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Single crystal 3C–SiC platelets, formed by thermal decomposition of methyltrichlorosilane at 1650–1750 °C, have been characterized in terms of structure and morphology. The platelets are ∼3–5 mm in length and 1–1.5 mm in thickness. The (111) C face of the crystal, which has an effective zero growth rate, presents a large, mirrorlike surface in the as‐grown 3C crystals. Atomic force microscopy indicates that these as‐grown surfaces are extraordinarily flat and uniform, with a mean surface roughness of 1–2 Å. This value is comparable with the roughness of state‐of‐art polished Si wafers. X‐ray rocking curves of the 〈111〉 peak were obtained with a linewidth of 12.3 arcsec. This is the smallest value reported to date for any polytype of SiC. Raman spectroscopy at 300 K reveals a very sharp TO–phonon peak at 797.8 cm-1, with a linewidth of 2.1 cm-1. © 1996 American Institute of Physics.