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Photomultiplication measurements using 244- and 325-nm excitation have been undertaken on a series of thick 4H-SiC avalanche diodes. With avalanche widths of between 2.7 and 6 mum and the ability to measure multiplication as low as 1.001, a much wider electric field range has been covered than reported to date. The results show that the hole ionization coefficient (beta) can be obtained with a high degree of accuracy down to electric fields as low as ~0.9 MV/cm. The value of electron ionization coefficient (alpha) has been determined from mixed carrier multiplication characteristics, and the beta/alpha ratio is found to increase significantly with decreasing electric fields. Ionization coefficients are parameterized over the electric field range from 0.9 to 5 MV/cm, enabling the multiplication and breakdown characteristics of 4H-SiC to be predicted accurately.