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  Developing next generation wet processing for Silicon Carbide power electronic devices

   School of Engineering

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  Dr V Shah  Applications accepted all year round  Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

Funding available for PhD studentship for Jan 2024 Start. Supervisor: Dr Vishal Shah Industrial Sponsor: RENA Technologies.

Students must have a minimum Bachelors degree of 2.1 (UK) or international equivalent qualifications and a degree in experimental engineering/chemistry/physics.

Wide bandgap (WBG) semiconductor materials such as Silicon Carbide (SiC) and Gallium Nitride (GaN) have recently been introduced into the power electronics market in the last 5 years, with early adoption of SiC devices in hybrid and fully electric cars as the main driver of industrial uptake. Predictions state that the market will be worth $47bn by 2030 with direct relevance to achieving the green energy adoption for many governments’ net zero carbon emissions commitment.

A major argument for the adoption of SiC device manufacturing is the utilisation of mature processes used in Silicon device fabrication. Due to SiC technology’s only recent uptake some of these transferred processes have not been investigated in detail, or with a view on how it affects the device performance or reliability. In particular, wet chemical processing of SiC simply has not been developed beyond conventional wisdom. The importance of this is that SiC is a “harsh environment” material – it is very chemically resistant and requires radical new wet chemistry to improve the device technology.

Warwick University and RENA Technologies have partnered together to address this important research issue. RENA are a global supplier of wet chemistry processing equipment with a 70% market share of the Silicon wafering industry. They provide high-throughput equipment and processes for the Semiconductor, MedTech, Glass, Additive Manufacturing and Renewable Energy sectors. They have 7 manufacturing sites, 5 innovation hubs and more than 3,300 machines installed worldwide with over 1,200 employees worldwide.

In this studentship, the student will develop wet chemical processes for i) cleaning, ii) planarization, iii) functionalisation and iv) porosification of SiC in the power electronics industry. This studentship will expand on work being performed on a £100k grant won from the Henry Royce Institute, with RENA as partners. The student will learn and implement new wet chemistry with physical characterisation (e.g. X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy), Raman Spectroscopy or Secondary Ion Mass spectroscopy (SIMS)). Then they will evaluate these processes in electrical characterisation of test devices and potentially in a full MOSFET device, where they will learn semiconductor device fabrication in our state of the art dedicated SiC cleanroom.

Chemistry (6) Engineering (12) Physics (29)

Funding Notes

Applications are open, contact Dr Shah for an informal chat ([Email Address Removed]).
The funding mechanism requires a start in October 2023 and is only for UK students.