, Volume 36, Issue 4, pp 318-323
Date: 21 Apr 2007

Thermal Annealing and Propagation of Shockley Stacking Faults in 4H-SiC PiN Diodes

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Stacking faults within 4H-SiC PiN diodes are known to be detrimental to device operation. Here, we present electroluminescence (EL) images of 4H-SiC PiN diodes providing evidence that electrically and optically stimulated Shockley stacking fault (SSF) propagation is a reversible process at temperatures as low as 210°C. Optical beam induced current (OBIC) images taken following complete optical stressing of a PiN diode and that lead to a small number of completely propagated SSFs provide evidence that such defects propagate across the n–/p+ interface and continue to grow throughout the p+ layer. These observations bring about questions regarding the validity of the currently accepted driving force mechanism for SSF propagation.