SiC Services

Custom-tailored SiC Services with One-stop Solutions from Material to System

Drawing on 20 years of cooperation with partners from SiC industry and research, Fraunhofer IISB has been established as Germany‘s hotspot for silicon carbide power device manufacturing on a 150 mm SiC line. Our mission is to share our many years of experience with the customers and to provide them with distinct SiC power device prototypes for newly arising markets.  We are currently ramping up our 200 mm SiC line - many tools and processes are ready and technological gaps will be closed soon.

4H-SiC is the ideal semiconductor for the realization of high-voltage and high-power electronic devices due to its outstanding material properties. With SiC services as a crosscut topic of the departments of Fraunhofer IISB and in close collaboration with the in-house brand π-Fab, we offer R&D services ranging from material development and prototype devices to module assembly and mechatronic systems.

Core competences

  • Simulation and modeling
  • Homoepitaxy and defect engineering
  • Device and circuit design
  • Full power device manufacturing
  • Wafer thinning and packaging
  • Device characterization

SiC power device prototypes

  • Diodes (SBD, PIN, MPS)
  • MOSFETs (planar, trench)
  • Specific devices (bipolar, CMOS, sensor)
  • Industry collaboration towards qualified high-volume foundries

Markets

  • Hybrid electric vehicles and electric vehicles
  • Renewable energies (wind, solar)
  • Power grid

SiC Materials

Development and optimization of SiC epitaxy processes

 

We develop SiC epitaxy processes with emphasis on improved material quality. State of the art metrology tools such as UV-PL or XRT together with the possibility to process complete devices allows us to correlate the properties of the epilayer and the substrate with electrical device parameters. Based on the findings, solutions are developed that allow one to overcome harmful defects. Process development is supported by the simulation of fluid dynamics, heat transfer, species transport, and chemical reactions with tailored CFD software.

In addition, the potential of SiC and diamond for quantum applications is explored. In particular, we investigate how color centers in SiC and diamond can be generated.

SiC Devices

One-stop solutions for development and prototype fabrication of SiC devices

Our SiC device activities provide one-stop solutions for development and prototype fabrication of SiC devices, circuits and systems. IISB is operating a complete 150 mm SiC process line for implementation of its prototype fabrication technologies. We offer a broad range of device-related services including proof-of-concept for new device concepts, technology development for device improvements, and small-volume fabrication for small and medium-sized enterprises. Continuous progress in TCAD process and device modeling augments the device development and helps to reduce time-to-market for our partners.

© Kurt Fuchs / Fraunhofer IISB

SiC Device Fabrication at Fraunhofer IISB

Tobias Erlbacher, head of the Semiconductor Devices department explains, how the entire value chain from materials to power electronic systems is covered by the research and development activities of Fraunhofer IISB. Our 150 mm SiC pilot process line, which is unique in Europe, allows us to study and optimize manufacturing technologies for the realization of highly demanded power devices.

SiC Packaging

Packaging solutions addressing the benefits of SiC devices

Fraunhofer IISB offers a wide variety of packaging solutions for wide band gap devices, particularly for SiC. The solutions we provide address the main benefits of our devices, such as high switching speed, high switching frequency, high blocking voltage, and high temperature operation. Our packaging lab offers different technologies from experimental-state and single devices up to small-volume production of multichip modules. For our packed devices, full electrical characterization as well as lifetime evaluation and modelling are available.

SiC Systems

SiC devices in highly efficient power electronic systems

At Fraunhofer IISB, we work on the evaluation of novel SiC devices in highly efficient power electronic systems and on benchmarking them in automotive and industrial solutions.

For example, frequency converters for electric drives can significantly benefit from the advantages of SiC devices. Electric drives are the largest consumers of electrical energy in industry. In order to further increase their efficiency, almost only variable-speed drives are used. The frequency converters that couple the drives with a direct current circuit can particularly benefit from the material properties of SiC: Higher power densities and overall system efficiency are achieved through, for example, higher voltage classes, lower transmission losses, and higher switching frequencies.

Within the project DC INDUSTRIE, the DC circuits of the drives are connected by a factory-wide DC network to avoid unnecessary conversion losses. This allows using the braking energy directly by other consumers. For the operating voltages of up to 800 V, current 1200 V SiC components are perfectly suited. Also for electric vehicles and battery systems, similarly high voltages are now state of the art.

TRANSFORM - European SiC Value Chain for a Greener Economy

© Fraunhofer IISB
200 mm and 150 mm SiC wafers in comparison.

With the European TRANSFORM project, the IISB is building a complete and highly competitive European supply chain for power electronics based on silicon carbide (SiC) power semiconductors.

The partners of the ECSEL project TRANSFORM, funded by the EU and the BMBF, are building a highly competitive European supply chain for SiC power electronics. One focus is the development of a semiconductor technology for future SiC substrates with 200 mm diameter, which will significantly reduce the cost of SiC power devices, as currently substrates with a diameter of 150 mm are state of the art.

In the Joint Lab in close partnership with the equipment manufacturers, the IISB is developing

  • processes for an advanced multi-wafer SiC epitaxy reactor from the company Aixtron,
  • novel equipment for implant activation and substrate oxidation from the company Centrotherm,
  • as well as innovative material characterisation by means of X-ray topography with the company Rigaku.

The close scientific exchange also provides valuable feedback to the substrate and device manufacturers involved in the project to accelerate the transition to 200 mm technologies and to further improve quality and reliability of the substrates, epitaxial layers and devices.

TRANSFORM homepage