Silicon Carbide Semiconductors

Silicon carbide semiconductors are pioneering energy efficient innovations, helping clients reduce their power usage. Used in various electronic arrangements such as inverters which increase driving range of electric vehicles by optimizing battery management systems.

EAG laboratories possess extensive expertise in analyzing SiC using both bulk and spatially resolved analytic techniques, including GDMS, XRF and ICP-OES techniques on solid samples as well as LA-ICP-MS analysis on digested/leached ones.

Physical Properties

Silicon carbide (SiC) is an extremely hard and heat-resistant semiconductor material. It’s used extensively in light-emitting diodes (LEDs), detectors and electronics devices designed for operating in harsh environments; in bulletproof vests, sandpaper and high-performance disc brakes as well as being the core material in some solar power systems.

This third-generation semiconductor material will likely replace gallium arsenide (GaAs), indium phosphide (InP) and aluminum gallium arsenide (AlGaAs) as the key constituent material in future power electronic chips due to its superior thermal and electrical properties, eliminating any limitations from prior generations of semiconductor materials.

Silicon carbide semiconductors’ physical properties are determined by their structure. When crystallized, silicon carbide forms a close-packed structure where covalent bonds form hexagonal double layers. There are various polytypes of silicon carbide with 4H-SiC and 6H-SiC being the two most prevalent varieties.

Infineon Technologies is a semiconductor corporation that brings creativity and responsibility together to drive energy-efficient advancements. Their solutions help customers reduce energy usage while their products help drive electric vehicles, advance 5G networks and digitize industrial applications. Furthermore, their silicon carbide semiconductors feature low neutron cross sections as well as being resistant to radiation damage damage.

Electrical Properties

Silicon carbide (SiC) is an inorganic chemical compound composed of both silicon and carbon. Naturally occurring as the mineral moissanite, SiC was mass produced as powder and crystal for use as an abrasive from 1893 onwards. Edward Goodrich Acheson accidentally discovered SiC while trying to create artificial diamonds by heating clay and powdered coke together in an electric furnace in 1891 – though their discovery occurred by accident only.

SiC differs from silicon by featuring tightly packed tetrahedrons of four carbon atoms with one silicon atom in the middle, creating superior properties in its crystal structures. Furthermore, its unique molecular structure also allows it to be tailored specifically for use as semiconductor material through doping which modifies electron pathways to allow electronic devices with specific electrical characteristics to be created.

SiC differs from silicon by having higher energy gaps between its valence and conduction bands, making electron movement harder between them. However, substrate materials for devices using SiC can withstand nearly ten times more voltage compared to silicon, meaning devices using this material could potentially be smaller with faster switching speeds if they meet similar power requirements.

SiC boasts significantly greater thermal conductivity than silicon, enabling it to dissipate heat more effectively at higher operating temperatures – an essential feature for power devices in applications like data centers and wind/solar power modules.

Thermal Properties

Silicon carbide resembles diamond in many respects; it is lightest and hardest ceramic material available with excellent thermal conductivity properties and corrosion and abrasion resistance, plus low thermal expansion rates and an elevated Young’s Modulus of over 400GPa provide dimensional stability under extreme temperatures and high-pressure conditions.

SiC electronics offer numerous advantages over their silicon counterparts in terms of size, speed and voltage handling capabilities. Their hexagonal structures create strong semiconductor properties with wide band-gap semiconductor properties; almost three times greater than silicon’s band gap makes SiC electronics smaller, faster and can withstand greater voltages than their silicon equivalents.

Silicon carbide’s performance as a power semiconductor enables electric vehicles to carry larger loads without reducing range, charging faster and speeding up charging processes more rapidly, as well as helping decrease vehicle weight, cost and environmental impact.

Electric Vehicles (EVs) have grown increasingly popular among consumers and manufacturers must ensure they can supply quality products that match demand. To do this, manufacturers need the ability to detect wafer defects at volume to increase yield and decrease production costs – MTI Instruments’ capacitance-based Proforma 300iSA system can help do just this – its advanced technology increases sensitivity and accuracy over traditional confocal systems to help EV manufacturers provide customers with products of optimal quality.


Silicon carbide’s wide bandgap (the energy required for electrons to move from an atom’s valence band to its conduction band) makes it an excellent conductor compared to either silicon or insulators; therefore it can carry more electrical current, dissipate heat more rapidly, and operate at higher temperatures than either.

SiC is an outstanding material with many advantages for electric vehicles (EVs). Its outstanding performance enables longer driving range per charge; SiC switches and power semiconductor devices perform their functions more rapidly than silicon components while being smaller and lighter overall.

Silicon carbide devices offer significant advantages over silicon devices when it comes to handling higher voltages at lower temperatures – helping EV owners save weight by decreasing both size and weight of power electronics driving their vehicles.

As demand for SiC increases, having reliable wafer inspection equipment in place will become ever more essential. MTI Instruments offers several measurement solutions for analyzing silicon carbide wafers such as the Proforma 300iSA capacitance-based defect detector system to detect defects at volume. For more information or a sample report contact us now and let us help select the ideal solution for your application needs.

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