SiC-Based Microsystems

A special issue of Micromachines (ISSN 2072-666X).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 March 2017) | Viewed by 22132

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Hochschule für Technik und Wirtschaft Berlin, University of Applied Sciences, Treskowallee 8, 10318 Berlin, Germany
Interests: microsystems; piezoresistive sensor; sensor for harsh environments; SOI and SiC-based sensor; accelerometers; gas sensor; design and simulation of microsystems; graphene; material research; graphene-based sensors; biosensors; printed sensors; 2D sensors; technologies
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Dear Colleagues,

Microsystems technology continues to grow rapidly. Silicon is currently the dominant platform for Microsystems technology. The material possesses both favorable electrical and mechanical properties to create micro devices and systems. Silicon-based Microsystems leverage the batch fabrication paradigm and benefit from a large body of knowledge regarding masking, deposition, growth, modification, and structuring techniques. But silicon does have some limitations. Silicon softens dramatically and dopants diffuse at high temperature. Standard silicon based devices can no longer be used at temperatures higher 150 °C. In order to develop a new generation of devices, which can survive and operate properly in such harsh environments, well beyond regimes of silicon-based devices, new materials and technologies are necessary.

The compound semiconductor silicon carbide (SiC) possesses a number of properties, e.g., large bandgap, high electron drift velocity, high electric breakdown field, high chemical resistance, radiation hardness, and mechanical strength, which makes it an attractive base material for the fabrication of a series of electronic and micromechanical devices, such as high temperature, high power, high frequency, microwave, optoelectronic, and sensor devices, as well as for applications in chemically- and radiation-harsh environments. Progress in SiC growth and deposition has been made within the last few years, and the significance of SiC as a substrate material has continuously increased. Some prototype and commercial devices using the hexagonal 4H and 6H polytypes have been fabricated

The purpose of this Micromachines Special Issue, on SiC-Based Microsystems, is to get an overview of these activities on developments of new deposition and growth methods, fabrication technologies, new devices and systems, such as sensors and actuators, electronic circuits, wireless modules, and also testing and characterization of such systems.

Prof. Dr. Ha Duong Ngo
Guest Editor

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Keywords

  • Silicon Carbide
  • SiC MEMS
  • SiC based Microsystems
  • SiC MEMS, Ceramics
  • MEMS for Harsh Environments

Published Papers (4 papers)

