31 August 2023

Advanced Metrology for SiC Crystal Quality Improvement

Oxford Instruments Confirms Crystal Quality Improvement for SiC Substrate Polishing Solution

Advanced metrology techniques, applied to characterise and evaluate SiC crystal quality, confirm Plasma Polish process removes subsurface damage and improves crystal structure.

At this September’s International Conference for Silicon Carbide and Related Materials (ICSCRM) 2023 in Sorrento, Italy, Oxford Instruments will present details of its group-wide initiative to utilise advanced materials analysis techniques for silicon carbide (SiC) semiconductor device manufacturing to evaluate crystal quality and the presence of subsurface damage.

At ICSCRM 2022, Oxford Instruments launched Plasma Polish, the innovative dry plasma etch technique used to prepare SiC substrates for a broad range of SiC devices. Plasma Polish is externally validated on benchmark devices and is designed to enhance crystal quality and reduce wet cleans and polishes, while taking cost and manufacturing complexity out of the entire SiC device fabrication flow.

200mm SiC wafer

Image: 200mm SiC wafer in an etch chamber

“We are taking the technology forward and enabling customers to leverage the benefits of Plasma Polish, widening the process window of the current processing technology for an epi-ready substrate to enable more usable material for manufacturing. The range of metrology accessible within Oxford Instruments group of companies deployed in this unique way, validates the production worthiness of Plasma Polish. The new metrology techniques confirm that Plasma Polish preferentially targets and removes damaged material, resulting in higher crystal quality and leaving behind the highest possible quality material to go into epi and devices. We have made significant progress with our customers in qualifying Plasma Polish on their substrates, with improvements in both upstream and downstream processes, reducing substrate cost and bringing technical benefits for the manufacturing process.” Roger Proksch, CTO Oxford Instruments.

Oxford Instruments is presenting at the International Conference for Silicon Carbide and Related Materials (ICSCRM) 2023 at 9am on 21 September in Ulisse’s Room. Our team will be available during the conference at booth No. 3 on floor A, to talk about Plasma Polish and our complimentary metrology.

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Issued for and on behalf of Oxford Instruments Plasma Technology