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Fundamentals of Silicon Carbide Technology: Growth, Characterization, Devices and Applications by James A. Cooper, Tsunenobu Kimoto

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Chapter 1Introduction

1.1 Progress in Electronics

Development of semiconductor materials and devices has been a strong driving force for a variety of revolutionary changes and innovations in modern society. Since the invention of germanium (Ge)-based bipolar transistors in 1947–1948 [1, 2] and the subsequent success of silicon (Si)-based metal-oxide-semiconductor field effect transistors (MOSFETs) [3], semiconductor devices have given rise to a new field, solid state electronics. The invention of integrated circuits (ICs) made by planar technology [4, 5] triggered rapid progress in microelectronics. Nowadays, Si-based large scale integrated circuits (LSIs) are the key components in almost all electrical and electronic systems. Despite predictions of physical limitations, remarkable progress continues to be made in Si-based LSIs, even today [6, 7]. Solar cells and various sensors are also mainly produced using silicon.

In the meantime, compound semiconductors have established unique positions in those applications where Si devices cannot exhibit good performance because of the inherent material properties. In particular, III–V semiconductors such as gallium arsenide (GaAs) and indium phosphide (InP) have been widely employed for high-frequency devices and light-emitting devices [8, 9]. In addition to the high electron mobility and direct band structure of most III–V semiconductors, bandgap engineering and formation of heterostructures can be utilized to enhance the performance ...

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