SiC (Silicon Carbide) is a covalent bond compound consisting of a 1:1 ratio of silicon (Si) and carbon (C). This is a compound not found in our natural environment with only small amounts confirmed in meteorites.
Beyond its use as equipment component, SiC is also a semiconductor element just like silicon. For many years, there have been expectations for the use of SiC as a next-generation alternative to silicon semiconductor substrates. Since heading into the 21st century, we have seen the beginning of mass production of SiC single crystal wafers as well as the market launch of SiC elements employing these components.
Compared to silicon, SiC has a wider band gap (2-3 times that of silicon) and also demonstrates a high rate of thermal conductivity. There are expectations that SiC will serve as a material for power devices and high frequency devices.
The surface of SiC is comprised of a silicon dioxide (SiO2) layer that makes it highly resistant to oxidation.
*Exposure to high temperatures in a low oxygen partial pressure environment can
result in the production of silicon monoxide (SiO=gas), which can cause the
corrosion of SiC.
Under the new Mohs hardness scale, SiC is rated as a 13, which makes it the third hardest element on earth behind diamond (15) and boron carbide (14). However, SiC is known for its difficulty of machining due to its chemical stability and extreme hardness.
At ADMAP, we offer a 3C-structured SiC known as β-SiC. (All SiC other than 3C is classified as α-SiC.)