Skip to Main Content
The wide-bandgap nature of silicon carbide (SiC) makes it an excellent candidate for applications where high temperature is required. The metal-oxide-semiconductor (MOS)-controlled power devices are the most favorable structure; however, it is widely believed that silicon oxide on SiC is physically limited, particularly at high temperatures. Therefore, experimental measurements of long-term reliability of oxide at high temperatures are necessary. In this paper, time-dependent dielectric-breakdown measurements are performed on state-of-the-art 4H-SiC MOS capacitors and double-implanted MOS field-effect transistors (DMOSFET) with stress temperatures between 225°C and 375°C and stress electric fields between 6 and 10 MV/cm. The field-acceleration factor is around 1.5 dec/(MV/cm) for all of the temperatures. The thermal activation energy is found to be ~ 0.9 eV, independent of the electric field. The area dependence of Weibull slope is discussed and shown to be a possible indication that the oxide quality has not reached the intrinsic regime and further oxide-reliability improvements are possible. Since our reliability data contradict the widely accepted belief that silicon oxide on SiC is fundamentally limited by its smaller conduction-band offset compared with Si, a detailed discussion is provided to examine the arguments of the early predictions.