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Materials 2016, 9(9), 743; doi:10.3390/ma9090743

Effect of Low Pressure on Surface Roughness and Morphological Defects of 4H-SiC Epitaxial Layers

Key Laboratory of Wide Band-Gap Semiconductor Materials and Devices, School of Microelectronics, Xidian University, 2 South Taibai Road, Xi’an 710071, China
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Academic Editor: Xiaohong Tang
Received: 27 June 2016 / Revised: 27 July 2016 / Accepted: 22 August 2016 / Published: 31 August 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Materials Grown by Metal-Organic Vapour Phase Epitaxy)
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Abstract

In this work, 4H-SiC epilayers are performed on 4° off-axis substrates under low pressure condition by horizontal hot wall chemical vapor deposition (HWCVD) with a standard chemistry of silane-propane-hydrogen, which focuses on the effects of growth pressure on morphology, basal plane dislocations (BPDs) and crystalline quality. It is found that morphological defects reduce with the decreasing of growth pressure, since the surface diffusion length of absorbed adatoms increases under low growth pressure, which suppresses the nucleation of adatoms on terraces and the formation of morphological defects. However, as the surface diffusion length increases under low growth pressure, the difference of growth velocity at steps is enhanced, which leads to the extension of the steps’ width and the formation of step-bunching. Besides variation of surface diffusion length, the phenomenon described above can be correlated with different dominate modes for the minimization of surface energy at varied growth pressure. Because of the contrary influence of increased C/Si ratio and enhanced step-flow growth on the propagation of BPDs, the dislocation densities of BPDs and threading edge dislocations (TEDs) in epilayers grown at varied pressures remain basically unchanged. The crystalline quality is almost independent of growth pressure based on high resolution X-ray diffraction (HRXRD) measurements. View Full-Text
Keywords: low pressure growth; 4H-SiC homoepitaxy; surface diffusion length; minimization mode of surface energy low pressure growth; 4H-SiC homoepitaxy; surface diffusion length; minimization mode of surface energy
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Hu, J.; Jia, R.; Xin, B.; Peng, B.; Wang, Y.; Zhang, Y. Effect of Low Pressure on Surface Roughness and Morphological Defects of 4H-SiC Epitaxial Layers. Materials 2016, 9, 743.

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