STMicroelectronics : European Project Drives the Future of Power Microelectronics

       STMicroelectronics : European Project Drives the Future of Power

Catania, Italy, May 16, 2013 - LAST POWER^[1], the European Union-sponsored
program aimed at developing a cost-effective and reliable technology for power
electronics, today announced its three-year program achievements that place
Europe at the forefront of research and the commercialization of
energy-efficient devices for industrial and automotive applications, consumer
electronics, renewable-energy conversion systems, and telecommunications.

Launched in April 2010 by the European Nanoelectronics Initiative Advisory
Council (ENIAC) Joint Undertaking (JU), a public-private partnership in
nanoelectronics, LAST POWER links private companies, universities and public
research centers working in the field of wide bandgap semiconductors (SiC and
GaN). The consortium members are STMicroelectronics (Italy), project
coordinator, LPE/ETC (Italy), Institute for Microelectronics and Microsystems
of the National Research Council -IMM-CNR (Italy), Foundation for Research &
Technology-Hellas - FORTH(Greece), NOVASiC (France), Consorzio Catania
Ricerche -CCR (Italy), Institute of High Pressure Physics - Unipress
(Poland), Università della Calabria (Italy), SiCrystal(Germany), SEPS
Technologies (Sweden), SenSiC (Sweden), Acreo (Sweden), Aristotle University
of Thessaloniki - AUTH (Greece).

The main achievements in SiC-related efforts were based on the demonstration
by SiCrystal of large-area 4H-SiC substrates, 150mm in diameter, with a
cut-off angle of 2°-off axis. The material quality, both in crystal structure
and surface roughness, is comparable with the standard 100mm 4°-off material
available at the beginning of the project. At LPE/ETC, these substrates have
been used for epitaxial growth of moderately doped epi-layers suitable for the
fabrication of 600-1200V JBS (Junction Barrier Schottky) diodes and MOSFETs,
owing to the development of a novel CVD (Chemical Vapor Deposition) reactor
for the growth on large-area (150mm) 4H-SiC.

The quality of the epitaxial layer enabled the fabrication of JBS (Junction
Barrier Schottky) diodes in the industrial production line at
STMicroelectronics. The characterization of the first lots showed electrical
performance comparable with the state-of-the-art 4°-off material. In this
context, the fundamental technological step was the chemical mechanical
polishing (CMP) process - StepSiC ® reclamation and planarization -
implemented at NOVASiC, which is a key issue both for the preparation of the
substrates before epitaxial growth and for the sub-nanometric control of the
surface roughness of the device active layers. Within the project, the same
company also developed epitaxial growth capability for both MOSFET and JFET

Additional research activities in SiO[2]/SiC interfaces have been carried out
in collaboration with ST and IMM-CNR to improve the channel mobility in 4H-SiC

Finally, novel technological modules for high-temperature 4H-SiC JFETs and
MOSFETs have been developed in collaboration between Acreo and FORTH, with the
support of CCR for the study of molding compounds and "lead-free" die-attach
materials for reliable packaging solutions.

The LAST POWER project also researched the use of GaN-based devices in
power-electronics applications. In particular, ST successfully obtained the
development of AlGaN/GaN HEMTs epitaxial structures grown on 150mm Si
substrates, reaching a target of 3mm thickness and 200V breakdown. LAST POWER
worked with IMM-CNR, Unipress, and ST to develop the technological steps for
normally-off AlGaN/GaN HEMTs with a "gold-free" approach. The process modules
are fully compatible with the device-fabrication flow-chart set in the ST
production line and are being integrated for HEMTs fabrication. The fruitful
interaction between the project partners working on material growth and device
technology has enabled important steps towards monolithic integration of
GaN-based and SiC-based devices, as both technologies have been successfully
proven on 2°-off axis 4H-SiC substrates.

For Press Information Contact:
Michael Markowitz
Director Technical Media Relations
+1 781 591 0354


[1]Large Area silicon-carbide Substrates and heTeroepitaxial GaN for POWER
device applications



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