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11 December 2007


Dow Corning wins further Navy funds to develop 4” SiC

Dow Corning Compound Semiconductor Solutions (DCCSS) of Midland, MI, USA has been awarded a $4.2m contract from the US Office of Naval Research to develop silicon carbide (SiC) materials technology. This follows a $3.6m contract awarded in December 2005, and allows DCCSS to continue developing its ability to manufacture device-quality SiC substrates up to 100mm (4-inches) in diameter.

Because of its unique thermal and electrical properties as a substrate, SiC technology is becoming increasingly important in the development of new high-frequency and more-efficient high-power electronics products. Emerging applications include advanced radar systems, cell-phone base-stations, hybrid electric vehicles, and power grid networks.

Dow Corning is using the federal funding, together with its own silicon manufacturing expertise, to accelerate the development of the SiC substrate market.

“The first phase of this program has met all its key objectives and advanced the technology of SiC significantly,” says James Helwick, global director of new business development programs for for Dow Corning’s Advanced Technologies & Ventures Business. “We’re expecting the second and later phases to help us further increase quality and reduce costs, which should pave the way for better-performing, more affordable SiC-based products that use even less energy.”

“SiC technology’s ultimate market success requires more than raw materials. Additional research and systems development also will be essential,” says DCCSS’ chief scientist Mark Loboda. “This program provides an ideal platform for government, leading academic research institutions and commercial organizations to collaborate and share resources to improve this promising technology.”

Dow Corning has been developing SiC technology since 2003, when it acquired SiC substrate maker Sterling Semiconductor Inc. Dow Corning’s SiC development is underway at the firm’s manufacturing site in Auburn, MI, which it dedicated in 2004 following the launch of the DCCSS business.

See related items:

SiC electronics market to reach $800m by 2015

TranSiC launches first SiC switching power transistor in TO-220 package

GeneSiC wins SBIR and STTR grants from DoE

Microsemi enters SiC epiwafer supply agreement with SemiSouth

Article: SiC power devices: if only we had a switch...

Report: SiC'07: Silicon Carbide Electronics

Search: SiC Silicon carbide substrates