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AIXTRON Partners with Fraunhofer IISB to Enhance Silicon Carbide Production Technology

AIXTRON, a leading provider of deposition equipment to the semiconductor industry, has teamed up with research institution Fraunhofer IISB in Erlangen, Germany, to develop 150 mm Silicon Carbide (SiC) epitaxy processes using the new AIXTRON 8x150 mm G5WW Vapor Phase Epitaxy (VPE) system.

AIXTRON’s Planetary Reactor® tool will be installed at the IISB cleanroom laboratory in the fourth quarter of 2014.

Dr. Jochen Friedrich, Head of Department Materials at Fraunhofer IISB, comments “Through this partnership we expect to further accelerate the implementation of 150 mm SiC technology in the industry by pairing our process know-how in manufacturing SiC epitaxial layers with AIXTRON’s SiC equipment expertise. We will use the G5WW production system for process optimization and demonstration purposes at the IISB facilities in Erlangen.”

Fraunhofer IISB has developed fundamental understanding in low-defect-density SiC epitaxial processes which are elementary for the manufacturing of high voltage SiC devices. Special characterization techniques like room temperature photoluminescence imaging and selective defect etching have been developed and adapted to the SiC material properties at Fraunhofer IISB. In its laboratories complete SiC prototype devices can be processed and characterized.

Dr. Frank Wischmeyer, Vice President Power Electronics at AIXTRON, states “Based on the worldwide recognized experience of Fraunhofer IISB in SiC epitaxy technology and characterization, we will jointly enable the optimization of epitaxial production processes for 150 mm SiC wafers using our state-of-the-art G5WW production tool. The goal of the collaboration is the demonstration of high-volume manufacturing processes addressing the SiC material requirements of SiC power devices. With this joined effort we do support AIXTRON customers worldwide moving from 100 mm to 150 mm SiC processing technology from the year 2015 to achieve efficient and economic manufacturing processes for future SiC power devices.”

Today, a variety of SiC devices like Schottky Diodes and Metal-Oxide-Semiconductor Field-Effect Transistors (MOSFETs) are commercially available and put into practical use in switch mode power supplies for computer servers and TVs, in solar power inverters and efficient power converters in UPS, medical equipment or commuter trains. In order to facilitate a widespread adoption of SiC in power electronics cost reductions in SiC semiconductor material manufacturing and device processing are targeted by the implementation of the 150 mm SiC technology.

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