Silicon Carbide: a challenge for the 21st century

Dr Francesco La Via (IMM, CNR, Catania)
Aula Magna

Silicon Carbide (SiC) presents a high breakdown field (2-4 MV/cm) and a high-energy band gap (2.3–3.2 eV), largely higher than silicon and for these reasons is the ideal material for high power devices. In the last 20 years this technology had a large development in Catania thanks to the pioneering works of several people of the Physics Department and of the CNR-IMM. Today, the power devices on SiC substrates are the main products developed in the Catania site of STMicroelectronics. In this talk I will cover the history of SiC in Catania, the main advantage of SiC vs. silicon, the development of the material growth process and the new applications and the new projects for the future.

Francesco La Via was born in Catania, Italy, in September 1961. He received the M.S. degree in physics from Catania University, Catania, Italy, in 1985. From 1985 to 1990, he had a fellowship at STM, Catania. In 1990, he joined the CNR IMM in Catania as a researcher. During this time, he was a Visiting Scientist at Philips NatLab, Eindhoven, The Netherlands. In 2001 he became senior researcher of the CNR IMM and he is responsible of the research group that work on the new metallization schemes for silicon and silicon carbide. From 2003 he is responsible of the division of CNR-IMM that developed new processes for silicon carbide epitaxy and hetero-epitaxy. He is responsible of several industrial research projects in this field. In this period he has published more than 250 papers on JCR journals and 4 edited books. He has presented eleven invited contributions to international conferences and has organized several conferences and tutorials. He has 6 patents on SiC technology and growth. The main research interests are in the field of silicon carbide growth, power devices, detectors and MEMS.