What Are Silicon Carbide’s Electrical Properties?

Silicon carbide (SiC) is an extremely hard material rated 9 on Mohs’ scale – comparable to diamond. With low coefficient of thermal expansion and outstanding chemical and heat resistance properties as well as superior strength and high temperature strength properties. SiC also displays exceptional abrasion resistance.

Attributed to its crystalline structure, graphene produces polymorphs with differing stacking sequences – or polytypes – which give rise to an array of interesting electrical properties.

Seebeck Coefficient

Seebeck Coefficient of a material is a measure of its thermoelectric voltage in response to temperature differences across a material, produced by charge carriers such as electrons or electron holes present within its material matrix. Its sign depends on which form is predominant – either positive or negative depending on which carrier form dominates in this instance. As its value increases, so too does its thermoelectric current production.

Seebeck coefficient can be measured by connecting two dissimilar materials to a voltmeter and measuring the output voltage. This voltage will depend on their relative Seebeck coefficients as well as a constant value known as platinum (Pt). The ratio of measured voltage with associated Seebeck coefficients is known as thermoelectric power.

If you want to increase the Seebeck coefficient of a compound, its metallic environment must be adjusted in such a way as to maximize carrier concentration. One effective means is doping it with rare earth or transition metal atoms such as Nb, Ti, and Zn; additionally ion-beam doping may also increase it.

Seebeck coefficient of materials can be calculated easily with a straightforward formula, given as S/(D+r). F, or Fermi integral can then be calculated with MATLAB software and represents its accuracy for most solids at usable temperatures; however, values will differ among materials.

Based on the type of semiconductor, its optimal Seebeck coefficient will differ. For instance, p-type semiconductors tend to have much higher Seebeck coefficients than n-type semiconductors due to more free electrons being present and active within their conduction band than their p-type counterparts.

Impurities not only alter the Seebeck coefficient of materials but can also alter their electrical properties and alter its energy bands by creating resonances; this may lead to an asymmetric band structure or alter the energy gap.


Silicon carbide in its purest form serves as an electrical insulator and does not allow electrons to flow. It only becomes semi-conductor when impurities are added to its crystal structure through doping – this allows charge carriers to freely move, thus decreasing resistivity significantly and significantly lowering resistivity as doping level increases. As doping levels increase, resistance tends to reduce.

Doping allows more electrons and holes to become available within the material, thereby improving current flow, leading to higher electrical conductivity from it. Physics defines specific electric resistivity of materials as their resistance multiplied by length divided by cross sectional area – and their resistivity measurement unit is the ohm.

Ohm’s law is logarithmic; therefore, the formula to calculate electric resistivity of any specimen is R = (R + log(r)/log(l), where units of measure include ohm seconds and metres. Resistivity plays an integral part in power distribution systems as well as grounding methods, helping determine their efficiency and effectiveness.

As silicon carbide’s specific electrical resistance depends on its structure, it is vital that we understand its determining factors. Also of note is its lower resistance compared to typical metallic or ceramic materials; also keep in mind that resistance levels may change with temperature and between types of silicon carbide specimens.

Porous silicon carbide’s low electrical resistivity makes it an excellent material choice for EDM (Electrical Discharge Machined) applications, including its low density and uniform low electrical resistivity, which ensures efficient EDM processing without damaging material or wasting energy. Contact Calix Ceramic Solutions now if you would like more information about our low electrical resistivity sintered porous SiC, where our team would be more than happy to answer any queries that you might have! Calix Ceramic Solutions takes great pride in offering high quality sintered products including EDM materials as part of our high quality sintered product range!


Silicon carbide is a semiconductor material with an energy gap of approximately 3.26eV that separates free electron and hole levels to prevent any of them from coming together to form ions that would interfere with electrical flow. Due to this wide energy gap, electronics made from silicon carbide can operate at higher voltages, temperatures, and frequencies than silicon devices.

Silicon carbide’s semiconducting properties enable it to be utilized in high-temperature and abrasive environments, making it suitable for car brakes, clutches, ceramic plates in bulletproof vests and bulletproof vests, plus its resistance to oxidation makes it an important ingredient of high-temperature refractory materials.

Silicon carbide does not conduct electricity like metals do, but its electrical properties can still be adjusted through doping. Doping involves adding impurities into its crystal structure to increase free charge carriers (electrons or holes) within it, thus increasing its conductivity and conductingivity. Doping is widely practiced within semiconductor industries to control electrical properties of materials.

Silicon carbide’s electrical properties and robust thermal conductivity have made it an integral component in power electronics. IGBTs and bipolar transistors were among the first power semiconductors to use silicon carbide due to its lower turn-on resistance than silicon counterparts while also having the capacity to handle higher breakdown voltages.

As technology develops, silicon carbide finds new applications. For instance, its low thermal expansion and hardness have made it ideal as an astronomical telescope mirror material; furthermore, lightweight yet resilient spacecraft subsystems made with this material have also been produced and successfully endured outer space conditions.

Silicon carbide’s physical and electronic properties are revolutionizing power electronics for high-power applications. SiC-based devices can withstand both high temperatures and voltage, essential in electric motor applications. Furthermore, their reduced switching losses and less heat generated help increase efficiency, increasing overall efficiency. Furthermore, SiC devices are less prone to electromagnetic interference (EMI), making them suitable for high frequency converters.

Thermal Conductivity

Thermal conductivity is a property of materials, measuring how much heat is transferred across a surface in one unit time. Silicon carbide material boasts exceptional thermal conductivity, making it suitable for applications requiring effective heat dissipation. Indeed, its thermal conductivity surpasses even that of copper and is approximately three times better than pure silicon.

Silicon carbide, a crystalline compound composed of silicon and carbon, has long been considered an indispensable industrial material in multiple fields. Thanks to its mechanical robustness, electrical properties, and thermal stability properties, silicon carbide serves as an ideal alternative to many materials in various applications – particularly electronics where its wide bandgap allows it to handle much higher voltages and frequencies than traditional silicon-based semiconductor devices.

Edward C. Acheson of America made headlines in 1891 when he used electric heat from a power plant to infuse clay with carbon, producing hexagonal crystals hard enough to scratch glass that he called carborundum but were actually silicon carbidode crystals. Acheson’s invention revolutionized production of light-emitting diodes (LEDs), detectors in early radios, automotive brakes and clutches, ceramic bulletproof vest plates and abrasion-resistant refractory materials.

Physical robustness and low permeability of polycarbonate make it an excellent replacement for steel in applications requiring abrasion resistance, such as wear plates. Furthermore, its resistance to oxidation and temperature stability make it suitable for harsh automotive and aerospace environments while its chemical inertness makes it resistant to corrosion from harsh chemicals.

Silicon carbide’s excellent thermal conductivity makes it an excellent material choice for applications requiring efficient heat transfer, such as electric furnaces and induction heating equipment. Furthermore, its low coefficient of thermal expansion aids structural integrity even at elevated temperatures.

Though pure silicon carbide behaves as an insulator, adding controlled impurities such as aluminium can give it semi-conducting properties. By adding aluminium for example, one gets p-type SiC while adding oxygen produces n-type SiC – these impurity types may be introduced through various methods, including ion implantation and chemical doping. SiC is often chosen as the base material in high performance semiconductor devices like IGBTs and bipolar transistors due to its much higher breakdown voltages and frequencies than other silicon-based semiconductors do.

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