Schottky Barrier Detection Devices Having a 4H-SiC n-Type Epitaxial Layer



Reference #: 1048

The University of South Carolina is offering licensing opportunities for a highly sensitive detector for low-energy x-rays, gamma rays, and high-energy particles.

Invention Description:


The subject invention is a detection device formed from Schottky diodes on 4H-SiC n-type epitaxial layers. It detects low-energy x-rays (50 eV to 10 keV), gamma rays, and high-energy particles such as electrons, alpha rays and heavy ions.


Potential Applications:




Advantages and Benefits:


1.    No commercially available detectors are sensitive enough to detect soft x-rays in the sub-keV to 10 kev spectral ranges. The subject invention shows significantly improved response to detection of x-ray in this low-energy range. Its response to soft x-rays is significantly improved in comparison to commercial available SiC UV photodiodes and off-the-shelf (COTS) SiC UV photodiodes.

2.    Its current-voltage characteristics at 475 K show low leakage current (<1 nA at 200 V) revealing the possibility of high temperature operation.

3.    No charge trapping on detectors’ responsivity in the low x-ray energy was observed.




Development of advanced radiation detectors is aimed at high energy-resolution detectors that are capable of reliable and long-term non-degrading operation at elevated temperatures under high doses of ionizing radiation. Such detectors can be built with silicon carbide (SiC), a wide band-gap semiconductor, which has been recognized for high-power, high frequency, and high-temperature opto-electronics applications. It is an attractive alternative to more mature technologies in intense and rugged environments. This gained momentum in the development of SiC-based ionizing radiation detectors is crucial in the development of high resolution, high sensitive and low noise detectors of x-rays, gamma-rays, and low-energy ionizing radiation. Detectors based on 4H-SiC epitaxial layers with low level of impurities and defects can reliably detect any type of ionizing radiation at high radiation background at elevated temperatures and can be used in radiation doses as high as 22 MGy. Diode-type detectors fabricated using SiC epitaxial layers perform well in high-resolution detection of low penetration depth α-radiation, whereas the resolution of the detectors based on bulk semi-insulating SiC grown by physical vapor transport (PVT) is not yet adequate, presumably due to high density of defects and deep level centers and implying that further quality improvement of these crystals is necessary.

Patent Information:
Title App Type Country Serial No. Patent No. File Date Issued Date Expire Date Patent Status
Schottky Barrier Detection Devices Having a 4H-SiC n-Type Epitaxial Layer Utility United States 14/444,140 9,515,211 7/28/2014 12/6/2016    
For Information, Contact:
Technology Commercialization
University of South Carolina
Krishna Mandal
J. Russell Terry
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