An 8° off-axis 4H-SiC wafer with circular Schottky contacts fabricated on a CVD grown 4H-SiC homoepitaxial layer was studied to investigate the influence of various defects, including small (closed-core) screw dislocations (Burgers vector of 1c or 2c), hollow-core (micropipes; Burgers vector larger than 2c), threading edge dislocations (from conversion of basal plane dislocations from the substrate into the epilayer), grain boundaries and triangular defects, on the device performance in the form of breakdown voltages. The defects were examined using synchrotron white beam x-ray topography (SWBXT) based techniques and molten KOH etching. The devices commonly contained basal plane dislocations, small screw dislocations and threading edge dislocations, the latter two of which could give rise to low breakdown voltages for the devices. In addition, less commonly observed defects such as micropipes, grain boundaries and triangular defects are much more destructive to device performance than closed-core screw dislocations and threading edge dislocations.
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