Graduation Year

2011

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree

Ph.D.

Degree Granting Department

Electrical Engineering

Major Professor

Stephen E. Saddow

Keywords

Chemical Vapor Deposition, Heteroepitaxy, Polysilicon, Residual Stress, Silicon Carbide

Abstract

Silicon carbide (SiC) is one of the hardest known materials and is also, by good fortune, a wide bandgap semiconductor. While the application of SiC for high-temperature and high-power electronics is fairly well known, its utility as a highly robust, chemically-inert material for microelectrical mechanical systems (MEMS) is only beginning to be well recognized. SiC can be grown on both native SiC substrates or on Si using heteroepitaxial growth methods which affords the possibility to use Si micromachining methods to fabricate advanced SiC MEMS devices.

The control of film stress in heteroepitaxial silicon carbide films grown on polysilicon-on-oxide substrates has been investigated. It is known that the size and structure of grains within polycrystalline films play an important role in determining the magnitude and type of stress present in a film, i.e. tensile or compressive. Silicon carbide grown on LPCVD polysilicon seed-films exhibited a highly-textured grain structure and displayed either a positive or negative stress gradient depending on the initial thickness of the polysilicon seed-layer. In addition a high-quality (111) oriented 3C-SiC on (111)Si heteroepitaxial process has been developed and is reported. SiC MEMS structures, both polycrystalline (i.e., poly-3C-SiC) and monocrystalline (i.e., 3C-SiC) were realized using micromachining methods. These structures were used to extract the stress properties of the films, with a particular focus on separating the gradient and uniform stress components.

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