AIXTRON SE today announced that Showa Denko (Chichibu, Japan) has added a SiC CVD Warm-Wall Planetary Reactor system to its AIXTRON equipment base, capable of handling either ten 100mm or six 150 mm wafers.
The chemical vapor deposition (CVD) system will be used to produce homoepitaxial material on silicon carbide (SiC) substrates for a range of power electronics applications and device types, such as inverter systems for solar power modules, AC-DC conversion and industrial motor control.
With the new system Showa Denko will extend its existing 100mm-diameter wafer production and also migrate production to the larger diameter 150 mm SiC wafers that are now becoming available from semiconductor material suppliers. Production on larger wafers should lead to cost reductions and wider market acceptance.
“AIXTRON has designed its system to push these economies of scale even further by reducing the wafer edge exclusion zone, increasing chip yields per wafer of larger diameter substrates,” Dr. Frank Wischmeyer, Vice President and Program Manager Power Electronics at AIXTRON, comments. “The attraction of silicon carbide for such application derives from its unique material properties, such as high critical electrical field strength, allowing high device breakdown voltages and low turn-on resistance. Further advantages for power applications arise from SiC’s higher thermal conductivity and ruggedness at higher operation temperatures.”
A special reactor chamber was developed for the most modern AIXTRON Warm-Wall reactor for silicon carbide, capable of handling the higher temperatures of up to 1650°C needed for epitaxial processing of SiC wafers. The six 150mm wafers loaded per batch in the AIXTRON system exhibit individual ‘planetary’ rotation during the epitaxial process, leading to state-of-the art uniformity and reproducibility.
Showa Denko chose the AIXTRON SiC CVD Planetary system in order to use their Planetary experience and know-how, as well as to expand its business scope with cost-efficient 150mm SiC wafers. The company sees market opportunities for SiC-based products arising immediately in consumer electronics, and in the longer term in railroad power handling and automotive markets. The epitaxial SiC business was acquired at the end of 2008 from Esicat- Japan LLP, a spin-off from Japan’s National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST), Central Research Institute of Electric Power Industry (CRIEPI) and Showa Denko.