Effect of aluminum addition on the surface step morphology of 4H-SiC grown from Si-Cr-C solution

Takeshi Mitani, Naoyoshi Komatsu, Tetsuo Takahashi, Tomohisa Kato, Shunta Harada, Toru Ujihara, Yuji Matsumoto, Kazuhisa Kurashige, Hajime Okumura

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41 Citations (Scopus)


For the solution growth of 4H-SiC with Si1-xCrx solvents, the change in surface step structure by 4 at% Al addition to the solvent was investigated. Without Al addition, step bunching resulted in the formation of giant macrosteps with height greater than several micrometers, and trench-like surface defects formed with solvent inclusion. The edge of the giant macrosteps composing trench-like defects was faceted into low-index facet planes, (11¯0m) (m=1-4). The formation of the trench-like surface defects is considered to originate from the self-pinning of macrosteps owing to the step-faceting phenomenon, which facilitates further development of macrosteps. On the other hand, the addition of Al to the solvents significantly improved the surface roughening, and suppressed the formation of the trench-like surface defects. In this case, smaller bunched steps with heights from several nanometers to about 10 nm formed on the terraces of the macrosteps, while regularly arranged trains of unit-cell-size steps formed on the terrace of macrosteps in growth without Al addition. The decrease in step stiffness might be a possible cause for the formation of the smaller bunched steps on the terrace in growth with Al addition.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)45-49
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Crystal Growth
Publication statusPublished - 2015 May 16


  • A1. Roughening
  • A1. Surface structure
  • A2. Growth from solution
  • A2. Top seeded solution growth
  • B1. Silicon carbide

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