Department of Physics and Astronomy
Condensed Matter and Materials Physics
Alex Shluger's group
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Jonathan Cottom


My research is concerned with silicon carbide (SiC) based devices. SiC is a wide band gap semiconductor with favourable properties for microelectronic applications. Over the last 20 years, great advances have been made in the quality, size, and cost of SiC based devices, making SiC technologies a realistic choice for certain powered applications. SiC products such as Schottky diodes, pn-diodes, and junction field effect transistors (JFET) have been commercially available from Infineon, Cree, and others since 2001. In spite of these successes, major performance issues need to be overcome before the full potential of SiC based technologies can be realised. High defect concentrations both within the bulk and at the SiC/SiO2 interface is universally identified as the cause of these performance limitations.

The challenge centres around the need to match the theoretical calculations (atomistic) with experimental observation (bulk). Spin dependent recombination (SDR) measurements allow the study of a single defect type. This offers advantages when it comes to direct comparison with theoretical calculations. The complications and uncertainties brought about by the need to deconvolute signals is largely avoided. This allows from an experimental viewpoint a defect fingerprint to be identified, from a theoretical perspective a direct comparison with experiment is achieved. Through this combination of SDR measurements and theoretical calculations a series of defects within SiC have been positively identified.

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