SDK Expands High-Grade SiC Epitaxial Wafer Capacity

June 08, 2016 by Jeff Shepard

Showa Denko (SDK) has expanded its capacity for producing high-quality-grade silicon carbide (SiC) epitaxial wafers for power devices, which have already been marketed under the trade name of "High-Grade Epi" (HGE), and started mass production of HGE wafers. The expanded HGE production facility has a capacity to produce 3,000 wafers per month (based on a conversion into SiC epitaxial wafers for power devices having withstanding voltage of 1,200 V).

HGE is a grade of SiC epitaxial wafer with very low crystal defect density, developed and commercialized by SDK in October 2015. In the new HE product HGE, SDK has succeeded in controlling the number of SD within 0.1/cm2 (one-third the current level of SDK's conventional product) and of basal plane dislocation (BPD) within 0.1/cm2 (one-hundredth or less compared with conventional product).

Since the launch of HGE, SDK has been working on sample shipment of it to device manufacturers at home and abroad, successfully getting good reputation among them. HGE contributes to an improvement in reliability of SiC-MOSFET by controlling the number of BPD.

Moreover, the establishment of technology to lower the number of defects enabled us to mass-produce thick-film epitaxial wafers (thickness of about 100um or more) and p-type epitaxial wafers, both for potential use in bipolar power devices. These special epitaxial wafers were said to be difficult to produce with conventional technologies. SDK expects that thick-film HGE it will market will significantly contribute to the development of SiC-IGBT, which can be used as ultra-high-voltage devices for power generation/transmission systems.

The size of the market for SiC epitaxial wafers for power devices is expected to reach 100 billion yen in 2025 as the early use of SiC power devices in vehicles is under consideration. SDK will continue meeting the need of the market for high-quality SiC epitaxial wafers, aiming to contribute to the improvement in energy efficiency of power devices.