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Dow Corning launches SiC wafer grading structure

Three new tiers of manufacturing quality substrates to optimize next-generation power electronic device designs

Dow Corning, a global supplier of silicon and wide-bandgap semiconductor technology, has introduced a new industry standard for silicon carbide (SiC) crystal quality by introducing a product grading structure that specifies new tolerances on killer device defects, such as micropipe dislocations (MPD), threading screw dislocations (TSD) and basal plane dislocations (BPD).

The new grading structure aims to optimize the range, performance and cost of next-generation power electronic device designs fabricated on Dow Corning’s portfolio of 100-mm SiC wafers, which the company offers in three new tiers of manufacturing-quality substrates labeled Prime Standard, Prime Select and Prime Ultra.

“As a global technology leader in advanced silicon carbide materials, Dow Corning recognizes that wide-bandgap semiconductor technology must deliver much more than high quality alone – it must deliver exceptional overall value,” said Gregg Zank, chief technology officer, Dow Corning. “Another Dow Corning industry first, our new SiC wafer grading structure meets this need head on. It is the direct result of our close collaboration with the globe’s leading power electronics device manufacturers, and aims to help give them what they need to quickly achieve their evolving design goals at an optimal price point.”

The company says each successive Prime Grade wafer tier under the new product grading structure will offer tighter tolerances for defect density and other critical performance properties, depending on the demands of their specific device applications. Other SiC substrate manufacturers promise low micropipe densities, Dow Corning says it is one of the first to specify low tolerances of other killer defects, such as TSD and BPD. Such defects reduce device yields, and inhibit the cost-efficient manufacture of large-area, next-generation power electronic devices with higher current ratings.

The Prime Grade portfolio includes:

Prime Standard SiC wafers that guarantee MPD of 0.5 cm-2 or less when designing simpler SiC power electronic components, such as Schottky or Junction Barrier Schottky diodes, with low to medium current ratings.

Prime Select SiC wafers deliver more stringent tolerances for MPD (≤ 0.2 cm-2) and BPD (≤ 800 cm-2), making them more suitable for more demanding SiC devices like pin diodes or switches.
Prime Ultra SiC wafers enable design of high-power devices that require the highest crystal quality. SiC substrates in this tier deliver extremely low MPD (≤ 0.1 cm-2), BPD (≤ 500 cm-2), TSD (≤ 300 cm-2) and a tightened wafer resistivity distribution for the design of today’s most advanced SiC power electronic devices.
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