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The Evolution of the SiC Schottky Diode

Jun 03, 2019
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With more than 30 years of SiC experience, Wolfspeed is one of the world’s top providers of silicon carbide (SiC) wide bandgap solutions.

The superior conductivity, thermal performance and ruggedness of Wolfspeed’s SiC technology makes innovations such as electric vehicles and 5G communications possible. As the largest vertically integrated producer of SiC and GaN on SiC, Wolfspeed is capable of creating semiconductor package designs that are optimized for SiC. Our SiC MOSFETs and SiC Schottky diodes are just two of the many packaged devices that benefit from Wolfspeed’s end-to-end expertise.

The Evolution of the SiC Schottky Diode

SBD Model

Initially, the SiC Schottky diode employed a basic Schottky barrier diode (SBD) structure. The design of the SiC-SBD involved a singular metal-semiconductor junction, which would easily give way to problematic operations in the field because the surface defects at that junction made the diodes prone to increased leakage currents over time, eventually leading to device failure. By incorporating a more complex structural design, the newest SiC Schottky diodes are able to prevent the destructive leakage currents so prevalent in SiC SBDs.

JBS Model

The engineers at Wolfspeed responded to the problematic design by moving towards the SiC Junction Barrier Schottky (JBS) design. The revisions of the JBS design include added regularly-spaced P+ -wells beneath the Schottky barrier to protect the device when reverse bias is applied. The enhanced design provides advanced reliability for a more robust diode. By adding the P+ -wells, Wolfspeed’s JBS performance removes excess stress on the device and prevents leakage currents.

MPS Model

Over a span of 10 years, Wolfspeed continued to develop the JPS and, ultimately, it evolved into the Merged PIN Schottky, or MPS. The MPS exhibits all of the advantages found in the JBS diodes under reverse bias, but Wolfspeed’s cutting-edge technology has added new innovations only found in the MPS under forward bias. The engineers at Wolfspeed modified the construction of the JPS in which the P+-wells forms a P-i-N junction within the drift layer and the substrate. By doing so, Wolfspeed is creating a significantly higher forward current-carrying capability for the diode.

Wolfspeed SiC MPS diodes are now on their sixth design iteration in commercial release and have more than 4.7 trillion field hours along with the lowest FIT (failure-in-time) rate to support their reliability and performance. Combined with the higher breakdown voltage and enhanced surge capability of this MPS design, these Schottky diodes can be used to contribute to a reliable, rugged end product.

Wolfspeed has a reputation for manufacturing high quality, reliable bandgap semiconductors. With more than 14 years of SiC-focused commercial diode experience and more than 25 years of experience with electronics, Wolfspeed continues to advance the technology behind their Schottky diodes by remaining committed to delivering diodes with higher frequencies, improved efficiency, and lower operating temperatures. Wolfspeed offers SiC Schottky diodes in a variety of current ratings, voltage ratings and package options to meet your application requirements.

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