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Characterization of a Large Area Silicon Carbide PiN Diode at Temperatures up to 900°C
Keywords: High Temerature, Silicon Carbide, PiN Diode
For the first time, a large area Silicon Carbide (SiC) PiN diode was measured to determine the forward and reverse characteristics at temperatures up to 900°C. The diode maintained surprising good performance at this extreme temperature. The diode had a chip area of 64mm2 and used a conventional SiC PiN structure. A normal rating for this device is 50 amps at 100A/cm2 and 6 kV. Since a package capable of operating at 900°C was not available, methods were developed to heat and verify the temperature of the diode die, provide electrical connections to the die and provide adequate insulation to minimize temperature gradients across the die. The diode forward characteristics were measured using a Tektronics 371 curve tracer at room temperature (22°C) and in 100°C steps up to 900°C. Over this range the diode knee voltage reduced from 2.6 volts at room temperature to 1.2 volts at 900°C. At a forward current of 5 amps the voltage reduced from 3 volts to 2.05 volts and the differential on-resistance increased from 16 to 31 mΩ-cm2 over the same temperature range. Since a high temperature, high resistivity chip passivation was not available; the diode reverse voltage measurements were limited to what the chip could block in air. A Keithley 237 SMU was used to measure the reverse leakage current at voltages up to 1050 volts and at temperatures up to 900°C. The diode was capable of blocking 1050 volts at temperatures up to 500C. Over this temperature range the leakage current at 1050 volts increased from 600 picoamps at 25°C to 4 microamps at 500°C. At 600°C the diode blocking voltage was 910 volts at 10 milliamps of leakage current and continued to reduce with temperature. At 900°C the blocking voltage was 410 volts at 10 milliamps of leakage current.
Jim Richmond, Test Manager
Cree Inc.
Durham, NC

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