EU Projects Aims to Boost Microelectronics

The European Union has begun sponsoring LAST POWER, a program aimed to commercialize bandgap semiconductors using SiC and GaN technologies for industrial and automotive applications, consumer electronics, renewable-energy conversion systems, and telecommunications.

One member of the project, SiCrystal of Germany, led the SiC-related effors with a demonstration of large-area 4H-SiC substrates. 150 mm in diameter, with a cut-off angle of 2°off axis. The result, in crystal structure and roughness, is comparable with the standard 100mm 4°off materialavailable at the beginning.

Those substrates were then used by LPE/ETC of Italy for epitaxial growth of moderately doped epi-layers for the fabrication of 600-1200V Junction Barrier Schottky (JBS) diodes and MOSFETs. Then, a novel Chemical Vapour Deposition reactor (CVD) is developed for the growth on the large area 4H-SiC.

In regards to GaN technology, STMicroelectronics of Italy successfully obtained the development of AlGaN/GaN HEMTs epitaxial structures grown on 150mm silicon substrates, reaching a target of 3 m thickness and 200V breakdown.

LAST POWER is also working with IMM-CNR (Italy), Unipress (Poland), and STMicroelectronics to develop a “gold-free” approach for AlGaN/GaN HEMTs.

The LAST POWER project was launched in April 2010 by the European Nanoelectronics Initiative Advisory Council (ENIAC) Joint Undertaking (JU) in order to link private companies, universities, and public research centers.

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