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Probing Nanoscale Dopant Distributions within Silicon Carbide Power Devices using Atom Probe Tomography

Tuesday, February 21, 2023

The electronic/material properties of silicon carbide, namely its high thermal conductivity, wide bandgap, high breakdown electric field and high electron saturation drift velocity, make it an attractive choice for power devices where high voltage, high temperature and high frequency operation are crucial. However, SiC devices are more challenging to fabricate compared to their Si counterparts. Incorporating dopants within SiC is particularly challenging because of the poor diffusivity of dopant atoms in this material. This necessitates the use of ion implantation, which must then be followed by a high temperature (>1500°C) anneal to electrically activate the dopant and repair the lattice. The ion implantation process together with the high temperature anneal can potentially induce structural changes within SiC and ultimately impact device performance. In this work, we characterize the dopant distribution within SiC junction field effect transistors (JFETs) using atom probe tomography. We show that the 3D distribution of the p-type dopant is extremely inhomogeneous within the gate diffusion region of the JFET and discuss the possible implications of this finding for device performance. We also discuss some of the challenges encountered during the APT analysis with respect to dopant quantification and focused ion beam sample preparation. Overall, we demonstrate the importance of APT for reliability and variability studies of semiconductor devices.

See it at our Thinkific site.

About the presenter:

Dr. Ramya Cuduvally Manohar
Postdoctoral Fellow
McMaster University

Dr. Ramya Cuduvally is a post-doctoral fellow at the Canadian Centre for Electron Microscopy (CCEM) in McMaster University, where she specializes in atom probe tomography of semiconductor materials and devices. She obtained her Ph.D. from IMEC and KU Leuven, Belgium in 2021, where her dissertation focused on understanding the physical phenomena that could impact the accuracy of quantitative APT analysis of compound semiconductors. She holds a master’s degree in nanoscale engineering from SUNY-Albany, USA where she investigated the physics of electronic transport in nanoscale MOSFETs. Her research experience includes physical and electrical semiconductor device characterization, and device physics.

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