Stacking Faults Originating from Star-Defects in 4H-SiC

S. El Hageali, N. Mahadik, R. Stahlbush, Harvey Guthrey, Steven Johnston, Jake Soto, Bruce Odenkirk, Brian Gorman, Mowafak Al-Jassim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Intense efforts are currently in progress to study various sources of basal plane dislocations (BPDs) in SiC epitaxial layers. BPDs can generate Shockley-type stacking faults (SSFs) in SiC epitaxial layers, which have been shown to be associated with the degradation of power devices. This study shows that the star-shaped defect can be a source of several BPDs in the epitaxial layer. We investigate the complex microstructure of the star defect, the generation of BPDs, and expansion of SSFs using various complementary microscopy and optical techniques. We show direct evidence that star-defects can be a nucleation point of single-SSFs that can expand at the core of the defect. Newly found secondary dislocation arrays extending over a few centimeters away are found to be emanating from the primary arms of the star defect. The presence of such dislocation walls and the expansion of single-SSFs will affect the yield of numerous die on a wafer. Further understanding of the formation mechanism of stacking faults generated from star-defects as provided in this study helps understand their effect on SiC-based devices, which is crucial to assess device reliability.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)29-33
Number of pages5
JournalDefect and Diffusion Forum
StatePublished - 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 The Author(s).

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5K00-87007


  • degradation
  • luminescence
  • stacking faults
  • Star-defect


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