The researchers from the Materials Department at Fraunhofer IISB have grown an aluminum nitride (AlN) crystal with a diameter of 43 mm in technology-relevant quality. For Fraunfofer IISB this result is a substantial step to reach the important milestone inside the BMBF funded project Leitban to demonstrate a 2 inch diameter AlN crystal by the end of 2022 and to deliver 2 inch AlN wafers to the consortium.
This achievement was possible by the support of the BMBF FMD - Forschungsfabrik Mikroelektronik Deutschland initiative.
The availability of AlN crystals and respectively AlN wafers in sufficient size and quality is the key for the manufacturing of high performance AlN-based electronic devices. Aluminum nitride as a semiconductor offers an extreme breakdown field strength, a high material quality, a low amount of defects and a very good thermal conductivity.
Due to the special physical properties of AlN, AlN-based devices for power electronics can achieve a performance beyond that of silicon carbide (SiC) and gallium nitride (GaN). Thus, AlN is suitable for the processing of super-low loss power transistors and has the potential to become the most important Ultra Wide Band Gap (UWBG) semiconductor for power electronics in the future.