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An electrically active defect has been observed at a level position of ∼0.70 eV below the conduction band edge (Ec) with an extrapolated capture cross section of ∼5×10-14 cm2 in epitaxial layers of 4H–SiC grown by vapor phase epitaxy with a concentration of approximately 1×1013 cm-3. Secondary ion mass spectrometry revealed no evidence of the transition metals Ti, V, and Cr. Furthermore, after electron irradiation with 2 MeV electrons, the 0.70 eV level is not observed to increase in concentration although three new levels are observed at approximately 0.32, 0.62, and 0.68 eV below Ec with extrapolated capture cross sections of 4×10-14, 4×10-14, and 5×10-15 cm2, respectively. However, the defects causing these levels are unstable and decay after a period of time at room temperature, resulting in the formation of the 0.70 eV level. Our results suggest strongly that the 0.70 eV level originates from a defect of intrinsic nature. The unstable behavior of the electron irradiation-induced defects at room temperature has not been observed in the 6H–SiC polytype. © 1998 American Institute of Physics.
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