SITIS Archives - Topic Details
Program:  SBIR
Topic Num:  AF071-223 (AirForce)
Title:  Wide Bandgap Semiconductor Materials for Advanced Radio Frequency (RF) Applications
Research & Technical Areas:  Sensors, Electronics

 The technology within this topic is restricted under the International Traffic in Arms Regulation (ITAR), which controls the export and import of defense-related material and services. Offerors must disclose any proposed use of foreign nationals, their country of origin, and what tasks each would accomplish in the statement of work in accordance with section 3.5.b.(7) of the solicitation.
  STATEMENT OF INTENT: Intent is to develop high-quality high power and temp wide bandgap SiC/GaN semiconductor materials, a very high priority technology with this PEO
  Objective:  Develop high-quality wide bandgap SiC/GaN materials and implement techniques for fabrication of high-power and temperature wide bandgap RF devices.
  Description:  Future radar and communications applications demand higher power density, greater operating voltage, and higher temperature operation of electronics components to enable superior performance and wider bandwidth capabilities. While silicon is the material of choice for most current RF devices, it is not suited for high voltage, high power, and, hence, high temperature operation due to uncontrolled generation of intrinsic carriers affecting its properties. Wide bandgap semiconductors such as SiC and GaN have large breakdown voltage and high thermal conductivity, and are ideal candidates for next-generation high-power-density semiconductors. These materials are also extremely radiation resistant and can be used for space electronics hardware or applications requiring operation near radiation. Major technological challenges in developing wide bandgap SiC/GaN semiconductors are materials and processing issues. These include preparation of suitable substrate size and quality, single crystal film growth, defect density control, doping procedures, device fabrication and reliability, thermal management, and other related processing challenges, which ultimately affect the device performance. This topic seeks to investigate and develop suitable processes for the development of high-quality, wide bandgap SiC substrates and the epitaxial growth of SiC-based and GaN-based materials that can be used for high-power RF applications such as high electron mobility transistors (HEMT) and metal semiconductor field effect transistor (MESFET).The goal is to develop and demonstrate high quality and low cost homo-epitaxial and hetero-epitaxial growth techniques for SiC and GaN that result in a highly uniform and high electron mobility layer across the wafer diameter.

  PHASE I: Develop high purity, and uniform thickness 4-inch SiC wafer substrate with sufficiently higher resistivity (>1011 ohm-cm) and lower defect density (<10 MP/cm2) than the SOA commercial SiC wafers.
  
  PHASE II: Design and fabricate capabilities to yield high performance, high reliability, and reproducible wide bandgap devices such as HEMT and MESFET at an affordable cost. Device performance should address both commercial and military needs in terms of power density and frequency for future radar and communications devices. Develop models to predict device performance including thermal managements.

  DUAL USE COMMERCIALIZATION: Military application: This R&D applies to all high-speed data communications related avionics and space. Commercial application: Potential applications: military space, ground, and airborne radars, and commercial applications such as satellite communications, cell phones, and optoelectronics including light emitting diodes.

  References:  1. S. McGrath and T. Rödle, “Moving Past the Hype: Real Opportunities for Wide Band Gap Compound Semiconductors in RF Power Markets,” The International Conference on Compound Semiconductor Manufacturing Technology, 2005. 2. J. H. Edgar, S. Strite, I. Akasaki, H. Amano, and C. Wetzel, “Properties, Processing and Applications of Gallium Nitride and Related Semiconductors,” INSPEC/IEE, 1999. 3. B. Ozpineci, L.M. Tolbert, S.K. Islam, and M. Chinthavali, “Wide Bandgap Semiconductors for Utility Applications,” IASTED International Conference on Power and Energy Systems (PES 2003), Palm Springs, California, pp. 317-321, February 24-26, 2003.

Keywords:  wide bandgap semiconductors, RF electronics, radar, HEMT, MIMIC, MESFET, SiC, GaN

Additional Information, Corrections, References, etc:
Informal inquiries during the pre-solicitation period have prompted the following guidance:

Proposals with broader interpretations of the topic description, as well as proposals which almost exclusively address either the published Phase I or the Ph II plans, will be considered. In these cases, please justify your revised Phase I substrate requirements (if your effort will be mainly focusing on the breakthrough devices), or justify your modified Ph II device plans (if your effort will be focusing on high quality substrate development).

Please note, however, that proposals which innovatively address Phase I high quality substrate plans and Phase II high performance device plans will likely be considered the most responsive to this SBIR topic. Further, your selected/proposed device performance should impact both a future military need (avionic or space radar/communications) and commercial applications. Reiterating statements from the published solicitation, the goal of the SBIR effort is: The development/demonstration of high quality homo-/hetero-epitaxial growth techniques for SiC and GaN that result in a highly uniform and high electron mobility layer across the wafer diameter. The Phase II effort should result in the design/fabrication of high performance, high reliability, and reproducible wide bandgap devices such as HEMTs/MESFETs.
Informal inquiries during the pre-solicitation period have prompted the following guidance:

Proposals with broader interpretations of the topic description, as well as proposals which almost exclusively address either the published Phase I or the Ph II plans, will be considered. In these cases, please justify your revised Phase I substrate requirements (if your effort will be mainly focusing on the breakthrough devices), or justify your modified Ph II device plans (if your effort will be focusing on high quality substrate development).

Please note, however, that proposals which innovatively address Phase I high quality substrate plans and Phase II high performance device plans will likely be considered the most responsive to this SBIR topic. Further, your selected/proposed device performance should impact both a future military need (avionic or space radar/communications) and commercial applications. Reiterating statements from the published solicitation, the goal of the SBIR effort is: The development/demonstration of high quality homo-/hetero-epitaxial growth techniques for SiC and GaN that result in a highly uniform and high electron mobility layer across the wafer diameter. The Phase II effort should result in the design/fabrication of high performance, high reliability, and reproducible wide bandgap devices such as HEMTs/MESFETs.

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