Recombination and diffusion processes in electronic grade 4H silicon carbide
Keywords: silicon carbide, microwave photoconductance, free carrier absorption, transient grating, lifetime
AbstractCarrier dynamics in n-type 4H-SiC epilayers of varying thicknesses and low Z1/2 defect concentrations are investigated here in wide ranges of excess carrier density and temperature. Several techniques are employed to monitor carrier diffusion and recombination processes, including light induced transient grating (LITG), microwave photoconductance decay (MPCD) and free carrier absorption (FCA) using ps-laser pulses at 355 nm. The observed increase of the diffusion coefficient with the increasing excitation level is explained by the transition from the minority to the bipolar transport regime. Its subsequent decrease with even higher excitations is found to be governed by band-gap renormalization and degeneracy effects. The bulk lifetime, limited by hole traps at 0.19–0.24 eV above the valence band at lower excitations, was found to decrease from few microseconds to hundreds of nanoseconds during the transition regime from the minority to the bipolar transport. Our temperature-dependent measurements confirmed the trap activation energy and provided the approximate functional form of electron and hole lifetimes as τe = 340 × (T/300 K)3/2 ns and τh = 100 × (T/300 K)–1/2 ns, for the temperature T range 80–800 K. It was found to hold for 65 and 120 μm sample thicknesses, while the lifetimes were found to be twice shorter for the sample 35 μm thick.