What is it about?
In the journal Applied Physics Reviews, from AIP Publishing, Giuseppe Fisicaro and an international team of researchers, led by Antonio La Magna, describe a theoretical and experimental study of the atomic mechanisms governing extended defect kinetics in cubic SiC (3C-SiC), which has a diamondlike zincblende (ZnS) crystal structure that manifests both stacking and anti-phase instabilities. “Development of a technological framework for the control of crystalline imperfections within SiC for wide bandgap applications can be a game-changing strategy,” said Fisicaro. The researchers’ study pinpoints the atomistic mechanisms responsible for extended defect generation and evolution. “Anti-phase boundaries — planar crystallographic defects representing the contact boundary between two crystal regions with switched bonds (C-Si instead of Si-C) — are a critical source of other extended defects in a plethora of configurations,” he said. Eventual reduction of these anti-phase boundaries “is particularly important to achieve good-quality crystals that can be used in electronic devices and enable viable commercial yields,” said Fisicaro. So they developed an innovative simulation Monte Carlo code based on a superlattice (www.github.com/giuseppefisicar/mulskips), which is a spatial lattice that contains both the perfect SiC crystal and all crystal imperfections. It helped “shed light on the various mechanisms of defect-defect interactions and their impact on the electronic properties of this material,” he said.
Photo by Laura Ockel on Unsplash
Why is it important?
Growth of high-quality substrates for microelectronic applications is one of the key elements helping drive society toward a more sustainable green economy. Today, silicon plays a central role within the semiconductor industry for microelectronic and nanoelectronic devices. Silicon wafers of high purity (99.0% or higher) single-crystalline material can be obtained via a combination of liquid growth methods, such as pulling a seed crystal from the melt and by subsequent epitaxy. The catch is that the former process can’t be used for the growth of silicon carbide (SiC), because it lacks a melting phase.
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This page is a summary of: Genesis and evolution of extended defects: The role of evolving interface instabilities in cubic SiC, Applied Physics Reviews, June 2020, American Institute of Physics,
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