150mm GaN-on-SiC epiwafer boost for power chips

150mm GaN-on-SiC epiwafer boost for power chips

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By Nick Flaherty

Swedish GaN on silicon carbide pioneer SweGaN has launched a new 150mm GaN-on-SiC epitaxial wafer based on unique epitaxial growth technologies for high power and RF applications. It has also moved into a new headquarters close to Linköping University.

The new SweGaN facility includes R&D and pilot production labs and was previously used by the Swedish Defence Research Agency (FOI). “The facility is a huge contrast from our previous cramped quarters” said Olof Kordina, CEO of SweGaN. The lab area has 1m thick walls and so is nicknamed the bunker he says.

Customer demand for larger GaN-on-SiC wafers is increasing dramatically so SweGaN has developed a growth process for the larger epiwafers. “The new QuanFINE 150mm epiwafers are mass-produced in our new high-capacity reactor,” said Kordina.

”Our new product signals that SweGaN is aligning its production capacity and capability closely with our customers’ needs for the rapidly expanding 5G networks, defense radars and satellite communication,” said Jr-Tai Chen, CTO. “The 150mm QuanFINE product will also facilitate the development of high-end GaN power devices, where price–performance ratio and reliability are critical elements for our customers.”

Device makers typically execute over 100 steps during the fabrication of a device, and a larger epiwafer means they can produce more devices in the same cycle time.

SweGan worked with Linköping University and French research group IEMN on the Transmorphic Heteroepitaxy technology as part of an EU Horizon 2020 project. This uses 1nm tick atomic interlayers with ordered vacancies to accommodate the lattice mismatch at the interface between the first epilayer and the substrate. This enables a GaN layer of 300nm on a semi-insulating SiC substrate with a lateral critical breakdown field of ~2 MV/cm and a vertical breakdown voltage of over 3 kV. This critical breakdown field is nearly three times higher than that of GaN-on-Si epiwafers grown by the conventional thick-buffer approach.

“This breakthrough could significantly reduce the power loss for high power devices, which would truly manifest the superiority of GaN power devices over Si super-junction power devices and SiC MOSFETs for 650V rated devices,  said Chen.

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