Silicon Carbide (SiC) Semiconductors

Topics Covered

Chemical Properties
Electrical Properties
Thermal, Mechanical and Optical Properties
Safety Information


Silicon carbide is a compound of silicon and carbon with the chemical formula SiC. It occurs in the extremely rare mineral moissanite. Silicon carbide grains are bonded together by sintering to form hard ceramics that are used in applications requiring high endurance. SiO2 present in plant material can be used to produce silicon carbide with high surface area.


Silicon carbide finds applications in the following:

  • Graphene and steel production
  • Carborundum printing technique
  • Jewelry making
  • Nuclear fuel cladding
  • Thin filament pyrometry
  • LEDs and automobile parts
  • Abrasive and cutting tools.

Chemical Properties

The chemical properties of silicon carbide are provided in the table below:

Chemical Properties
Chemical Formula SiC
Molecular Weight 40.10
CAS No. 409-21-2
Group Silicon – 14
Carbon - 14
Crystal Structure Hexagonal
Symmetry Group C46v-P63mc
Lattice Constant a=3.076 Å
c=10.053 Å

Electrical Properties

The electrical properties of silicon carbide are provided in the table below:

Electrical Properties
Dielectric Constant 9.6
Band Gap 3.26 eV
Electron Mobility 800 cm2/Vs
Hole Mobility 115 cm2/Vs
Electron Diffusion Coefficient ≤22 cm2/s
Hole Diffusion Coefficient ≤3 cm2/s
Electron Thermal Velocity 1.9 x 105 m/s
Hole Thermal Velocity 1.2 x 105 m/s

Thermal, Mechanical and Optical Properties

The thermal, mechanical and optical properties of silicon carbide are provided in the tables below:

Thermal Properties
Specific Heat Capacity 0.2926 J/g°C
Thermal Diffusivity 1.7 cm2 s-1
Debye Temperature 1027°C
Mechanical Properties
Density 3.21 g/cm3
Melting Point 3103 ± 40 K
Surface Microhardness 2900-3100 kg mm-2
Mohs Hardness ~9
Optical Properties
Refractive Index 2.56
Optical Photon Energy 104.2 meV

Safety Information

Safety Information
GHS Hazard Statements H315 - Causes skin irritation
H319 - Causes serious eye irritation
H335 - May cause respiratory irritation.
Safety Precautions P261 - Avoid breathing dust/ fume/ gas/ mist/ vapors/ spray
P305 + P351 + P338 - If in eyes: Rinse cautiously with water for several minutes. Remove contact lenses, if present and easy to do. Continue rinsing.

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