Mar 25, 2014

Characterization of 4H-SiC Epitaxial Layers and High-Resistivity Bulk Crystals for Radiation Detectors

Defect and electrical characterization of bulk semi-insulating (SI) 4H-SiC crystals and SI and n-type 4H-SiC epitaxial layers grown by chemical vapor deposition (CVD) on highly doped (0001) 4H-SiCsubstrates is reported. Optical microscopy, electron beam induced current (EBIC) imaging, current-voltage ($I$–$V$) measurements, thermally stimulated current (TSC) spectroscopy (94 K–620 K), Hall effect, and van der Pauw measurements have been conducted for characterization and defect correlation studies. Both epitaxial layers exhibited relatively shallow levels related to Al, B, $L$ - and D-centers. Deep level centers in the n-type epitaxial layer peaked at ${sim} 400$ K ($E_{a} sim 1.1$ eV), and ${sim} 470$ K were correlated with $IL_{2}$ defect and 1.1 eV center in high-purity bulk SI 4H-SiC. The SI epitaxial layer exhibited peak at ${sim} 290$ K ( $E_{a} = 0.82hbox{--}0.87$ eV) that was attributed to $IL_{1}$ and HK2 centers, and at ${sim} 525$ K that was related to intrinsic defects and their complexes with energy levels close to the middle of the band-gap. Results of EBIC and optical microscopy showed segregation of threading dislocations around comet tail defects in the n-type epitaxial layer. The $I$– $V$ characteristics of the devices on SI epitaxial layer exhibited steps corresponding to the ultimate trap filling of deep centers. The high-temperature resistivity measurements of bulk SI 4H-SiC sample revealed resistivity hysteresis that was attributed to the filling of the deep-level electron trap centers. The responsivity of the n-type epitaxial 4H-SiC detector in the soft X-ray energy range is reported for the first time.


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