Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department

Electrical Engineering

Major Professor

Stephen E. Saddow, Ph.D.


Silicon carbide, Chemical vapor deposition, Epitaxial layers, High growth speeds, Low-pressure


This dissertation research focused on the growth of 4H-SiC epitaxial layers in low-pressure horizontal hot-wall chemical vapor deposition (CVD) reactors. The goal of the research was to develop a growth process that maximized the growth rate and produced films of smooth morphology. The epitaxial growth of SiC was carried out in two different reactor sizes, a 75 mm reactor and a 200 mm reactor. The maximum repeatable growth rate achieved was 30-32 um/h in the 200 mm reactor using the standard chemistry of hydrogen-propane-silane (H2-C3H8-SiH4) at growth temperatures <̲ 1600 °C, which is the highest growth rate reported to date in a horizontal hot-wall reactor at these temperatures. This growth rate was achieved with a silane flow rate of 30 sccm. The process development and characterization of 4H-SiC epitaxial films grown using the standard chemistry are presented.

There are many ways to increase the growth rate, such as changing the pressure, increasing the reactant flow rates, or increasing the temperature. The method of choice for this dissertation work was to first increase the reactant flow rates, i.e. silane flow rate, and then to alter the growth chemistry by using a growth additive. When the silane flow is increased, while maintaining a specific growth temperature, supersaturation of silicon may occur. When this happens, particulates may form and deposit onto the sample surface during growth which degrades the film morphology of the epitaxial layers. In order to overcome this severe limitation in the growth of SiC, hydrogen chloride (HCl) was added to the standard chemistry of H2-C3H8-SiH4 during growth when the SiH4 flow was increased beyond 30 sccm. With the addition of HCl, the Si supersaturation was suppressed and the growth rate was increased from ~32 um/h to ~ 49 um/h by increasing the silane precursor up to 45 sccm, while maintaining the Si/C ratio of the standard chemistry process. The addition of HCl to the standard chemistry for growth of SiC films was pioneering work that has since been duplicated by several research groups.