique on the fabrication of diodes, endotaxial layer and embedded optical structures on silicon carbide wafers. Mathematical models have been presented for the temperature distributions in the wafer during laser irradiation to optimize laser process parameters and understand the doping and metallization mechanisms in laser irradiation process. Laser irradiation of silicon carbide in a dopant-containing ambient allows to simultaneously heating the silicon carbide surface without melting and incorporating dopant atoms into the silicon carbide lattice. The process that dopant atoms diffuse into the bulk silicon carbide by laser-induced solid phase diffusion (LISPD) can be explained by considering the laser enhanced substitutional and interstitial diffusion mechanisms. Nitrogen and Trimethyaluminum (TMA) are used as dopants to produce n-type and p-type doped silicon carbide, respectively. Two laser doping methods, i.e., internal heating doping and surface heating doping are presented in this dissertation. Deep (800 nm doped junction for internal heating doping) and shallow (200 nm and 450 nm doped junction for surface heating doping) can be fabricated by different doping methods. Two distinct diffusion regions, near-surface and far-surface regions, were identified in the dopant concentration profiles, indicating different diffusion mechanisms in these two regions. The effective diffusion coefficients of nitrogen and aluminum were determined for both regions by fitting the diffusion equation to the measured concentration profiles. The calculated diffusivities are at least 6 orders of magnitude higher than the typical values for nitrogen and aluminum, which indicate that laser doping process enhances the diffusion of dopants in silicon carbide significantly. No amorphization was observed in laser-doped samples eliminating the need for high temperature annealing. Laser direct metallization can be realized on the surface of silicon carbide by generating metal-like conductive phases due to the decomposition of silicon carbide. The ohmic property of the laser direct metallized electrodes can be dramatically improved by fabricating such electrodes on laser heavily doped SiC substrate. This laser-induced solid phase diffusion technique has been utilized to fabricate endolayers in n-type 6H-SiC substrates by carbon incorporation. X-ray energy dispersive spectroscopic analysis shows that the thickness of endolayer is about 100 nm. High resolution transmission electron microscopic images indicate that the laser endotaxy process maintains the crystalline integrity of the substrate without any amorphization. Rutherford backscattering studies also show no amorphization and evident lattice disorder occur during this laser solid phase diffusion process. The resistivity of the endolayer formed in a 1.55 omegacm silicon carbide wafer segment was found to be 1.1E5 omegacm which is sufficient for device fabrication and isolation. Annealing at 1000 oC for 10 min to remove hydrogen resulted in a resistivity of 9.4E4 omegacm. Prototype silicon carbide PIN diodes have been fabricated by doping the endolayer and parent silicon carbide epilayer with aluminum using this laser-induced solid phase diffusion technique to create p-regions on the top surfaces of the substrates. Laser direct metallized contacts were also fabricated on selected PIN diodes to show the effectiveness of these contacts. The results show that the PIN diode fabricated on a 30 nm thick endolayer can block 18 V, and the breakdown voltages and the forward voltages drop at 100 A/cm2 of the diodes fabricated on 4H-SiC with homoepilayer are 420 ~ 500 V and 12.5 ~ 20 V, respectively. The laser direct metallization and doping technique can also be used to synthesize embedded optical structures, which can increase 40% reflectivity compared to the parent wafer, showing potential for the creation of optical, electro-optical, opto-electrical, sensor devices and other integrated structures that are stable in high temperature, high-pressure, corrosive environments and deep space applications.
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Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
College of Engineering and Computer Science
Mechanical, Materials, and Aerospace Engineering
Materials Science and Engineering
Length of Campus-only Access
Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)
Tian, Zhaoxu, "Laser Metallization And Doping For Silicon Carbide Diode Fabrication And Endotaxy" (2006). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 872.