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21 January 2015

Element Six Technologies to accelerate synthetic diamond development in 2015

Luxembourg-registered synthetic diamond materials firm Element Six (a member of the De Beers Family of Companies) says that its Technologies Group experienced more than 20% growth in 2014, marking its third consecutive year of high growth.

Building on the firm’s positive results, this year Element Six aims to extend its R&D to leverage synthetic diamond to enhance the power levels of extreme ultraviolet (EUV) optics, to help to create environmentally friendly and cost-effective methods to treat industrial wastewater, and to create novel thermal management solutions for semiconductor devices, among others.

“Not only has Element Six championed the use of synthetic diamond in the fields of semiconductors and optics, it also served as a collaborative partner to esteemed academic and private organizations interested in taking advantage of diamond’s unique properties,” says Adrian Wilson, head of the Technologies Group. “As technology advances, across all industries, we see more challenges—often requiring smaller and more powerful devices that can withstand greater abuse,” he adds. “Our R&D teams already have projects underway to accelerate synthetic diamond solutions for various emerging markets.”

Growth in Element Six Technologies Group

In 2014, Raytheon Company proved that Element Six’s gallium nitride (GaN)-on-diamond wafers significantly outperform industry-standard gallium nitride-on-silicon carbide (GaN-on-SiC) in radio frequency (RF) devices. In high-electron-mobility transistor (HEMT) devices, Raytheon achieved a three times improvement in GaN-on-diamond’s RF areal power density, compared with GaN-on-SiC devices. The study asserted that GaN-on diamond substrates, fabricated by Element Six, exhibit a clear advantage over other substrate materials — partly because synthetic diamond dissipates heat up to five times more effectively than silicon or silicon carbide.

Last September, Element Six was selected by the European Commission’s Seventh Framework Program for Research and Technological Development to help build a new ultrafast pulse disk laser. As part of the three-year project, Element Six will further develop its low-loss, high-purity single-crystal chemical vapor deposition (CVD) diamond material to help create a new ultrafast pulse disk laser to increase productivity for precision micro-machining. Element Six also partnered with academic institutions including the University of Strathclyde and University of Warwick in the UK and Harvard University in the USA to spur innovation in high-power lasers and nano-scale sensing. Furthermore, working with academics in Delft University in The Netherlands, Element Six established that diamond spin qubits were a prime candidate for the realization of quantum networks.

Product innovation in 2015

Element Six says that, in the year ahead, it is focused on continued development of its synthetic diamond products to address growing demands across the semiconductor, optics, water treatment, detectors, industrial and electronics industries.

In particular, in semiconductors, GaN RF devices have seen steady growth, particularly in the military radar and commercial cellular base-station markets. According to Yole Développement, such devices could reach more than 18% of the overall RF device market by 2020. Element Six predicts that use of GaN substrate technology for high-power RF power amplifiers, for both commercial and defense applications, will take a significant share of the market in 2015 due to the higher power levels and efficiencies that GaN enables. In preparation for the demand for high-power GaN RF power amplifiers, and to unlock the intrinsic performance capability of these devices, Element Six Technologies is further developing GaN-on-diamond substrate technology that provides excellent thermal management of GaN devices and can be cost-effectively scaled to high volumes.

See related items:

Element Six launches thermal grade of CVD diamond for heat management

Element Six's GaN-on-diamond wafers shown by Raytheon to provide three-fold boost in power density vs GaN-on-SiC for RF devices

Tags: Element Six Technologies GaN-on-diamond

Visit: www.e6.com/GaN

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