SDK Expands Capacity for Producing High-Grade SiC Epitaxial Wafers and Starts Mass Production of HGE, Contributing to Diffusion of “Full SiC” Power Modules


Showa Denko (SDK) has expanded its capacity for producing high-quality-grade silicon carbide (SiC) epitaxial wafers for power devices, which have already been marketed under the trade name of “High-Grade Epi” (HGE), and started mass production of HGE wafers. The expanded HGE production facility has a capacity to produce 3,000 wafers per month1.

HGE is a grade of SiC epitaxial wafer with very low crystal defect density, developed and commercialized by SDK in October 2015.² Since the launch of HGE, SDK has been working on sample shipment of it to device manufacturers at home and abroad, successfully getting good reputation among them. HGE contributes to an improvement in reliability of SiC-MOSFET³by controlling the number of basal plane dislocation4, which is the typical crystal defect, within 0.1/cm². Moreover, the establishment of technology to lower the number of defects enabled us to mass-produce thick-film epitaxial wafersand p-type epitaxial wafers6, both for potential use in bipolar power devices. These special epitaxial wafers were said to be difficult to produce with conventional technologies. We expect that thick-film HGE we market will significantly contribute to the development of SiC-IGBT7, which can be used as ultra-high-voltage devices for power generation/transmission systems.

The size of the market for SiC epitaxial wafers for power devices is expected to reach 100 billion in 2025 as the early use of SiC power devices in vehicles is under consideration. SDK will continue meeting the need of the market for high-quality SiC epitaxial wafers, aiming to contribute to the improvement in energy efficiency of power devices.

1 This number is based on a conversion into SiC epitaxial wafers for power devices having withstanding voltage of 1,200 V.
2 For detail, please see SDK’s news release announced on October 2, 2015. “SDK to Offer SiC Epitaxial Wafers with Very Low Defect Density”
3 MOSFET: metal oxide semiconductor field effect transistor: MOSFET is good to be used in logic circuits that require high-speed switching, because its rate of power loss is small.
4 Basal plane dislocation: Dislocation that occurs on a basal plane of a single crystal SiC.
5 These thick-film epitaxial wafers have thickness of about 100µm or more. (1µm=1/1,000mm)
6 P-type: A type of electrical conduction in semiconductors. In p-type semiconductors, positively charged holes are the majority carriers of electric energy. In n-type semiconductors, negatively charged electrons are the majority carriers of electric energy.
7 IGBT: insulated gate bipolar transistor. SiC-IGBT has both high-speed-switching capabilities equal to MOSFET and controls on high voltage and high current equal to bipolar transistor.

The number of defects per 1cm² of HGE

SiC defects_2016_06_16