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Semiconductor element, semiconductor device, and power converter

Image Number 16 for United States Patent #8410489.

A semiconductor element 100 including an MISFET according to the present invention is characterized by having diode characteristics in a reverse direction through an epitaxial channel layer 50. The semiconductor element 100 includes a silicon carbide semiconductor substrate 10 of a first conductivity type, a semiconductor layer 20 of the first conductivity type, a body region 30 of a second conductivity type, a source region 40 of the first conductivity type, an epitaxial channel layer 50 in contact with the body region, a source electrode 45, a gate insulating film 60, a gate electrode 65 and a drain electrode 70. If the voltage applied to the gate electrode of the MISFET is smaller than a threshold voltage, the semiconductor element 100 functions as a diode in which current flows from the source electrode 45 to the drain electrode 70 through the epitaxial channel layer 50. The absolute value of the turn-on voltage of this diode is smaller than that of the turn-on voltage of a body diode that is formed of the body region and the first silicon carbide semiconductor layer.

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