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22 pages, 56394 KiB  
Article
Power Performance Comparison of SiC-IGBT and Si-IGBT Switches in a Three-Phase Inverter for Aircraft Applications
by Ibrahim A. S. Abdalgader, Sinan Kivrak and Tolga Özer
Micromachines 2022, 13(2), 313; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi13020313 - 17 Feb 2022
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 4991
Abstract
The converters used to integrate the ground power station of planes with the utility grid are generally created with silicon-insulated gate bipolar transistor (Si-IGBT)-based semiconductor technologies. The Si-IGBT switch-based converters are inefficient, oversized, and have trouble achieving pure sine wave voltages requirements. The [...] Read more.
The converters used to integrate the ground power station of planes with the utility grid are generally created with silicon-insulated gate bipolar transistor (Si-IGBT)-based semiconductor technologies. The Si-IGBT switch-based converters are inefficient, oversized, and have trouble achieving pure sine wave voltages requirements. The efficiency of the aircraft ground power units (AGPU) can be increased by replacing existing Si-IGBT transistors with silicon carbide (SiC) IGBTs because of the physical constraints of Si-IGBT switches. The primary purpose of this research was to prove that the efficiency increase could be obtained in the case of using SiC-IGBTs in conventional AGPU systems with the realized experimental studies. In this study, three different experimental systems were discussed for this purpose. The first system was the traditional APGU system. The other two systems were single-phase test (SPT) and three-phase inverter systems, respectively. The SPT system and three-phase inverter systems were designed and implemented to compare and make analyses of Si-IGBTs and SiC-IGBTs performance. The efficiency and detailed hard switching behavior comparison were performed between the 1200-V SiC-IGBT- and 1200-V Si-IGBT-based experimental systems. The APGU system and Si-IGBT modules were examined, the switching characteristic and efficiency of the system were obtained in the first experimental study. The second experimental study was carried out on the SPT system. The single-pulse test system was created using Si-IGBTs and SiC-IGBTs switches in the second experimental system. The third experiment included a three-phase-inverter-based test system. The system was created with Si-IGBTs and SiC-IGBTs to compare the two different switch-based inverters under RL loads. The turning off and turning on processes of the IGBT switches were examined and the results were presented. The Si-IGBT efficiency was 77% experimentally in the SPT experimental system. The efficiency of the third experimental system was increased up to 95% by replacing the old Si transistor with a SiC. The efficiency of the three-phase Si-IGBT-based system was 86% for the six-switch case. The efficiencies of the SiC-IGBT-based system were increased to around 92% in the three-phase inverter system experimentally. The findings of the experimental results demonstrated that the SiC-IGBT had a faster switching speed and a smaller loss than the classical Si-IGBT. As a result of the experimental studies, the efficiency increase that could be obtained in the case of using SiC-IGBTs in conventional AGPU systems was revealed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue SiC-Based Microsystems)
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2592 KiB  
Article
RF Sputtering, Post-Annealing Treatment and Characterizations of ZnO (002) Thin Films on 3C-SiC (111)/Si (111) Substrates
by Visakh Valliyil Sasi, Abid Iqbal, Kien Chaik, Alan Iacopi and Faisal Mohd-Yasin
Micromachines 2017, 8(5), 148; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi8050148 - 7 May 2017
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 5535
Abstract
We report on the radio frequency (RF) sputtering of c-axis oriented ZnO thin films on top of epitaxial 3C-SiC-on-Si (111) substrates, which were then subjected to post-annealing treatment at 400, 600 and 800 °C. Grazing incident X-ray Diffraction (XRD) data show that the [...] Read more.
We report on the radio frequency (RF) sputtering of c-axis oriented ZnO thin films on top of epitaxial 3C-SiC-on-Si (111) substrates, which were then subjected to post-annealing treatment at 400, 600 and 800 °C. Grazing incident X-ray Diffraction (XRD) data show that the Full Width Half Maximum (FWHM) values for O2/Ar ratios between 30% and 60% are consistent, with a mean of 0.325° and a standard deviation of 0.03°. This is largely attributed to the smaller lattice mismatch of 5% between the ZnO (002) and SiC (111) films. The quality of the ZnO films deteriorated at the post-annealing treatment of 800 °C, as demonstrated by the increasing value of FWHM diffraction peaks, the reducing value of the peak intensity, the reducing percentage of (002) oriented area under the curve, and the increasing value of biaxial stress. We propose a simple growth model to explain the result. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue SiC-Based Microsystems)
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1987 KiB  
Article
A WSi–WSiN–Pt Metallization Scheme for Silicon Carbide-Based High Temperature Microsystems
by Ha-Duong Ngo, Biswajit Mukhopadhyay, Piotr Mackowiak, Kevin Kröhnert, Oswin Ehrmann and Klaus-Dieter Lang
Micromachines 2016, 7(10), 193; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi7100193 - 20 Oct 2016
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 4640
Abstract
In this paper, we present and discuss our new WSi–WSiN–Pt metallization scheme for SiC-based microsystems for applications in harsh environments. Stoichiometric material WSi was selected as contact material for SiC. The diffusion barrier material WSiN was deposited from the same target as the [...] Read more.
In this paper, we present and discuss our new WSi–WSiN–Pt metallization scheme for SiC-based microsystems for applications in harsh environments. Stoichiometric material WSi was selected as contact material for SiC. The diffusion barrier material WSiN was deposited from the same target as the contact material in order to limit the number of different chemical elements in the scheme. Our scheme was kept as simple as possible regarding the number of layers and chemical elements. Our scheme shows very good long-term stability and suitability for SiC-based microsystems. The experimental evaluation concept used here includes a combination of physical, electrical, and mechanical analysis techniques. This combined advance is necessary since modern physical analysis techniques still offer only limited sensitivity for detecting minimal changes in the metallization scheme. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue SiC-Based Microsystems)
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9575 KiB  
Review
3C-Silicon Carbide Microresonators for Timing and Frequency Reference
by Graham S. Wood, Boris Sviličić, Enrico Mastropaolo and Rebecca Cheung
Micromachines 2016, 7(11), 208; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi7110208 - 15 Nov 2016
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 5911
Abstract
In the drive to miniaturise and integrate reference oscillator components, microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) resonators are excellent candidates to replace quartz crystals. Silicon is the most utilised resonator structural material due to its associated well-established fabrication processes. However, when operation in harsh environments is [...] Read more.
In the drive to miniaturise and integrate reference oscillator components, microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) resonators are excellent candidates to replace quartz crystals. Silicon is the most utilised resonator structural material due to its associated well-established fabrication processes. However, when operation in harsh environments is required, cubic silicon carbide (3C-SiC) is an excellent candidate for use as a structural material, due to its robustness, chemical inertness and high temperature stability. In order to actuate 3C-SiC resonators, electrostatic, electrothermal and piezoelectric methods have been explored. Both electrothermal and piezoelectric actuation can be accomplished with simpler fabrication and lower driving voltages, down to 0.5 V, compared to electrostatic actuation. The vibration amplitude at resonance can be maximised by optimising the design and location of the electrodes. Electrical read out of the resonator can be performed with electrostatic or piezoelectric transduction. Finally, a great deal of research has focused on tuning the resonant frequency of a 3C-SiC resonator by adjusting the DC bias applied to the electrodes, with a higher (up to 160-times) tuning range for electrothermal tuning compared to piezoelectric tuning. Electrothermal tuning lowers the frequency, while piezoelectric tuning can be used to raise the frequency. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue SiC-Based Microsystems)
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