Silicon Carbide Definition

Silicon carbide (SiC) is an ultra-hard non-oxide ceramic with distinct properties and applications, first discovered in 1891 by American inventor Edward G. Acheson while trying to produce artificial diamonds.

SiC is typically an insulator in its pure state but can exhibit semi-conductivity through controlled doping. A wide bandgap material like SiC can move electrical energy more efficiently than traditional semiconductors.


Silicon carbide (SiC) is a hard, brittle compound of carbon and silicon with the chemical formula SiC. This material occurs naturally as the mineral moissanite but has been mass produced as an abrasive since 1893. Grains of this material can be fused together using sintering to produce very hard ceramics which have applications such as automotive brakes/clutches/clutch plates embedded into bulletproof vests as well as semiconductor electronic devices operating at high temperatures and/or voltages.

Modern methods for producing silicon carbide for use in the abrasives, metallurgical, and refractories industries involve heating up a mixture of pure silica sand and carbon coke in an electric resistance furnace with electric current passing through carbon conductors to trigger chemical reactions that produce SiC. This is an intensive process which may last days as both elements burn away into nothingness before finally dissipating into nothingness again.

SiC is an exceptionally stable material with low thermal expansion. These attributes combined with its hardness, rigidity, and thermal conductivity make it an excellent choice for mirrors used in large optical telescopes. SiC is also becoming an attractive replacement for traditional silicon semiconductors in demanding applications like power electronics for terrestrial electric vehicles and 5G mobile networks as it can withstand higher power densities while operating temperatures while offering greater reliability than these traditional materials.


Silicon Carbide (SiC), produced from the combination of silicon and carbon, is an intriguing material with many desirable characteristics. SiC is hard, durable and can withstand high temperatures; non-oxided and resistant to corrosion; and extremely strong and abrasive ceramic which makes it suitable for applications including brakes and clutches as well as structural materials like bulletproof vests.

Silicon carbide in its pure state is an electrical insulator; however, when treated with controlled impurity doping it can exhibit semi-conducting properties. Unlike conductors which always permit free electricity flow, semiconductors can be made to amplify, switch or convert electric currents through stimulation from electric fields or electromagnetic waves like light. This ability forms the basis for electronic devices like Schottky diodes, MOSFETs and FETs which have significantly lower turn-on resistances than bipolar transistors when applied at high voltage applications.

Silicon carbide’s bandgap is significantly larger than silicon’s, requiring significantly more energy for electrons to transition from its valence band into the conduction band – this allows it to withstand significantly greater electric fields without power loss in electronic devices.


Silicon carbide (SiC) has recently made a comeback as an industrial ceramic material, becoming one of the hardest known substances, rivaling diamond and boron carbide in terms of hardness. SiC is also used in bulletproof armor – its hard ceramic blocks prevent bullets from penetrating them.

Silicon carbide can also become a semiconductor with the addition of controlled impurities. Doping can include adding boron and aluminum dopants for p-type semiconductors or nitrogen and phosphorus to create n-type semiconductors – this gives many applications in electronic device production such as power semiconductors.

SiC is most frequently employed as an abrasive, making use of its hardness or grinding action to scour metals, glass and ceramic surfaces such as tiles. Furthermore, melting SiC and applying as coatings on steel tools increases durability while acting as a stabilizer in producing high-grade ceramics is another application.

Though SiC is found naturally as moissanite gemstones, most SiC production takes place synthetically. SiC is produced by reducing silica sand with carbon in electric resistance furnaces at high temperatures; then mixed with coke to produce black or green varieties known as a-SiC and b-SiC that are then processed according to their intended applications.


Silicon carbide is one of the most beneficial chemical compounds known to man and it is also one of the hardest substances known. While rare naturally, silicon carbide must be synthesized before being used commercially. Silicon carbide finds use in various industrial applications including robotics, manufacturing facilities and motor drives where its durability provides resistance against abrasions; cutting tools and grinding wheels use it extensively as well.

Silicon carbide’s wide bandgap allows it to operate at higher frequencies and temperatures while minimizing energy losses, leading to greater efficiency and longer battery life for electric vehicles (EVs). This demand has created a surge in SiC power electronics sales.

SiC industry members also reap the rewards of strong government support in North America, such as research grants, funding incentives and rewards for innovation and technology development.

SkyQuest’s Advanced Business Intelligence, Research & Analysis Wing (ABIRAW) provides detailed market intelligence on Silicon Carbide (SiC). They gather, collate and correlate primary and secondary data to gain a clear picture of this market, then conduct in-depth analyses identifying drivers, challenges and opportunities within it – ultimately offering strategic business decisions a roadmap they can follow to success. Reports are available both from their website as well as for purchase through Amazon for limited periods of time.

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