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Mystery buyer saves SiC maker Caracal

The SiC growth specialist is rescued by a consortium that has been watching the power semiconductor industry and has a history of long-term investments.

SiC epiwafer and substrate supplier Caracal Inc. has been rescued from bankruptcy proceedings by an unidentified multinational consortium.

The Ford City, Pennsylvania, company was bought out by the consortium on August 8 and claims to have remained intact since filing for bankruptcy protection in April (see related story). It says the consortium "traditionally has a long-term perspective on all of its investments and Caracal Inc. is no exception".

In response, a spokesman for the consortium said, "We are very excited about the acquisition of the Caracal assets."

"We have kept an eye on the wide bandgap semiconductor market and see potential for strong growth year-over-year, particularly in the power device market."

"We are developing a long-term plan for the new enterprise, with particular emphasis on cutting-edge R&D, cost-efficient manufacturing methods, and establishing efficient business functions."

Meanwhile, Caracal continues to garner acclaim, having most recently won a prize for research presented at the European Conference on Silicon Carbide and Related Materials (ECSCRM) in Barcelona earlier in September.

The company s chlorosilane-based SiC growth method allows rapid production of thick, high-quality material. "We continue to develop this process," said Stefano Leone, Caracal s chief epitaxial-growth scientist. "Today we can also grow very high quality films on on-axis wafers, which eliminates the problem of basal plane dislocations that harm SiC bipolar devices."

Caracal s ECSCRM accolade was presented for work in which it produced 100 µm thick epilayers grown on on-axis 4H-SiC at 25 µm/h, in conjunction with Linköping University. In that work, the researchers found that addition of chlorine to standard precursors is a key parameter to grow thick homoepitaxial layers on 4H-SiC Si-face on-axis substrates.

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