, Volume 26, Issue 3, pp 151-159

Investigations of 3C-SiC inclusions in 4H-SiC epilayers on 4H-SiC single crystal substrates

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Synchrotron white beam x-ray topography (SWBXT) and Nomarski optical microscopy (NOM) have been used to characterize 4H-SiC epilayers and to study the character of triangular inclusions therein. 4H-SiC substrates misoriented by a range of angles from (0001), as well as (1 100) and (1120) oriented substrates were used. For epilayers grown on substrates misoriented by 3.5° from (0001) toward <1120>, the triangular inclusions were identified as consisting of two 3C-SiC structural configurations which are related to each other by a 180° rotation about the [111] axis. The epitaxial relationships between the 3C inclusions and the 4H-SiC epilayers (or substrates) were also determined. No evidence was found for the nucleation of 3C-SiC inclusions at superscrew dislocations (along the [0001] axis) in the 4H-SiC substrates. Increasing the off-axis angle of the substrates from 3.5 to 6.5° was found to greatly suppress the formation of the triangular inclusions. In the case of substrates misoriented by 8.0° from (0001) toward <1120>, the triangular inclusions were virtually eliminated. The crystalline quality of 4H-SiC epilayers grown on the substrates misoriented by 8.0° from (0001) was very good. For the (1100) and (1120) samples, there is no indication of 3C-SiC inclusions in the epilayers. Possible formation mechanisms and the morphology of 3C-SiC inclusions are discussed.