High thermal conductivity in wafer-scale cubic silicon carbide crystals

Zhe Cheng, Jianbo Liang, Keisuke Kawamura, Hao Zhou, Hidetoshi Asamura, Hiroki Uratani, Janak Tiwari, Samuel Graham, Yutaka Ohno, Yasuyoshi Nagai, Tianli Feng, Naoteru Shigekawa, David G. Cahill

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


High thermal conductivity electronic materials are critical components for high-performance electronic and photonic devices as both active functional materials and thermal management materials. We report an isotropic high thermal conductivity exceeding 500 W m−1K−1 at room temperature in high-quality wafer-scale cubic silicon carbide (3C-SiC) crystals, which is the second highest among large crystals (only surpassed by diamond). Furthermore, the corresponding 3C-SiC thin films are found to have record-high in-plane and cross-plane thermal conductivity, even higher than diamond thin films with equivalent thicknesses. Our results resolve a long-standing puzzle that the literature values of thermal conductivity for 3C-SiC are lower than the structurally more complex 6H-SiC. We show that the observed high thermal conductivity in this work arises from the high purity and high crystal quality of 3C-SiC crystals which avoids the exceptionally strong defect-phonon scatterings. Moreover, 3C-SiC is a SiC polytype which can be epitaxially grown on Si. We show that the measured 3C-SiC-Si thermal boundary conductance is among the highest for semiconductor interfaces. These findings provide insights for fundamental phonon transport mechanisms, and suggest that 3C-SiC is an excellent wide-bandgap semiconductor for applications of next-generation power electronics as both active components and substrates.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number7201
JournalNature communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Physics and Astronomy


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