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Impact of Ionizing Radiation on the \hbox {SiO}_{2}/ \hbox {SiC} Interface in 4H-SiC BJTs

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3 Author(s)
Usman, M. ; Nat. Centre for Phys., Quaid-i-Azam Univ., Islamabad, Pakistan ; Buono, B. ; Hallen, A.

Degradation of SiO2 surface passivation for 4H-SiC power bipolar junction transistors (BJTs) as a result of ion irradiation has been studied to assess the radiation hardness of these devices. Fully functional BJTs with 2700 V breakdown voltage are implanted with 600 keV helium ions at fluences ranging from 1 ×1012 to 1 ×1016 cm-2 at room temperature. These ions are estimated to reach the SiO2/ SiC interface. The current-voltage characteristics before and after irradiation show that the current gain of the devices starts degrading after a helium fluence of 1×1014 cm-2 and decreases up to 20% for the highest fluence of ions. Simulations show that the helium ions induce ionization inside the SiO2, which increases the interface charge and leads to a degradation of the BJT performance. Thermal annealing of the irradiated devices at 300 °C, 420 °C, and 500 °C further increases the amount of charge at the interface, resulting in increased base current in the low-voltage range.

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Electron Devices, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:59 ,  Issue: 12 )